0Mirror, mirror on the wall, tell us what babies see in you once and for all.
That may be one of THE most asked questions mothers have about their newborns and babies when they bring their little ones to face the mirror. Why do babies coo and laugh when they see the mirror?
Is their eyesight mature enough to even see anything but a blurred reflection or do they see themselves with utmost clarity? Do they know who the wriggly little being in the mirror is or do they not even give a damn?
Sometimes we are at a loss trying to fathom why our little ones are so fascinated with mirrors (or the lack of interest thereof). We can't ask them since they are unable to tell us but according to professionals and researchers (who study babies day-in and day-out), babies tend to see things differently in the mirror at different stages in life. Here, we wrung some information from PhD holders (some claim PhD stands for permanent head damage since they studied too much) and baby whisperers to see the world through the eyes of our little ones.
15 Month 1
Blink blink. Hmm....what is that shadowy blurry thing moving in front of me? It's no rainbow, that's for sure. But why does this big human keep bringing me to see it? Am I supposed to be attracted to it? I'm so confused. Maybe I should cry. Waaaaaaaa aaahh! Hey! It worked. This big sized human instantly brought me away from that shadowy thing. I don't like it. It's no fun.
That usually sums up what babies see during their first month when exposed to the mirror.
They may or may not like it. If they don't, do not fret. It's mostly because their vision has not truly developed yet so their appreciation towards their own reflection will have to come much later.
14 Month 2
Hmm, this big cuddly human who runs at my beck and call seems to like bringing me to the mirror. What's there to see? Oh wait a minute. I can see clearer now and hey! Who's that looking right back at me? Is it a friend? Is it a foe? Should I laugh or cry? Let's just play it cool first. I'm not going to be the first one to break the ice. I'm going to act all tough and aloof and pretend that I do not have the slightest interest in the other little guy.
And that would be what most babies do in their second month. They would usually stare at their own reflection in the mirror without realizing who it is. Also, they probably won't interact much, preferring to cuddle, sleep and suckle at mom's breasts instead. The mirror at this point in time would not hold much significance to them, nor would it draw much of their attention.
13 Month 3
That's strange. My big cuddly human is in the mirror! Hahaha! That's funny! I could have sworn she was carrying me just seconds ago. Odd, is it me or did she grow a twin? My mommy has a twin sister who lives in the mirror! Wonder of wonders! And she's smiling back at me while carrying the other guy! This is fun! I like this! Ohhh! The other little guy just smiled at me. And hey, he buried his head in my twin mommy's neck! He must be shy! I should smile more at him. Oh look! He's smiling back at me again! So is the mommy. She's got that goofy grin just like my mommy!
In the third month of a baby's life, he/she will start noticing similarities between the person carrying him/her and the person's reflection
while seemingly oblivious to his/her own reflection. The baby will start smiling and interacting with what he or she sees by smiling shyly or by even crying.
12 Month 4
Well what'dya know. My new best friend has tiny little hands and feet. And aren't they just the cutest thing in the world. Let me just try to give them a corporate handshake. Oops! We just made contact. And boy is his hand as hard as glass. I would've thought they would be a soft as a baby's skin. Funny. Each and every part of my BFF is hard. But who cares! He/she is smiling back at me! A www.....how sweet. Oh! Did he just wave? And is that a Brazilian Ju Ji Tsu move he just made? Let me try to imitate that. Giggle! He did it again!
By now, babies will get attracted to their own movements in the reflection. They might coo and laugh at the sight of themselves moving and wriggling thinking it to be the funniest thing in the world. You could hold them in a Superman stance in front of the mirror and be able to entertain them for a good ten to fifteen minutes (if you do not break your back first.).
11 Month 5
Well hello there. It's nice to meet you again little chap. Funny how we keep bumping into one another every day. That twin mommy of yours looks just as tired as mine. They probably partied all night while we were sleeping. How naughty of them. We should teach them a lesson and wail more at night. Oh hey, what pretty lights you have behind you. I'm liking them. It lights up your room. I could stare at them forever and ever.....oh wait a minute. Is that a ceiling fan? Those spinning blades are extremely mesmerizing. I could stare at them forever and ever. Ohhh! Would you look at that. Your bright blue curtains are a thing of beauty. I could stare at them forever and ever.....
At five months, babies start to develop more interest in their surroundings.
