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Every photo of a beautiful nursery we've ever seen includes a sweet mobile that neatly coordinates with the crib bedding and room décor. Erase that from your picture of the perfect nursery.
For starters, most babies spend the first three months of life in a sweet bassinet in their parent's room. By the time your baby is old enough to sleep in her own crib - and you're ready (deep breath!) to let her cry herself to sleep - you're going to want a serious mobile that helps you in the battle of tears. And stuffed pink bears just won't cut it.
There are two types of mobiles: the cutesy, crib-coordinating ones that match your dust ruffle (and will collect dust) and the not-so-cute, developmental mobiles.
The cutesy mobiles operate by simple wind-up, play one, tinkling tune (usually Braham's Lullaby), and wind down after about three minutes. Stuffed animals (not even pointed toward your baby in most cases), usually of pastel colors your baby probably can't see, rotate in a circle above your baby's head. When baby is old enough to sit up, you must remove these mobiles from the crib for strangling hazards.
The not-so-cute developmental mobiles are designed for more varied and stimulating use. Equipped with multiple songs, sound effects, remote controls, visually stimulating colors and patterns, most convert to crib toys when your baby can sit up, extending their usefulness by several months. Some play light shows on the ceiling. Some even shake up the old circular orbit by sending the stuffed toys on sliding, more unexpected paths. Unfortunately, for reasons we can't quite understand, they are all not-so-cute.
If you can get past the fantasy of bears wearing tutus and live with technicolor creatures, we recommend getting a developmental, multi-use mobile. It's not going to be pretty. But then again, neither is a screaming baby at 2 am…
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