We still aren’t experts, but we got a reprieve after I happened upon the Tiny Love Take Along Mobile. In a writer-mom group I’m in on Facebook, someone wrote a post asking for baby shower gift suggestions for a recipient who lives in a small apartment. Among the responses was one praising this portable mobile as “baby crack”—as in, it’s that addictive. So entertaining that your baby forgets about you. Sometimes, for just five or 10 minutes, which is precisely what you need to go pee or gather your wits.
I as $5 contra if this less thanption would perform as promised? It was available on Amazon for next day shipping, so I figured it was worth a try. We really needed to do the dishes and maybe even start brushing our teeth again.
Setup Was Easy
I eagerly unpackaged the mobile from the box and set it up over our babe’s bassinet. Setup involved attaching the arm and adding batteries; it required a screwdriver, but the whole job took less than 5 minutes. I laid her underneath the friendly pastel fox, deer and owl as they started to spin—and she seemed instantly transported to a world of her own. She laid quietly in the bassinet while we revealed in the calm, not quite believing something so small and inexpensive could work so well. So, I can confirm the baby crack lore.
Months later, it still does. My husband peeked over my shoulder while I was writing this at 5 am and asked blearily what I was doing. I explained about the mobile, and he said, “Oh yeah, that thing worked.” (The fact that he remembered it at all is a ringing endorsement.) Setting it up truly was a breakthrough for us in those early parenting days.
You can do a lot of things in 10 to 15 minutes. That’s why I love the Tiny Love Take Along Mobile. It’s a screen-free toy that completely captivates your baby and gives you the break you need. If you’re lucky, your LO will sail right into a peaceful nap.
It’s Quite Portable, Too
This Tiny Love baby mobile has a lot going for it, but No. 1 for me is its versatility. It has an arm with a rubbery grip at one end that you can tighten onto a crib, bassinet or basically any edge that’s between 1 and about 2.5 inches thick. We keep our bassinet downstairs, and unfortunately it has an oddly shaped plastic frame that the grip couldn’t grab onto. No problem: I just pulled the bassinet over to a bookshelf and attached the arm to that instead. Later, I attached it to our Lalo Play Gym for baby playtime as you can see in these pictures. It also has a clip and a Velcro strip you can use to attach it when the grip won’t work, like on your stroller for walks.
Speaking of travel, the Tiny Love mobile weighs less than a pound, so it would be easy to pack up in your diaper bag and take along.
The no-brainer settings are another pro. You can set the Tiny Love mobile to spin with or without the music, which consists of tinkly versions of five standard nursery rhymes. (It’s actually pretty zen and not too annoying.) It also turns itself off after a half hour, so you can’t drain the battery by accidentally leaving it on when naptime’s over. The first pair of batteries I put in have lasted for over three months now.
I also love that the mobile encourages my baby’s own curiosity and even movement as she wonders at and reaches for these curious creatures. You can choose a version that goes with your decor to an extent: Meadow Days (a primary-colored fox, porcupine and owl), Princess Days (a pastel bird, squirrel and mouse) or Treasure the Ocean (a crab, jellyfish, and turtle). Variations come and go in and out of stock.
The color scheme options are my only real criticism, though. Like so much of the kid gear that works, this thing is zany. My baby’s room is muted tones of apricot, cream and beige. I picked out a mobile for it that matched perfectly, with pastel felted swans hanging from birch rods.
Yes, I realize my Swan Lake mobile is more for me than for my baby. It’s The Little Prince of mobiles—adults love it, but kids? Meh. The Tiny Love mobile, on the other hand, is the cars 3 of mobiles. The colors are bright, the animals are cartoonish, and the textures are shiny and crinkly, not matte and plush. It might not coordinate, but there’s a certain point in new parenthood when that starts to matter less. I’d say it’s right around 8 weeks.
I’ll also note that these little gadgets seem to sell like hot cakes. I bought the Magical Tales version in black and white, and it’s not available on Amazon right now, although several other versions are.
Tiny Love does make a bigger “classic” mobile that’s not designed for travel, but in my opinion it makes sense to buy one that can do everything and go with you everywhere. In this case, the least expensive option is pretty perfect.
We’re still honing our baby distraction skills, but we’re getting better at it. In addition to the Tiny Love mobile, here are some other baby toys we’ve found to be worthy of the “baby crack” title. Like it, they’re screen-free, easy to clean and portable.
Shop More Baby Toys And Distracters
The Classic Sensory Toy
An Unbelievably Entertaining Piece of ‘Paper’
The Cutest Animal Flash Cards
A Soft, Crinkly Book
A Handheld Music Device For Babies
A Fidget Spinner For The Win
When All Else Fails, Let Them Jump