How to Choose a Safe Mobile for Your Baby

Baby boy, 2 months old, in crib looking up at a toy airplane mobile
Rune Johansen/Photolibrary/Getty Images

There are so many options for decorative mobiles on the market; it can make your head spin. The baby mobile can reflect your nursery theme, soothe your baby with movement and motion, and simply be darn cute.

But before you hang it on the crib and step back in adoration, be sure you've selected one that won't harm your baby. Also consider that you want your baby to sleep while in their crib, not be stimulated and entertained.

Securely Attach the Baby Mobile to the Crib

A fallen mobile can literally be a death trap for your infant. It can cause strangulation, suffocation, or entrapment—a scary thing for something meant to be cute and delight your baby.

To better protect your baby, make sure you have installed it according to the instructions. Periodically check the screws or fastening element for security and proper position.

Measure the String Length

If you purchase a baby mobile in stores today, you can be assured that it meets United States manufacturing guidelines. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of antique or homemade baby mobiles. To help prevent strangulation, measure the length of the strings.

Strings on mobiles should not exceed 7 inches in length, or else they become a strangulation risk to your baby.

Register Crib Toys With the Manufacturer

Despite the fact that newly purchased mobiles meet current standards, that doesn't mean it won't be recalled. Always be sure you register your crib toys and baby items with the manufacturer. That will keep you up to date on any potential recalls or warnings.

Don't Put the Mobile Within Reach

If the mobile is within grasping range of your little one's chubby hands, it's time to drop the mattress lower. You might be surprised at how strong your baby is.

A determined baby might be quite capable of plucking the mobile from its perch. That's why it is important that your child should never be able to grab or pull on the mobile.

Once your child is five months old, or can get up on their hands and knees (whichever comes first), it's time to ditch the mobile completely.

A Word From Verywell

You will need to use precautions when you decide to place a baby mobile over the crib. Sometimes the choice seems out of your hands, as when a grandparent gifts you an heirloom mobile. Be sure to place the safety of your infant first and firmly insist that all guidelines be followed.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. Tips for buying baby furniture and baby equipment. Updated November 12, 2009.