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Do you think your baby or toddler knows that the little person reflected in the mirror is themself? Science experiments have shown that babies don't recognise themselves in a mirror until they are about 18 to 20 months old. However, that doesn't stop them enjoying the company of the "other" baby they see in the mirror before that recognition comes.
Babies love faces, so looking at another face in the mirror is fun, even when it's their own face. Sit in front of a mirror with the baby on your lap. Wave at the mirror. Put a funny hat on your baby and take it off again. Show a favourite soft toy to the mirror. Have lots of fun communicating with the "other" baby.
When they recognise their own reflection in the mirror - the "hey that's me" moment - it's a milestone. They have begun to understand that they are a separate human being with their own way of expressing themselves.
Play is one of the main ways that babies and toddlers learn about the world – it’s also one of the most effective ways they learn. When a child plays they refine learning skills that continue to develop during childhood and beyond.
As a parent, you are your child’s best playmate so try to spend time every day playing together. As your baby gets older, don’t try to teach them anything during play. They will learn best if they choose what to play and you follow their lead.
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