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Babies love to look into the mirrors with varying degrees of interest as per age. Have you ever wondered why they love mirrors so much? There is a fascinating reason behind this!
When can Babies see their Reflection?
A mirror is one of the most loved toys of a baby. You hold your baby in your arms in front a mirror and he will never get tired of looking at it. The instant response he gets from the mirror is quite intriguing for him. That perplexed look on his face when he looks in the mirror is an interesting sight that you all must have enjoyed looking at one point. But did you ever give it a thought to, “why babies love mirrors?” “What is it that draws babies to mirrors?”
Your baby’s love for mirrors stems from his love for human faces. Newborns spend most of their waking hours gazing and looking at faces. His mother’s face is the first thing he recognizes after the first couple of months. Babies are mesmerized by human faces which explains why he is fascinated by the reflection of his own face in the mirror. But your newborn won’t be able to fix his gaze farther than a few inches during the initial months. Neither will he be able to recognize himself in the mirror for some time to come. It is only after 18 months that a baby starts recognizing himself in the mirror, up until then, he enjoys observing the features of what he sees in the mirror.
So, get over the age-old myth of mirrors trapping little souls, and introduce your baby to the fun world of reflections! He can have oodles of fun coupled with learning from a simple mirror stitched across his crib or hung within his vision.
Benefits of Mirrors for Babies
As a new parent, you will give thought to every new thing or an activity before introducing it to your baby. Introducing mirrors to your baby may seem a little risky to you, as babies and mirrors are not a safe combination, but keep an eye on him while he enjoys his me time with mirror. There are many benefits of mirrors for babies, which is why you should let your child play with a mirror:
- It strengthens the bond between parents and their child.
- Helps your baby focus on targets, track images, and movements.
- Lets him explore his own face, features, functions, etc.
- Imitating and making different facial expressions in the mirror acts as the stepping stone for speech.
- Playing peekaboo in front of the mirror develops his sense of object permanence.
- Promotes social skills and emotional development during bonding sessions with parent or sibling.
- Over time your baby recognizes his friend in the mirror as himself. This ability to recognise enhances his cognitive skills.
KEY TAKEAWAY: Babies can learn a lot with the help of a mirror. As a baby grows, he will reach out to the person in the mirror but eventually, he will start recognizing himself. But for that to happen, you should help your child. Here are some tips to help your child grow –
- Practice visual motor skills on the mirror.
- Sit in front of a mirror with your baby and point out and name the parts of your baby’s face.
- Make silly faces in front of a mirror and see if your baby imitates you. If not then encourage him to do so.
Mirror Play Activity
You can try out the following mirror play activity which is sure to bring smiles and giggles to your baby.
Prop a mirror against the wall and sit on the opposite with your baby laid on your lap resting on your belly.
Ensure that the mirror is placed along the line of vision of your little one.
Initiate him to the amazing world of mirrors. Caress his cheeks, stroke his hair and tap his nose while naming each feature as you touch. Share his delight as he learns to smile, giggle, befriend and fall in love with his own self.
Your baby can amuse himself all by himself if a child-friendly mirror is secured to the sides of his crib.
Precautions to Keep in Mind during Mirror Play
As alert parents, you must be vigilant even during such overtly simple playtime activities.
- Use only unbreakable mirrors.
- Check regularly for cracks and chips which should be replaced immediately.
- Watch out for any small parts or loose ends attached to your baby’s toy mirrors and discard them immediately to prevent a choking hazard.
- Support your baby properly and gently while he’s looking into the mirror.
- Never leave him unsupervised or in unsure hands.
Babies can gaze and play with their mirror selves tirelessly! What’s more, some mirror play with your baby can act as a great stress buster for you too! If you plan to play this fun game with your kiddo, you can check out some attractive mirrors with interesting animal patterns here.