baby under a mobile

Introducing Newborn Toys

We’re so glad you joined us! We want to take a quick moment to walk you through the core items in our newborn toy rental and share some ideas on how to introduce each item and share what the research says about your child's development at this stage. 


First your playmat should be placed in a safe location. This is to provide a comfortable position for your baby to explore tummy time and mobiles! Always supervise your baby during play.


Next your play gym and mobile set serve a very specific purpose - developing your baby’s vision and therefore their brain! And each mobile can be introduced and timed perfectly to your baby’s developing vision. 

The Munari Mobile: It is recommended you introduce this first mobile between birth - 6 weeks weeks right when babies are ready to observe objects in motion and able to distinguish high contrast colors like black and white.


From Monti Kids

The Munari is the ideal first mobile for your baby. At this age, she cannot distinguish colors well but she can detect light, movement, contrast, and patterns. The black and white pattern is 100% contrasting, capturing your baby’s attention as it allows her to distinguish the separate shapes. She will also be engaged by the light that reflects off of the transparent sphere.


Your baby’s sight develops gradually over her first 6 months. Currently, she lacks control of her eye muscles and cannot follow quickly moving objects. The slow movements
 of the Munari are ideal for your baby to practice visual tracking and focus, skills that will improve vastly over her first 2 months. By observing the mobile, she builds her capacity for concentration, a habit we want to encourage in order to support her long-term learning.


Research Says

The Munari is designed according to a mathematical formula based on the diameter of its sphere. The sphere, rods, strings, and shapes are all in proportion. This mathematical relationship appeals to your baby’s innate number sense. Research shows that 
the strength of an infant’s number sense predicts performance on math activities in preschool. Montessori recognized this sense and called it the “human tendency of the mathematical mind.” A professor at the Duke Institute of Brain Sciences calls it “the conceptual building block upon which mathematical ability is built.”1 We can support even the youngest baby’s mathematical potential by offering toys that appeal to this innate number sense.


Frequently Asked

"What if my baby won't look at the mobile?"

Sometimes a baby may turn their head to the side, but won’t look up at their mobile. If that’s the case with your baby, we recommend adding a mirror to their space. Your baby will be able to admire the mobiles from a different perspective as they build neck strength.

The Octahedron Mobile: We recommend you introduce this mobile between 5 - 8 weeks right when your baby’s vision is developed to see bright, vibrant colors and 3 dimensional shapes.  


From Monti Kids

Designed to support your baby’s developing color discrimination, Monti Kids mobiles progress from black and white, to primary colors, to similar shades of the same color. The primary colors of the Octahedron are contrasting enough that a 6 to 8 week-old baby can begin to distinguish between them. The ability to distinguish between similar colors, such as blue and purple, will develop in the coming weeks.


The float and spin of the octahedra (geometric shapes composed of eight equilateral triangles) promote visual tracking, binocularity (two eyes working together), and effectively switching the gaze between objects. This visual coordination, on which so much future academic success rests, strengthens with practice.


As your baby observes the mobile, he grows his attention span. He also observes and absorbs mathematical concepts through the shapes and proportions.


Research Says

At this age, your baby can still only see objects between 8 to 15 inches away, the exact distance from a mother’s face to baby’s eyes while nursing.2 Evolutionary biologists interpret this as allowing babies to immediately focus on and make face recognition memories of their mothers. Offering your baby other experiences to view at this distance will help his visual system develop well.

The Gobbi Mobile: This mobile is best introduced between 8 - 10 weeks when your baby’s vision has developed to perceive color gradation and shades. 


From Monti Kids

Your baby is now fine tuning her ability to make color distinctions. Around 3 months, she will be able to see the full color spectrum. The Gobbi challenges your baby to discriminate shades, meeting her developmental need for observing subtle and novel variations of color. As with the other mobiles, it is a first step in shaping the quality of her vision. Because vision critically influences other areas of development, providing appropriate visual stimulation can help “increase curiosity, attention span, memory, and nervous system development.”


Research Says

Babies come into the world with a “basic wiring” of visual ability, but early experiences with a variety of visual stimuli have a profound impact on a child’s visual skills, as well as long-lasting effects on their success in school, sports, and many other activities.2 Visual skills include observation, spatial perception, hand-eye coordination, and more. 20/20 vision (or visual acuity) is only one criterion of “good vision.” In fact, 17 different criteria determine visual ability; eye movement precision, alignment of the eyes while looking near and far, and sustaining focus both near and far, are only a few.


Frequently Asked

"What do I do with the mobiles after we have moved to the next one?"

First, you can certainly revisit old favorites as you move through the mobiles and hanging toys. Don't hesitate to go back to the earlier mobiles for variety.

Some Monti Kids families wrap them in tissue and store them for a next child or to lend out; while some hang the mobiles in different places, such as above a changing station or on the wall, for decoration.

The Dancer Mobile: The final mobile is recommended to be introduced between 8 - 12 weeks The dancers provide visual stimulation through movement and visual interest. 


From Monti Kids

Around 3 months, your baby’s visual tracking skills improve dramatically. The Dancers provide a new challenge to meet her developing capabilities. The Dancers’ legs, arms, and heads rotate independently. As your baby observes the mobile’s parts, she exercises her dynamic visual focus, the ability to discern the details of objects while they are in motion. Tracking the Dancers’ movements helps your baby to learn that size, shape, and color of an object remain constant even when lighting, distance, and viewing angles change. Allowing your baby uninterrupted time to observe will help extend her periods of focus and concentration.


