Monday, October 22, 2007

Review: Fisher-Price Rainforest Peek-A-Boo Leaves Musical Mobile vs. Tiny Love Symphony in Motion Mobile

Before Alex was born, I did my research and registered for the Tiny Love Symphony in Motion mobile, which was highly recommended by Baby Bargains. We received it as a gift from kind friends, and indeed, there was a sticker on the box indicating the mobile had won some kind of award. There was an exciting moment when Alex was a few weeks old when Marc turned to me and said, "He's actually looking at it!"

When it came time to set up a mobile in Tyler's crib, we put the Symphony in Motion mobile up and Marc pushed the button to make sure it worked. He listened to the first five notes of Beethoven, turned it off, and turned to me, ashen.

Me: "What's wrong?"

Marc: "We can't have this!"

Me: "Why not?"

Marc: "It reminds me of when Alex was born."

You see, when Alex was first born, life was miserable for us. I was having such a hard time breastfeeding and trying to cope with postpartum depression. Alex was always hungry, cried all the time, and didn't sleep from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. on a daily basis (I can still tell you the TV schedule for those hours). Marc did most of the childcare, since I was either pumping or crying, often both. It wasn't until Alex was about six weeks old that I started taking More Milk Special Blend, my milk supply finally met demand, we put Alex on a two-hour feeding schedule, and things started to look up.

All of this flashed through my mind as I watched the color slowly return to Marc's cheeks. "Okay, honey, let's go get a different mobile."

So off we went to Target, in search of a mobile that had the option of working without music. We couldn't find that option, but we found the Fisher-Price Rainforest Peek-A-Boo Leaves Musical Mobile, which had a "rainforest sounds" option. We took it home, installed it, and Marc let out a huge sigh of relief when he turned it on and heard leaves rustling and birds chirping instead of tinny, melancholy musical notes.

We had to take the mobile down a few months ago, after Tyler started pulling himself up, but we loved this mobile while we used it. It is easy to install, and has two volume options and three music options in addition to the rainforest sounds (though we rarely used those). The animals rotating around the mobile are cuter than the Symphony in Motion creatures (there was one monkey on Alex's mobile that had what can only be described as lobster claws for arms). It comes with a remote control that we never used, but which did turn the mobile on and off from a distance.

I think that perhaps the Symphony in Motion might be better for visual stimulation, with its bright colors and black and white contrast. The scraping sound of the plastic pieces that slide along the arms was grating to Marc and me, but it didn't seem to bother Alex (though who could tell), and perhaps its rhythm is intended to be soothing for baby.

I can't say that one mobile or the other was loved by the child that used it, although Alex frequently asked us to turn on Tyler's mobile. If I were to do it all over again, I would just start with the Fisher-Price rainforest mobile for the rainforest sounds option. You'll have plenty of toys that play awful music all too soon anyway.

Cross-posted at CFO.

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