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Your guide to buying a cot mobile

This guide aims to help you find the best, value for money cot mobiles on the Internet. Whether you are looking for one that plays music, rotates, lights-up or just a basic one, this is the site to find one that best suits your baby.

With such a variety to choose from, finding the right cot mobile for your baby can be a time-consuming and difficult task. This guide will provide parents with information and advice they will find useful when considering buying a cot mobile for their baby.

Basic cot mobiles

If you are planning on purchasing a cot mobile for the very first time then it is recommended that you start out with a cheap basic one and see if your baby enjoys looking at it before splashing out on a fancy expensive one as it is not guaranteed that every baby likes having one in their cot.

As basic implies, these mobiles don’t have flashing lights, soothing melodies, fancy moving parts or remote controls to operate them; they will just hang above your baby for them to stare at. They are not very stimulating to the senses so are less likely to entertain your baby than those with the aforementioned features. However, they are generally cheaper than the other types and can cost as low as £8.

If you are unsure as to whether to purchase a basic cot mobile or one with fancy features, you could borrow one from a friend or family that has a baby and that way you don’t have to spend money on finding out.

Musical cot mobiles

Music is a great feature for cot mobiles for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons is that it is an entertaining feature that babies will enjoy listening to whatever mood they are in. It attracts and maintains a baby’s attention in an entertaining way, meaning that they are less likely to display negative behaviour, such as crying or chewing on things they shouldn’t be.

The type of music that cot mobiles play varies with each one; these may be nursery rhymes, classical music and lullabies. Those that play nursery rhymes not only keeps your baby amused but also helps develop their learning by making them familiar with words in the songs. This can aid the early development of your baby’s language skills and vocabulary for when they reach the age where they are able to talk. The nature of classical music is relaxing and so can be played to calm them down if they are in an excitable state. Lullabies are quiet songs which will help ease them into a gentle sleep so this may be one to consider if your baby has trouble getting to sleep at night.

The length of time that music is played will vary; some will play for several minutes while others can play for 20 minutes or even defined by the parent. Those that play for longer will require you to reactivate them fewer times meaning that you don’t disturb your baby as much.

Music on cot mobiles can be activated by a wind-up action box or by an on/off switch. Wind-up music boxes may make more noise when being wound which could wake up the baby if it is too loud so this is something to consider if it is to be used as an aid for trying to get them to sleep at night.

So when choosing a musical cot mobile, identify what purpose it is needed for to ensure that you and your baby are happy with whichever one you choose.

Cot mobiles with moving/rotating parts

Cot mobiles that have rotating or moving parts are a great way to attract a baby’s attention and keep them entertained as well as developing their visual skills and hand/eye co-ordination. Some have one rotating part whereas others have parts that rotate on their own axis, which can help develop spatial awareness. However, these are generally likely to be more expensive than cot mobiles that do not have any moving parts but this extra cost may be worth it if it is more appealing to your baby and keeps them amused for longer.

Those that are battery or electricity operated can keep the cot mobile active, capturing the baby’s attention and keeping them entertained for a set or user-defined time (if the option is available). Those that have moving parts through baby contact may be less entertaining as it will require them to reach out and manually play with them but will be cheaper to run.

One important thing to think about is that moving parts may be easily broken off or damaged which not only means that this disables certain functions of the cot mobile but more importantly, if small parts are broken off, a baby, not knowing any better, may stick them in their mouth which can choke them or restrict their breathing and can be lethal. So before attaching any mobile to a cot, check every moving part and use your judgement as to whether they can be easily broken or not as this will eliminate the likelihood of your baby choking on small parts. However, some will have detachable parts that can be used as separate toys so are safe enough.

Cot mobiles with lights

This is another great feature that will comfort your baby when trying to get them to sleep using a night light or stimulate their visual senses and keep them amused during the day with bright colourful lights.

Some cot mobiles with a night light may not automatically switch off after a certain period of time, wasting power or electricity unnecessarily throughout the night so to avoid this, make sure you choose one that has an auto switch-off function. However, if it takes a while for them to fall asleep then you might want to consider one that stays on to keep them comforted during the night.

