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May 26, 2017

Babies and Mirrors -- Montessori Baby Week 25

A mirror is a staple in a Montessori baby environment. From birth, a low mirror can be used by a baby help a baby explore and develop concentration. This mirror helps a baby get a new perspective on his or her surroundings. It also helps babies to concentrate on their own movements, and eventually to coordinate them.

Babies love mirrors, and a long, low mirror is a staple in a Montessori baby environment.

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It is no secret, even outside the Montessori community that babies love mirrors. But, yet, people still refuse to give babies access to something they perceive as dangerous. Not so for Montessori babies. A mirror is offered to a child from birth. The mirror can be found anywhere a baby plays regularly, and is often placed in the movement area. However, a mirror should not be placed next to a baby's floor bed because it is too stimulating to the baby.

Augustus has had a mirror from birth in his movement area. And, he has liked it, but never super loved it -- at least not in the way that Nora did. From birth she would spend long periods of times staring into her mirror. He has been more non-committal about it. Until recently!

All of a sudden, he cannot get enough of it. He has completely figured out that he can use the mirror to see all around the room. I watch him look into the mirror then turn to look back at me. Smile and repeat! I can literally see the connections being made. It's been wonderful, and once again I'm so happy we have included it in his space. 

If you are considering a mirror in your baby's space, you have many options. We have chose to use a shatter-resistant mirror from IKEA in our space. It is just leaning against our wall for now, which has worked great. As Gus moves more, we will mount with a pull up bar. 

Babies love mirrors, and a long, low mirror is a staple in a Montessori baby environment.

If you are uncomfortable with a real glass mirror, acrylic mirrors can also work. You just want to make sure its nice enough that it doesn't distort the image. Home improvement stores often have these. Or, you could do something larger that includes the pull-up bar

Have you used a mirror with your baby? Did you baby enjoy it?

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Allison said…
The Montessori rhetoric around mirrors for babies annoys me no end because there is a ton of research that shows babies do not realise it is them in the mirror until about 18 months. So yes babies love mirrors but it's not because they are observing themselves ... probably just because they are enthralled by the movement and seeing another baby.