A mirror provides both a baby and a toddler so many opportunities for engagement, feedback, and smiles in a Montessori home. You can set up a mirror in a movement area, in a self-care area for an older baby or toddler as well. A mirror works great in an entryway as well to be able to do a quick check before going out of the house. I’ll share how and where to set up a Montessori mirror in your home, when to begin using it, and give some recommendations of mirrors you can purchase to put into your home.
Montessori Mirror: Baby and Toddler Set up and Uses
A Montessori mirror can have so many uses throughout infancy and into toddlerhood. A horizontal mirror for tummy time or while working with the Montessori baby mobiles in the movement area is essential in any Montessori home. The mirror has been a favorite part of our environment for my identical twin boys. I was never sure if they were looking at themselves or just seeing their reflection thinking it was their twin! Either way, the Montessori mirror has been a key element of our prepared environment at home.
What is a Montessori Mirror?
A Montessori mirror is simply a mirror used in a Montessori home or environment. Any mirror could be a “Montessori mirror” if you are using it to meet and support the needs of a child. To set up a Montessori mirror use an acrylic mirror at the child’s level. The location and purpose of the mirror will change as the baby grows into a toddler. A mirror supports your child’s development wonderfully and offers many opportunities for the baby to get feedback on their body movements as well as see a larger perspective of the environment around them.
When to Begin Using a Mirror?
You can begin using a Montessori wall mirror at any stage with your infant or toddler and it will enhance your prepared environment. We found the right place for our Montessori mirror in our movement area it was prepared and ready for our twins when they arrived home from the hospital. However, it was a few weeks before my child’s eyes were actively looking in the mirror. I like how when the the mirror is set up horizontally it offers a broader view of the room when the baby looks into the mirror.
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You could prepare a Montesssori pull-up bar area when your baby begins to pull to stand. This milestone typically happens sometime between 7 and 12 months of age. A Montessori pull-up bar is a perfect opportunity for your baby to see their movements and develop all that core strength in front of the mirror. The pull-up bar in front of a mirror isolates the skill of pulling up to stand which is important for an infant’s development.
Where to Purchase a Montessori Mirror?
There are a lot of options when it comes to purchasing a mirror. You can get glass mirrors, a baby-safe mirror, or an acrylic shatter-resistant mirror. Glass mirrors will give the clearest view because there will not be a distorted image. However, with a high-quality acrylic mirror like the one we had, you will notice slight distortions. But, with an acrylic mirror you will have peace of mind knowing you have an extremely safe glass alternative. Below are a few different options.
If you are looking for a mirror that isn’t a permanent fixture, this mirror is a great option! There is a wooden base that props the mirror up. It is lightweight and can be moved around your home without adding more holes to the wall. It can be set up in either the horizontal or vertical position for a toddler or child mirror.
This mirror can support your child throughout many developmental stages and sizes. The mirror is a great way to support independent play and encourage tummy time in the first few months of life. The mirror encouraged my babies to hold their heads up to see their reflection and the room around them.
This 3-in-1 mirror and pull-up bar could be a great option. It can be set up anywhere throughout your house and be portable by using these wooden brackets to prop it up. Or you can mount it on the wall.
I like that the pull-up bar height is adjustable. This is a nice feature that allows this mirror to grow with your child.
If you are looking for a mirror to create a self-care area in your home for your older infant or toddler here is a great option. This can be propped up on a counter or table. It can also be hung from a hook on the wall.
No fancy mirrors are needed to make a big impact on your little one’s space. We opted to use these small square acrylic mirrors that I just attached with some velcro Command Strips.
Self Care Mirror with Hooks And LEdge
This mirror would be perfect in either a bathroom or entryway. The hooks are ideal for hanging a coat or towel. The ledge is a perfect place to have a toothbrush and hairbrush. In an entryway having sunscreen and sunglasses in an easy-to-reach place would be perfect.
Mirror For Pull-Up Bar
I used a real glass mirror I found at HomeGoods. Then we attached a wooden handrail for our twins to pull up on. You could also use a longer mirror that you commonly see on the back of a door. Check out this blog post to see how to set up a Montessori pull-up bar area in your home.
Mirror During Infancy
There are so many benefits to using a mirror throughout infancy. A mirror offers more opportunities for hand-eye coordination, visual tracking, and enjoyment of their movements. A Montessori mirror is an important part of a newborn movement area. It offers a point of interest and more interactive play. In a movement area, you will have a mirror, a mat, or a blanket for your baby to lie on. Hang your Montessori mobiles and have a low shelf or basket with some grasping toys.
The mirror could also be used during self-care tasks such as getting dressed or doing a diaper change. Having the mirror right beside a changing pad could be a wonderful way for your baby to see what is going. Allowing them to see what you are doing while you go about changing their diaper. You may find it helpful to have a pull-up bar and mirror accessible for getting dressed or standing diaper changes as a baby gets older. Around 10 months we started doing a lot of those self-care tasks while they were supporting themselves on a bar or shelf.
Mirrors for Toddlers
We can offer a mirror in a self-care area once our baby becomes more actively involved in their dressing tasks. This may be a small area in their bedroom or the bathroom. A place where they can brush their teeth, comb their hair, and wipe their face. We may be tempted to do tasks for a child because they can’t “see” what they are doing. By having a mirror in specific areas in our home we can allow them to do these tasks more independently.
As Montessori parents, we are always looking for ways to offer more independence and create more autonomy in our home. We can support the needs of our child by offering a mirror in areas where we, as adults, would use a mirror. For example, we may put a small mirror in the entryway so they can see what they look like before leaving the house or wipe off their face after a meal. Alternatively, we could offer a step stool for them to climb up to a level where they can see themselves in a bathroom vanity. A mirror can be helpful when learning new practical life skills like how to blow your nose. So many opportunities to support your child’s needs with the use of a simple mirror.