If you place the baby in front of a mirror, he will probably reach out his hands as if wanting to touch his reflection, make faces, laugh, blow kisses or look carefully at the image that is presented to him.
Does that mean it’s being recognized? At what point does the baby realize that the image reflected in the mirror is her own image? When do you start to form an image of yourself?
Discovering your own image
Self-recognition is a crucial process for understanding oneself as a social being and participating fully in society .
During the first months of life, the baby does not know that he exists as an independent being, but he will be able to recognize familiar faces and differentiate his attachment figures from other people.
Knowing others is the first step to knowing yourself.
Around three months, the baby begins to discover independent parts of his body , such as the hands first and then the feet. This important discovery will help him gradually become aware of the rest of the parts that make up her body, until he finally recognizes himself as a global and independent being different from the others. Check out more interesting topics on our site Faith Blog.
However, this process is long and ongoing, and according to research it is not fully developed until the baby is about 18 months old .
From this age the child will no longer only be aware of his body and the parts that make it up, but also of his own image, so he will be able to recognize himself in front of a mirror when we put him in front of him.
However, there is a fun way to check it out: place a sticker on your baby’s forehead and then place him in front of a mirror. If when he sees himself reflected, he puts his hands to his forehead to try to remove the sticker, it is an unequivocal sign that he has been recognized.
Activities in front of the mirror to do with the baby
We can place the baby in front of the mirror from his first months of life, although at first he will not pay attention or see more than the reflections of light on the glass. Let us also remember that the baby’s vision will take time to develop and it will not be until five or six months when she is able to see objects at a greater distance.
From the age of six months, the baby already begins to have a greater perception of depth and to show interest in his surroundings. That’s when the reflection in the mirror starts to pique his interest, so he’s likely to smile, reach out to touch it, or just be fascinated by what he sees.
When playing with the baby in front of a mirror you can do it in different ways. We share some proposals:
– When you lay your baby on the floor on his back in his first months, you can hold a mirror so he can see himself. Some gyms or activity mats incorporate small mirrors in the game arch as another element of distraction and stimulation.
– In the baby’s room, place a safety mirror (unbreakable) horizontally at ground level , well screwed to the wall, and place some mats in front of it so that the baby can lie on it. Thus, while he plays, he is sitting or lying on his stomach he will be able to see the image of himself reflected in the mirror.
– You can also spend a little time each day playing in front of the mirror with your baby . For example, point to the different parts of the body through the mirror so that your baby learns its concepts and the sense of laterality , explain that the ones in the mirror are you, stimulate their gestures and interactions with the mirror, play to the cuckoo-after before the mirror…
These fun daily games will have great benefits for him and will contribute to the self-perception of his own self.
Is a mirror necessary to form an image of oneself?
Now, if the baby did not see himself in a mirror, would he still be able to recognize himself?
The truth is yes. The baby does not need to look at himself in a mirror to form an image of himself , as this is forged through affective development and his relationship with others.
In this way, through the massages and caresses that parents and other attachment figures provide, children gradually become aware of their bodies and get to know themselves . It also helps to sing songs about body parts and point to them, dance, or do simple exercises that help them become aware of their center of gravity and balance .