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We bought this mobile for our daughter's crib during a phase of having difficulty in soothing her at night. I think she was a few months old. I remember that we relied on it quite heavily so clearly we found it to be an effective soother and we had a huge stash of batteries that we had to change in a hurry mid bedtime routine when they ran out.
The mobile is a fairly chunky plastic affair with five little soft toy insects hanging down - a butterfly, a dragonfly, a bee, a ladybird and a bird. When in use they turn around in a circle, and this totally entranced our baby, she loved to watch them. In fact I used to change her nappy next to her crib so she could watch them to keep her happy while changing her clothes and nappy.
This mobile plays music and considering that we listened to the lullabies over and over again, they were not too annoying! You can choose from different timer settings so you can put the music on and it will turn off after ten, fifteen or twenty minutes, depending which you set it to.
This product did not actually last that long, hence the three star rating, and no longer worked after around four months. However, we got a LOT of use out of it during that time, and it was very effective for us during a difficult sleep phase. We kept the little toys and she liked to play with them for a long time afterwards, they were the perfect size to hold in her hand.
My baby son was given this at Christmas from a grandparent. He is now 8 months old and we have been using this mobile for the last 4 months. In all honesty, it has been a godsend.
When the box is first opened, it does look a little daunting. It comes in several pieces and all the little toys have to be attached too with the ties included. However, so long as you''re happy to put your ego aside (unlike a certain daddy!) and read the instructions provided, there''s nothing to it. From what I remember the batteries were included but they were relatively low in charge (Must have been front of shelf where everyone pressed the tester button?). They only lasted a couple of days before I had to replace them (Easily done. No screwdriver needed, back panel unlocks with a penny or similar).
The product itself however has been great. There are controls which allow you to use any combination of the features you might want. These features include a gentle colour-changing light which is situated behind a picture of some rolling hills with insects etc. It''s really quite attractive and not too bright to put near a sleepy baby. Recently though, I choose to turn this option off at night times. Whereas before it would entertain baby until he eventually fell asleep, now he can pull himself to standing, I often find he''s intrigued by the light and stands playing with it rather than sleeping.
The second feature is the music. There is varying volume which is perfect for when it is night time and you want it to be quiet or playtime etc. There are also options as to whether you want natural sounds (waves and chirping birds) or nursery rhyme tunes and lullabies, with or without the words. I found the music especially helpful in getting my son to sleep, though there is one short tune which plays between each of the others and sounds like water dripping. If baby sleeps in your room, this can become slightly irritating for you.
The third main feature is the actual mobile aspect. Several soft toys, (birds, bees, butterflies) dangle from the mobile which is easily positioned over the cot with two ratchet-type straps. These move at a set speed around and around, and entertains baby. My son loves them, my greatest issue now is stopping him from standing to play with them.
I have found that if the cot is positioned next to a wall, the mobile has to be tilted inwards to avoid bashing against the wall as it rotates but this is no major concern.
Also, when the battery is running low, the first to go is the movement, it begins clicking and getting stuck which is definitely not soothing for baby. And the music then stutters and plays the same three seconds over and over. Annoying!
Despite these, I don''t think baby would have fallen asleep by himself so often without this product.