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The Mothercare Safari Mobile is a toy that I picked up from my nearest Mothercare when I was in the area and still heavily pregnant with Baby JJ. I have to say that I would not have paid the full asking price of £25,but as it was on sale at half price and knowing that Big Brother's mobile had been retired (the toys were cut off for him to play with), I couldn't help but pick this up being not only attracted to the price but also to it's bright, gender neutral colour scheme.
As with most cot mobiles this does require minimal assembly, but this is neither strenuous nor rocket science. An instruction leaflet is supplied complete with pretty pictures, but even at eight and a half months pregnant, with the baby fog that entails, I didn't need it, as assembly simply is a case of clicking the armature pieces together, attaching the arm to the cot side and then hanging the music box and mobile. What I particularly like about the screw section that is used to attach the arm to the cot or crib is that it features a shelf that rests on the top bar, meaning that the mobile doesn't slide down between the cot/crib bars. I did find it a little fiddly to hang the music box, it is quite a tight fit, but this means that I can angle the mobile slightly, which is a god send when used in a crib.
Looks and quality-wise this certainly is a mobile of two halves, the armature is pretty much standard, being formed of the same moulded, white plastic as you would find with virtually any mobile. The music box is similarly bog standard, being white and decorated with a sticker featuring a sun, I have to say that the fact that this sticker is not central does look a little cheap and tacky. As it houses the wind-up mechanism that both plays the tune and rotates the mobile, the music box also features a "key" to wind the mechanism. Personally I find the positioning of the key slightly awkward, but again it's standard for it to be placed at the rear. There is also a sliding switch on the music box which allows you to turn it off, wind it up and then start it off when you're ready.
While the armature and music box are pretty standard, what sets this mobile apart is the actual mobile, which is rather different to mobiles I've used in the past. A rigid, material covered, circle hangs from four ribbons, with those ribbons then brought together with a further silky ribbon to hang from the music box. The material covering the rigid circle is brightly patterned, with three different designs all of which contrast nicely with the silky ribbons that both attach the mobile to the hook and the jungle themed characters to the circle. A total of three soft animals hang from the mobile along with a baby safe mirror housed in a plush sun and a hot air balloon. While these animals are not realistically coloured it is possible to work out what they are, so that as an adult we can point them out to baby. There is an orange, red and yellow lion, that has a lovely frilly mane, a blue zebra with a ribbon mane and a red elephant who again features silky ribbons, this time as a tuft of hair. The sun/mirror also features little, silky strips that would make a great tactile feature if only these toys were in position to be held. I'm not sure why the tactile features are included, unless it's because the toys themselves, at about 10cm in length are a great size for little hands to play with once the mobile is outgrown (when baby can sit independently/reach the mobile). I know that I'll be cutting them free once Baby JJ can grab at them.
This mobile was set up and put on the crib in the weeks leading up to Baby JJ's appearance and I found it easy to attach to the side of his crib. Although I would have preferred for it to be placed at the head of the crib, the headboard is curved and the shelf on the armature means that it can only be attached to straight edges. I do struggle a little to wind the mechanism, but I have problems with my joints, so that's not all the fault of the mobile. It takes a good few winds to fully wind the mechanism and I find that switching off while winding does make the job a little easier, as with all clockwork, care does need to be taken not to over-wind.
A full wind will treat your baby to around three minutes of Brahms Lullaby as the mobile gently rotates, not long enough to lull baby to sleep, but long enough for me to change Big Brother's nappy. To be perfectly honest Baby JJ wasn't in the least bit interested in the mobile for the first few weeks, he was far more interested in eating and sleeping. Between two and four weeks old, Baby JJ was suddenly far more interested in the world around him and would happily lay and watch the mobile turning or even swaying in the breeze, with the time the few minutes the music played being perfect for his short attention span. At eleven weeks, Baby JJ is a far more discerning character and while he enjoys watching the mobile he does also get frustrated that he cannot reach to bat the toys. As Baby JJ absolutely hates to be put down, I have the mobile pre-wound ready for if I need to perform a quick task without him in my arms and he does watch the mobile most intently. Baby JJ's absolute favourite part is the mirror and he will happily demonstrate his excellent tracking skills by following the mirror with his eyes and then smiling whenever it is overhead.
While I'm not sure if I would pay the full asking price, at the £12.50 I paid this mobile has proved quite the bargain and if you are expecting a baby and see it at that price then I can thoroughly recommend the Safari Mobile.
When I was pregnant and deciding how to decorate the nursery, it didn't take me long to choose an animal theme. My eldest son had always loved animals from an early age, so I hoped this baby would too, and there were so many accessories with an animal theme that I was confident that I could make the room exciting and stimulating for baby.
Therefore, when shopping for a mobile for the cot, I wanted to keep this within the theme and, as I had decorated with Jungle animals, this Safari Mobile from Mothercare fitted in perfectly. It costs £24.99 at full price but I think I got this at 20% off during a sale event. It is part of the Safar range at Mothercare so can be completely co-ordinated if you so wish but I mixed and matched with other animal ranges in my nursery.
The mobile is a mobile in the traditional sense. By that I mean that there are characters dangling from above for baby to look at rather than a lightshow type mobile. The mobile attaches to the cot through the bars on the side using a white plastic screw attachment. This attaches to the white plastic body of the mobile that loops up and over in an arch so to be above baby's head. At the end of this there is a round circular box with an orange sun sticker on one side and a wind up mechanism on the other. This then leads to a hook from which the fabric part of the mobile is dangled. This is a ring shape with coloured ribbons at the top leading to the hook (red, yellow, green and blue) and animals and other features dangling below from ribbons. The circular ring is brightly coloured and patterned - in sections of spots and stripes, it is kept in shape with a plastic insert so it feels sturdy to the touch. The animals dangling are like miniature stuffed animals and feel soft to touch. There is a red elephant with brightly coloured inner ears - one is green with red spots and the other yellow with blue spots. The top of its head features blue ribbon to look like a tuft of hair. There is also an orange lion with a yellow jaw and a blue striped zebra with multicoloured ribbon hair. All have friendly, attractive faces. Also dangling from here is a striped hot air balloon (blue and yellow on one side and red and yellow on the other) and a round mirror in the shape of the sun, with coloured ribbons as rays.
When you wind the mobile up, there are two effects - it plays soothing lullabies for your baby and it rotates and sways the hanging animals so the baby has visual stimulation too. The lullabies are to help soothe baby to sleep and the animals help develop hand-eye co-ordination as baby tries to reach out for them as they move.
My son still sleeps in the moses basket at night at the moment but I have used this mobile during the day when I have needed to put him down safely for a few minutes. The music is calming to him and he likes to listen to it - for me it is a little 'tinny' and repetitive but babies seem to like repetition! The movement is slow but flowing - not jolting at all - and this in itself seems quite calming to my son.
The mobile was quite easy to put together and attach to the cot. It comes with very easy to follow instructions but, in all truth, you can probably figure it out without these. Once in place, it feels sturdy and stays in place well.
Overall, I am pleased with this purchase and look forward to using it more at bedtime when my son moves into his cot. It is well made, attractive and looks great in our animal themed nursery. My only negative would be that this is quite pricey - but if you can pick it up at a decent discount, I would highly recommend it.