Research Says

Offering your baby the right mobile at the appropriate time helps to optimize her cognitive development. Researchers have found that “infants actively seek to maintain an intermediate level of information absorption, avoiding allocating cognitive resources to either overly predictable or overly surprising events.”1 This means that, in order to use her cognitive resources most efficiently, your baby will look away and disengage her attention if her toy or surroundings are overly stimulating or too simple. This turning away helps her brain save its important energy for activities that will help it grow and develop properly. Providing her toys that present just the right amount of challenge, and giving her ample time to explore them, will best support her development.

Kicking Ball (Tactile Mobile): As your little one’s gross motor skills begin to develop and their hand/eye coordination develops, we recommend introducing the tactile mobiles. This is usually between 10-12 weeks.  


From Monti Kids

These toys help to hone reaching and grasping, important foundational skills that will help your baby master more complex toys later. The toys provide a target as your baby’s reflexive hand and arm movements become more purposeful. A major milestone, reaching with purpose and success, means that your baby has begun actively exploring his environment. Lying under the Activity Gym, your baby may first connect with the Batting Ball by swatting it accidentally and hearing the jingle of the bell inside. Soon, he will realize that his movements cause the ball to swing and jingle; this entices him to repeat his efforts again and again.


As he plays, he learns to work with gravity and develops a greater awareness of his body and its boundaries. When he hits or misses the toys, he receives valuable proprioceptive feedback, signals to the brain about where his limbs are at any given moment and the amount of effort needed to reach his goal. True proprioception will develop around 9 months, at which point your baby will be able to reach for an object without even looking at it.1


The swinging movement of the toys will help to hone your baby’s visual tracking and depth perceptionBinocularity (coordinating his two eyes), a key component in depth perception, improves quite suddenly at about 3.5 months.1


Research Says

A study in “Psychological Science” suggests that the act of reaching is a crucial 
part of a child’s development that, when mastered early, can lead to better motor skills, increased attention span, and even greater vocabulary later on. (A baby’s interaction with objects can lead to more verbal attention from parents, which is crucial for language development).2 A “developmental cascade” occurs when the early adoption of one skill leads to learning a number of other skills and therefore affects overall, long-term development. Research shows that motor-exploratory competence in infants, such as successful reaching, can lead to a developmental cascade that affects academic achievement up until adolescence.



Tummy Time Set: This beautiful tummy time set from Monti Kids has so many incredible features. Here is an excerpt from Monti Kids on how to introduce it and the benefits. 


The Tummy Time Set has two sides: a mirror and a set of images for your baby to look at. Stand it up on the floor in your little one's playspace to encourage your child to lift their head and chest off the floor. 


Offering your little one new things to focus on benefits their eye development and spatial awareness. Plus, it’s a fun surprise and reward to see something new each time they work hard to push up their torso.


The mirror will provide your baby a different perspective of the room whenever you change the angle of it.


Placing the Tummy Time Set on both the left and right sides of your baby's head while they lay on their back will strengthen their neck muscles as they practice turning their head towards the images.


As your little one continues to build their core muscles during tummy time, you will observe their increasing ability to lift their head and shoulders higher off the ground giving them access to a different perspective of the world. Offering them new things to see from this point of view ignites their curiosity to explore.


Research Says

The World Health Organization recommends tummy time for infants because of the benefits of improved motor development. Eight studies done in different parts of the world all found that tummy time was positively associated with gross motor and total development, as well as the ability to move while prone, supine, crawling, and rolling. The Tummy Time Set was made to engage your baby during tummy time and encourage your baby to strengthen their core muscles as they focus on their reflection and the images on the cards. As your baby strengthens their core, they will reach more gross motor milestones such as lifting their hands and shoulders, rolling,1 slithering, crawling, sitting and pulling to a stand.


Frequently Asked Questions

How far away should I place the Tummy Time Set from the baby?

Place the Tummy Time Set on the floor close enough to your little one so that their eyes can still see the images but far enough that it is still slightly out of their reach. This will motivate your little one to hold up their head and shoulders to observe the images and motivate them to reach out towards them and eventually move. 

My baby used to look at the images but now they have stopped. What should I do?

Rotate the images in the picture frames to keep your baby captivated. After your baby has rotated through the cards, try putting a family picture in the frame. Your little one will love looking at familiar faces in a new way! 

Rattles & Crinkle Toys: As your baby progresses, your little one will likely be ready to reach and grasp and seek sensory toys: when you observe they are ready you can start introducing rattles and crinkle toys. We encourage you to introduce one item at a time and let your baby explore it fully before introducing a new item. This helps them focus and concentrate as they are exploring these new skills and senses.  Additionally, as they begin reaching and grasping, you can set the item just out of their immediate reach to help them develop their hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills. 


We hope this helps! We have a lot of additional resources in our member portal that you can access through your online account including a phenomenal course called Play & Connection in Baby’s First Year with insights into your baby’s developing brain from a pediatrician! And if you have any questions reach out to us

Want to learn more about mobiles and their developmental impacts? Check out these additional resources, 

 Tiny Earth Toys 0 - 4 Month Learning Guide 

Baby's First Year Class 

Monti Kids 0 - 3 Month Introduction

Monti Kids 4 - 6 Month Introduction

Back to blog