Other cot mobiles will have colourful light displays to add an extra element of entertainment that will be sure to captivate your baby’s attention and develop their visual awareness. However, if your baby has epilepsy then it is quite possible that bright flashing lights may cause them to have a seizure. It is recommended that medical advice is sought to check if your baby has epilepsy before buying this type of cot mobile.

Remote control activated cot mobiles

Cot mobiles that can be operated with a remote control are generally more expensive than any other type of mobile due to the extra feature and parts that are required for the product, costing up to as much as £46 depending on which one you buy. If you are willing to pay a bit extra for the remote-control feature then you will notice the benefits of having one, including the ability to control functions of the cot mobile without the fear of disturbing your baby while he is playing or trying to sleep.

The remote controls will require batteries to be operated so this will be an on-going expense that will be incurred and is something to consider when choosing a cot mobile. It is recommended that rechargeable batteries are used to cut down on the running costs of disposable batteries.

Development cot mobiles

Cot mobiles can be bought to develop a baby’s visual, audio and other sensory skills.

To help develop visual skills, purchase one with high contrasting colours, such as black and white, as this is easier for them to distinguish between different colours. As they get older, using bright colours and shapes will stimulate them even more visually and further develop this skill.

Playing songs and nursery rhymes to your baby is a great way to not only develop your baby’s audio skills but if they are exposed to words and songs regularly, they will begin to recognise various sounds and noises and this can be an aid to developing their linguistic skills at an early age that can be continued through to toddler age.

Cot mobile theme

Cot mobiles come in different themes, colours, decorations and styles as well as size so there are various factors to consider when purchasing the right one.

Try to identify what kind of toys that your baby currently enjoys playing with as this can be the basis as to which theme you choose. For example, if your baby enjoys animal toys, then an animal themed cot mobile can bought. You can also choose a theme that you want your baby to become interested in or to learn more about that can be developed as they get older.

A theme might be chosen that matches the rest of the baby’s room or products. Many retailers and manufacturers coordinate a theme throughout their product range so if you already have a theme in place in your baby’s room then you may want to choose one that fits in with this.

Powering cot mobiles

If you choose a cot mobile that plays music, has moving parts or has lights, these features are likely to require a lot of power to operate and so you should consider whether to purchase one that operates on batteries or one that plugs into the wall.

Deciding to buy one that operates on batteries will require you to make another decision; do you want to use rechargeable or disposable batteries? Rechargeable batteries may be cheaper and be more convenient to use in the long term while being friendlier to the environment whereas disposable batteries need to bought on a regular basis so this can be quite expensive in the long run and less environmentally-friendly but are more likely to last longer for each single use.

If you choose to buy a cot mobile that is powered by electricity, you need to ensure that the cot is located near a socket. If not, then you can either move the cot next to a socket or use an extension cable.

Safety Issues

As mentioned earlier in this guide, it is important to check that whichever cot mobile you buy will not put your baby at any risk from small parts that could break off and choke your baby so always ensure you know exactly what type of cot mobile you have bought so you know functions it performs, what moving/loose parts it has and if it can be easily broken through everyday use. It has been known that certain cot mobiles have leaked liquid onto their baby but luckily it caused them no harm so always examine them before attaching them to the cot.

Another safety precaution that should be taken is that you attach the cot mobile at least arms length away from your baby so that they can’t reach for it or any of the decorations or attachments. Many use string to dangle toys and shapes which, if pulled off, can wrap around the baby’s neck or swallowed and become potentially lethal.

When attaching the mobile to the cot, also ensure that is fixed on securely and will not slide down or fall on top of your baby. It’s always best to check whether the one you plan to purchase can be attached to your cot otherwise it may cause injury.

Ready to buy a cot mobile?

When you are ready to buy a cot mobile, it is a good idea to read customer comments, reviews and ratings of the ones you are considering to buy as this will give you a good idea as to what features each one has as well as any problems they have encountered so you can avoid the same thing.

Amazon has a great feature where customers can leave a review of the products they have purchased that other visitors of the site can read and use a basis for judgement in their own purchasing decisions.

We hope you found this guide to buying a cot mobile helpful and that your baby has many hours of fun, whichever one you choose for them.