When I visit homes, I always ask the mom and dad what toys and books their baby likes. At my last visit, I noticed a mobile on the floor, outside of the crib. Mom said her little boy loved his Infant Stim Mobile by Manhattan Toy so much, especially the line drawing of a little child’s face, that she had to take it down at nap time because he kept talking to the face and not going to sleep! We know that babies are attracted to faces and talk more to faces so this little guy just confirmed the research.

The Stim-Mobile is a clear alternative to the stuffed animal mobiles that rock and roll. This mobile is incredibly simple with its line drawings in black and white as well as color. The pictures face the baby and are interchangeable which relieves boredom, and allows you to move to color as your child moves out of the newborn stage. Amazingly enough there are no gadgets to move the mobile or lights and sounds to add to the mix.

It’s not that I am opposed to the popular stuffed animal mobiles with mirrors, sounds and sometimes lights. But every baby is different and some prefer a quieter mobile to look at. One of my favorites is the Fisher Price Rainforest Peek-a-Boo Leaves Musical Mobile. It soothes and provides bright stimulating critters and waving leaves to watch but doesn’t overpower baby with continuous loud music that can’t be turned off. As a matter of fact, there are three settings–combinations of light, motion and music–to choose from, including just motion and light, if you want the sound off. Personally, I would love to nod off to the noises of the rainforest, with leaves fanning above my head. Another useful feature is that as your child grows, you can remove the mobile and leave the base attached to the crib for a night light and soothing sound machine.