Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008
Auto Mobile: Do-it-Yourself Baby Mobile for Cars
The Auto Mobile by Kicky Pants is a baby mobile frame for your car’s ceiling. It’s a tether you suspend across the backseat, secured to the handholds above opposing windows.
You hook a regular plastic baby ring around the tether and dangle whatever baby toy you wish. Your toys of course must be hookable with the sort of rings commonly found on baby play mats. The product comes with three starter rings and a sheath for the tether is available in one of nine fabric designs.
The tether appears to be adjustable for any car, with you trimming excess Velcro on either end or folding it over in case you’ll be using the tether in more than one car.
I can’t say I care for the name (just try googling "auto mobile" and see what you get).
Key questions for the Auto Mobile are how much toys naturally jingle suspended from plastic rings, and to what degree the mobile is distracting to the driver. Our existing mobile (a different type with dangling parts held close to the ceiling) occasionally requires opening a window to create a breeze, but is not a distraction.
If you leave the toys out of reach of your child (e.g., use it as a true mobile, not a toy leash) it also has the potential to make car crashes slightly safer. Every loose object in a car is a projectile, so the fewer things smacking your baby, the better.
Mostly, this product looks promising for your ability to swap out toys, and to serve two kids at the same time, rear or forward facing.
I didn’t use any backseat gadgets with our first child, and accordingly our daughter required the other parent to sit with her, otherwise trips became a cry fest. With our 4-month-old boy, we use a different ceiling mobile coincidentally also called "Auto Mobile."
Mobiles are baby magic, easily grabbing and holding our son’s attention in the car and at the changing table.