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How to Hang a Mobile

Parents have been hanging mobiles for children as decoration for many years. It turns out that mobiles have a range of benefits for children, including helping them develop motor skills and providing visual stimulation or relaxation.

Use this guide from Pottery Barn Kids to learn how to hang a mobile properly so your child can enjoy theirs before it's time for their next nap.

Pay Careful Attention to Placement

Mobiles are very enticing to young children and as your child develops strength and becomes more active, they may try to reach out and touch theirs. While you want your child to be interested in the mobile, you should position it strategically so that it's not within reach. Even kids under five months can surprise you!

It's also important to remember that your baby has a somewhat limited sight range. To hang your mobile at a safe distance that's still visually stimulating, aim to have the lowest portion of the mobile between eight-inches and 12-inches from your baby's typical head placement when they're sleeping.

Another way to measure the proper distance is to have the lowest part of the mobile about 16-inches from the crib mattress.

Preparing for Installation

Hanging a mobile is not a complex, difficult task that requires professional installers. When your child is involved though, you do want to make sure you take the right steps to ensure it is hung properly.

  • Start by clearing the area where you'll need to use a ladder or step stool to hang the mobile. Pieces of furniture or other items will likely be in the way.
  • Remove blankets and other items from your child's crib. This will keep drywall dust, a common byproduct of hanging a mobile, from irritating sensitive eyes and skin.
  • Get a helper if you have high ceilings or you're not sure about proper placement. Two heads are often better than one even when you're taking on a simple job.

What You'll Need

Once you've chosen the mobile you want to hang for your baby and cleared the area, you're ready to roll up your sleeves and do the work. You likely have almost everything you need at home now and items that you can't find in your garage or utility closet are easy to come by at most hardware stores. Even some drug stores will have what you need in a pinch.

  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Electric drill with standard drywall bit
  • Drywall anchors
  • Drywall screw hooks
  • Hammer

A standard 5/16" drill bit and #10 drywall anchors and screw hooks will work well for most modern mobiles. Some brands even come with the required mounting hardware.

Hanging Your Child's Mobile

Once you have your mobile and supplies ready, you can start the process of hanging. Don't worry; you'll be done before you know it.

  1. Measure the distance from a nearby wall to the center point of where you want to hang the mobile. Mark this with your pencil.
  2. Drill your guide hole in the ceiling using your electric drill and drywall bit.
  3. Insert your drywall anchor into the guide hole. Use a hammer to tap it into place until it's flush with the ceiling.
  4. Put the screw hook into the drywall anchor. Push firmly to secure it in place.
  5. Assemble the mobile following the manufacturer's instructions. Every mobile will be different, so follow the instructions carefully.
  6. Hang your child's mobile from the hook. Remove the ladder or step stool from the area and clean up any drywall dust.

You're all done!

Mobiles Aren't Made to Last

Mobiles can help with spatial development and keep your child entertained in their crib. Many children also find mobiles soothing when they're feeling fussy or having a hard time drifting off to sleep.

As your child approaches the five-month mark, start to think about removing the mobile from the area. If they seem fussy, consider raising it so that it's out of reach until you feel more comfortable phasing it out for good. Soon enough they'll be much more interested in tactile toys they can get their hands on anyway.

Adding a mobile above your child's crib can aid in their development, keep them focused, or even help send them off to sleep. They're also so easy to hang that even a first-timer can finish the job in about an hour.

Follow these basic tips from Pottery Barn Kids when hanging yours to ensure a safe, proper job.

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