I've had a chance to use several baby mobiles over the years, and I can tell you that it is hard to come by a good one. Recently a family brought in one that I actually really like, so I thought I would share why I like it for the NICU.
The other day, I had the chance to take care of a sweet 2 month old infant, and he had a Baby Einstein Sweet Sea Dreams Mobile, and I immediately liked it. Why? IT SOUNDED NICE. Hard to believe, but so many mobiles have obnoxious, annoying music and sounds. This one plays good classical music (product site says it plays 10 different songs) as well as having 2 other modes, one for wave sounds and white noise which are great options for sensitive babies. It even has 2 volumes, and the option to turn sound off if noise is unwelcome. It's also battery operated, which is a huge plus because the wind-up types inevitably wake the baby right as they're drifting off to sleep and you have to go crank the thing. (I would love to suggest you use rechargable batteries, the landfill will thank you.) What makes it NICU friendly is that the sounds are nice so it doesn't annoy the babies and the families next to you. It also has a great feature for the NICU, which is that the mobile arm can be detached. This is good in the NICU for two reasons: First, if the visual stimulation of a mobile is too much for your infant early on, you can use the sounds alone and wait for the day when he's ready for more. Also, it means the nurses and family can get to the baby for diaper changes and assessments much more easily, without having to detach the whole darn mobile from the crib. Really nice feature. The mobile animal "friends" are plush, remove easily and should be easy to wash.
The mobile my sweet little guy has works really well, but I will say that some reviews on other sites report that people have had problems with the light at night not working, or the mobile making clicking noises. I imagine that any mobile on the market will have some people writing negative reviews, and of course I can't guarantee that your mobile will work perfectly. But I can guarantee that compared to many I've used, this one sounds nice, has features that make it great for the NICU, is reasonably priced and is probably worth a try! After many days taking care of this sweet little guy, I'm still loving the mobile, and he is too.
AS ALWAYS, if you have any doubts about whether you can use a mobile for your baby or not in your NICU, please ask them first. But I still think this could be a great buy: If your baby is too young for the visual stimulation of a mobile, the unit can be used with the arm detached for just playing the lovely sounds. If your baby might be ready for slightly more visual stimulation, the arm can be set in place but not locked in completely, so the plushie "friends" don't spin. And if your NICU just does not allow the mobile at all, (talk to their director!!!) this mobile will still be a wonderful one to use at home.