- User Rating: Excellent
Pros:Charming song, captivates baby, and inspires silly grins
Cons:Manual winding is a huge inconvenience and can be a little painful
The Bottom Line: This mobile elicits HUGE smiles and captivates my daughter, but is such a pain to use. Not the biggest parental sacrifice in the world, but I count it as one.
If a baby loves a toy, but Mommy and Daddy find it a pain, does the toy disappear?
In our household, the answer is no. I hope we aren't going to be considered indulgent parents by the rest of the Epinions world, but let me proceed anyhow and see if you'll agree with me by the end of this review that it would still be a good idea to buy this mobile.
We've used it for nearly 6 months now, as she was around 2 months old when I found it on sale and bought it on a whim. Here are the reasons why I'm glad I did:
1. Our baby was captivated by this changing table mobile and its song.
Baby smiles and coos always warm a parent's heart, but sometimes a tired or cranky baby just doesn't want to do anything but fuss. Yet we found our daughter consistently smiled every time we turned this mobile on as we changed her diaper. She smiles one of those big, open mouth smiles as she gazes at the little animals cycling over her and listens to the song.
We have a combo hi/lo dresser that has a low side for a padded/contoured changing pad and a high side for diaper supplies, so there was no rail to mount this mobile. Instead, we mounted it on one end of a heavy open wooden box (it looks like a window planter but is intended for storage items) that we keep her diapers in on the high side of the dresser.
This made it relatively easy to move the mobile upstairs and downstairs, as she would calm down just by hearing the song. In the early months, every time my parents or in-laws came over, they would retrieve the mobile so they could watch my daughter smile at it. It was a guaranteed way to get her to smile (and we have loads of photos of her on her back underneath this mobile as proof!).
Fortunately, the song is actually charming, as we never found it grating or annoying. In fact, the song became such a familiar refrain, my husband, brace33, will unconsciously hum its tune around the house and even at work!
2. The little animals' movement keeps the baby's attention while you're changing the diaper.
If it weren't for this mobile, my daughter would be so much more difficult to change. At night, I don't use the mobile because I don't want to wake up my husband. That's when I really appreciate its usefulness because my daughter likes to grab my hand, yank at my sleeves, twist around and try to reach the baby wipes or pick up the blue lid to the jar of Aquaphor. It's all I can do to pin her down with one elbow as I try to change her diaper.
Needless to say, she's as still as a mouse when the mobile is on, though she occasionally will try to reach for the animals. Lying down it's not an issue at all. But now that she is 8 months old and I have her sit up when I change her shirts, she can almost reach for them. Since the mobile is only attached to the wooden box, I know it's unsafe for her as she could end up pulling the box down onto herself. Thus, soon, we'll have to retire this mobile and I know she will miss it dearly.
3. This mobile has been more enjoyable and lasted longer than the Tiny Love Symphony in Motion crib mobile that so many parents love and highly recommend.
My daughter has loved this mobile far more than the highly rated Tiny Love Symphony in Motion mobile. She would initially look at the Tiny Love mobile as it spun above her, but quickly lose interest. And she never smiled one of those big silly grins when she heard the classical music.
Also, we've been able to use the Lamaze mobile far longer, too, as the Tiny Love one has been removed from her crib so she doesn't try to reach up for it and pull it down. Since this mobile is only used when one of us is changing her diaper, we can use it until we can no longer prevent her from grabbing it while changing a diaper. I'm assuming at some point she will become strong enough to pull away from my one hand as I use the other to grab a wipe/toss the old diaper.
Now, after reading this far, you'll want to know why is it a pain for parents?
You must MANUALLY wind the mobile and it won't wind more than 6 turns maximum (at least in my experience).
I'm not the fastest at changing diapers, but I don't think I'm a slowpoke either. Six turns does NOT get me through a diaper change and buttoning up both legs on her one-piece winter rompers. It is enough time for easy outfits (e.g., a zippered one-piece pajama set or a short onesie and a pair of slip-on pants).
But now, 6 months' of use later, it is getting tougher to wind up to 6 turns. Sometimes I just wind it 3-4 turns as the mechanism seems to be much stiffer. It will somewhat hurt my fingers, too, as you have to twist pretty hard. It's not painful on the larger scale of things (I know real pain after delivering a baby), but still uncomfortable.
I really wish Lamaze made this with a battery-powered option so I could just push a button to turn it on and off.
Baby loves it, so it stays until it's no longer safe, but boy, is it a pain to use. I would give it 5 stars if it came with that battery option. As it is, my annoyance with it is still greatly outweighed by the sheer joy it brings to my daughter so it still gets 4 stars.
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Amount Paid (US$): 20 (on sale)
Type of Toy: Baby Toy
Age Range of Child: 0 to 12 Months