Babies enjoy looking at themselves. Depending on their age, little ones like to use a mirror for lots of different things. Because we aren't down at their level, we don't generally realize that they don't get many opportunities to see themselves. Give your baby a mirror and watch them learn!
There are safe mirrors manufactured just for tiny ones. We bought our first one for the car so baby AJ could look at herself while we were driving. It was actually made for the crib, but served double duty in the car. She loved it. You can also install a kid safe mirror on the wall at their level. Here are some fun infant games you and your little one can do using a mirror.
- Put her in front of the mirror with a couple of toys. Soon, she will notice herself and try to touch her reflection (depending on her age).
- Put two books in front of the mirror and sit with him to read. He will be fascinated by the reflections of both of you as well as the book. You will find him going back to that spot again and again.
- When they get older, you can tell them to go look at their face or hair or clothes in the mirror. This teaches them all kinds of things like where the mirror is, what their face (or hair or clothes are) as well as what they mirror is.
Take some time to tell your little one what a mirror is and that it shows them their reflection. Repeat "mirror" and "reflection". Explain that it shows Mommie and Daddy's reflections too. Point out mirrors wherever you go and give baby a minute to look at herself. Explain that this is like her mirror at home. You can expand this concept with general reflections like in windows and water. Even when babies are little, this experience of talking to them about mirrors and reflections and showing them examples helps them build neural pathways to process the information. (Be sure to keep safety top of mind and only use mirrors that are safe for little ones. Never put baby in a situation where a mirror could shatter, break or fall on them.)
As your baby grows into a toddler, the mirror gives them even more opportunities for fun and learning. The next time you are in the store, look for a baby safe mirror or two and give your baby another fun infant game with an added brain building experience.