They become curious at the most mundane of things and tasks. Hence if you were to bring your baby in front of the mirror, chances are the little tyke will be taking in all the items he or she sees in the reflection, carefully observing each and every little detail (well maybe not the little details but they would definitely be attracted to moving and bright objects that are reflected in the mirror) so take your time and stand in front of the mirror. You might get to look at your own reflection and wallow in self-pity for a moment or two while the baby gets entertained.
10 Month 6
Deja vu. Now is it just me or does your room look the same like mine? Hey friend, apparently we share the same taste. You have a ceiling fan...I have one too. And they're both spinning at the same speed. What are the odds of two classy kids having the same artistic tastes in house decorations? Hahaha....you are definitely my soul mate. There's just no other baby like you! Hey look! Look! We have the same cribs too! And the hanging mobile on top of your rainbow colored crib looks exactly like mine! Oh my! You tickle me to the bone with all our similarities.
At six months, your once often confused but extremely cute baby might suddenly start putting two and two together and a light bulb could just light up (bling!). The baby could start noticing similarities between what they see in the mirror and their actual surrounding. While they won't know that both are the same, they might find it funny to see two of everything. This could keep them busy for quite some time and keep their heads turning back and forth trying to look at both the actual and reflected ceiling fan.
9 Month 7
I can see clearly now the rain is gone... I can see all obstacles in my way...no wait. That's a Jimmy Cliff song. But I truly can see clearly now and more importantly, I can see that the twin mommy carrying you is my mommy... my protector and my mummy. Why is my mummy holding you? And how is it that she can be carrying me too at the same time? Strange. Either this is an X File conspiracy or my mummy is Wonder Woman. Oh yeah, she's definitely Wonder Woman! Ohhh I'm loving you more mummy. And it feels to good to be in your arms. See? My BFF loves you too. Awwww.
This is the time when babies start recognizing their parents in the mirror.
They will know that it is you, having explored all your facial features from their waking moment to the time that they fall asleep. Do not shy away from the mirror at this time. Mesmerize them with your reflection. Make faces, laugh and talk to them and see them look back and forth being utterly captivated by how synchronized your reflection is with your movements. Impress them while you can, soon they'll be more impressed with the iPad than they are with their mummies and daddies.
8 Month 8
Hey friend, let's start talking business. What's with the Dow Jones lately? Any idea when the wall will be up? Oh...you think it was all just talk? I'm not so sure. The redhead seems quite sure of himself. I could have sworn he would have gone and laid the bricks himself. Anyways, it's fun talking to you. You seem to be the only one who seems to talk my language. Mummy tries to imitate us but she just can't seem to master our supreme level of Intelligence. Oh well, so long as her primitive mind understands us when we need to feed and poop. You agree?
At eight months, the baby will start making sounds, trying to communicate with his or her reflection. They will find it funny that the reflection seems to be 'talking' back to them and will have fun touching the mirror. Now would be a good time to take photos or record videos of them playing with their reflection as they will soon outgrow the fascination.
7 Month 9
What's that sticker doing there? It's blocking my view. I can't see you. Hmm, it's not coming off easily. Okay, I'll just wail a bit... Waaaaaaaa! Great! It worked! Mummy knows what I want and went to peel it off. I can see you better now. Heck, what's this now? There's a hanger hanging right next to the mirror too. Let's try to wave it away. Hahaha! Mummy is too kind. She's practically at my beck and call. I love you, mummy.
Little details like scratches, paints or items obstructing the baby's view will be noticed.
The baby might even try to remove them (or signal you to help take the items blocking their view). What never seemed to interest then would now become their obsession. One could say they will start to develop a short-term OCD on imperfections in the mirror and can be obsessed with removing them. They will gnaw, scratch and practically bang their fists at the obtrusive object in the mirror much to your amusement.
6 Month 10
Yo bestie, I like you a lot and all but aren't you going a wee bit too far by copying my style? Seems to me you like to wear the same romper as I do. Yesterday it was blue and today it's yellow. And I could have sworn last week you mimicked my hairstyle too. Why are you glaring at me like that? You're the copycat. Oh wait, you mean to tell me that my fashion sense is just too savvy not to follow? Awwww...shucks. I know...I know...I'm a trend-setter. Hehe.
