Have you ever found yourself wondering – how do I keep my baby entertained all day? I felt exactly the same. And although you don’t have to keep your little one busy every moment they’re awake. It is important to stimulate them throughout the day. So today, we’re focusing on mirror play for babies.
This activity takes zero time to set up. And all you need is a mirror (and your baby, of course!) This idea is great to try with babies at any age. I first tried it when my baby was around 3 months old.
But before we share this simple idea, let’s first talk more about mirrors. And how they help your little one’s development.
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Why Do Babies Love Mirrors?
Years ago, people believed babies shouldn’t look in mirrors. They believe in superstitions like souls getting trapped and babies remembering their past birth. But the reality is that babies love mirrors because they enjoy looking at faces! Your baby will find faces interesting when they’re only a few weeks old. And although they won’t recognise themselves straight away, they’ll still enjoy looking at their own face and yours.
When Can a Baby Recognise Itself In a Mirror?
Your baby will be able to recognise themselves in a mirror when they’re around 20-24 months old. Before this, they’ll think their reflection is another baby. This is usually from 6 months old onwards.
Here’s one simple way to check if your baby understands they’re looking at themselves in a mirror. First, put a sticker lightly on their nose. Then show them a mirror. If your baby takes the sticker off of their nose (rather than touching the mirror), they understand they’re looking at themselves.
Why is Mirror Play For Babies Important?
Mirror play is important because it helps improve your baby’s vision. Playing with your baby and showing them your face in the mirror will also help strengthen your bond.
Looking in a mirror will help a 3 month old meet the following milestones:
- Start to exchange coos with you
- Laugh and smile
- Purposely move their head to look around them
What’s the Best Way to Do Mirror Play For Babies?
Laying your baby on their back is the best way to do mirror play with them when they’re very little. Just like any activity, make sure they’re well-rested and not due a feed.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A baby-safe mirror
Tip: Any plastic mirror will work. But we recommend the Bright Starts sit and see floor mirror. It grows with your little one. And you can also use it as a tummy time activity too. Check it out on Amazon (US | UK)
First, lay your baby on their back and lay next to them. Hold the mirror in front of their face so they can see themselves. You’ll need to hold the mirror fairly close because they won’t be able to see very far yet.
Give your baby some time looking at their own reflection. Then move the mirror so that they can see your reflection too. Talk to them. Sing and make different facial expressions to keep them interested.
Other Ways to Do Mirror Play With Babies
Try laying your baby in different positions during mirror play. Lay them on their right and left side. And lay them on their front and try the activity during tummy time.
Looking into a mirror during tummy time is a great way to distract them. Especially if they hate being on their front. Remember to lay next to them to reassure them. Give them time to look at their own face. Then show them your face.
Try hanging a mirror from your little one’s baby gym, if you’re able to. Some baby activity mats already have mirrors included.
Don’t forget to add a mirror to your car. Your baby will love looking at themselves. And it’s an effortless way to keep them occupied whilst travelling. It also means you can check on them too! We’d recommend a baby rearview mirror for the back seat. It’s wide enough for you to have a good view of your baby. And you won’t have to keep changing its position. Check it out on Amazon (US | UK)
Mirror play for babies is an easy, no setup activity that’ll help your infants development.
Place your baby on their back and use the mirror with them when they’re little. Then use the mirror as part of their regular tummy time sessions. Laying your baby on their right and left side is also another way you can change this activity too.
Looking For Other Baby Activities?
Check out our water sensory play for babies activity.