As the baby grows, their perceptiveness will also mature. They will start noticing things that they never paid attention to before. They will become more wary of strangers, items that are out of place and interestingly, they will start paying more attention to their own reflection in the mirror. The baby might look back and forth at the colorful bib on his or her neck trying to understand why the reflection is also wearing the same thing. They might even try to grab the bib in the reflection, and failing to do so could either render them feeling frustrated or utterly amused.
5 Month 11
Hey copycat. I don't mind you wearing the same attire but it's kinda creepy how you shadow each and every movement of mine. See? I raised my hand and so did you! You're practically my doppelganger! Oh wait. Hahaha...my bad. I'm sorry. I raised my right hand and it seems like you raised your left.. or did you? I'm still confused with the whole left and right hand thingy. Maybe mummy can teach us that. Let's try grabbing her hair and see if she can tell us which hand this is.
With one month left before the baby officially becomes a one-year-old hoarder, he/she will start noticing how the reflection echoes his or her movements. This will certainly intrigue the baby and he or she can spend a good ten to twenty minutes in front of the mirror babbling and performing all kinds of gymnastics moves.
4 Month 12
I've uncovered a conspiracy my friend. My mummy is actually your mummy. Now don't ask me how she can be at two places at the same time. Could it be that she cloned herself or she can split into two people? Either that, or she's up to something. Fishy, but I like. She is an extremely interesting being with the power to feed, bathe and clean both of us up while juggling a career and managing the household. She's practically a demi-god! Mummy is great! See, she knows when the both of us are about to wriggle out of her arms and can catch us simultaneously. How on earth does she do that?
Having aged 12 months, the baby is now beginning to piece two and two together to see the whole picture.
Something in their brain clicks and they will realize that you and your reflection are one and the same. Such is the level of their intelligence and perception right now. Enjoy their naivety and innocence while you still can. The day will come when the little baby you are holding right now will guide an old and grey version of you through her latest version of the iPhone x100.
3 Month 13
If that's mummy in the mirror, then doesn't that mean the baby she's holding is actually me? Hahahaha! I gotta slap myself silly! That's me in the mirror! How'd I get in there? I just have magic powers too! So that's how I look like. I'm laughing with my gapped teeth. Heck, do I look cute. So I've been talking to myself the entire time? That's just plain weird. I mean I enjoy the babble and all but that's normal isn't it, mummy? Why are you looking at me and laughing? I said something or did something to make you happy. I like making you laugh mummy.
Babies usually start recognizing themselves in the mirror from about 13 months of age. They will find it amusing to see their own reflection and can spend quite a large amount of time studying themselves. After this, they may or may not start losing interest in the mirror. So get your cameras and phones to record the last few photos or videos of their cute selves in front of the mirror. The next time you catch them obsessing over their own reflection would probably be ten to twelve years down the line when they start putting on makeup or popping their zits. That would be a world away from cute. In fact, that would be like a horror movie come to life.
2 Month 14
If that is mommy's reflection in the mirror and that future hottie looking back at me is none other than myself then that means everything I see in this mirror is but a reflection! I'm a genuis! Well, maybe not, considering the fact that I must have made a fool out of myself the past few months thinking that I was talking to someone else. No wonder mummy kept laughing every time I started talking to my reflection.
The baby who has now officially entered toddlerhood is beginning to have a better grasp of things.
What once eluded or intrigued them might no longer hold a fascination for them. They will however still have a large amount of interest in their reflection (don't we all...) and can spend a good amount of time in front of it (this amount of time meaning five to ten precious minutes of our time).
1 Month 15
Check this out. I have dimples. Now isn't that just the cutest thing ever. No wonder I'm such a babe magnet. All these hot friends mummy has have been coming over to our place to check me out. Heck, they've even held and kissed me continuously. But I can't commit to them, my heart belongs to mummy. I'm such a heartbreaker. Oh wait, more teeth coming out. Does that mean I can graduate from baby puffs to sirloin steak? And while you're at it, gimme a fresh slice of salmon and some sushi will ya?
With the realization that it is their own reflection in the mirror, the baby/toddler will enjoy checking himself/herself out. They will find everything about themselves interesting and downright amusing. Expect many baby talks in front of the mirror while they pull their faces and contort their bodies, just to see how it looks like. Ahhhhh, such will be our form of entertainment for the next decade.
Sources: Parenting.com, Whattoexpect.com