If you have begun looking into doing Montessori at home with your baby then you have most likely come across baby wall mirrors. In either their nursery or where a baby’s play area is set-up there is a horizontal wall mirror on the wall parallel to the designated play space for baby.
These are what are often referred to as Montessori wall mirrors and are a wonderful resource for anyone doing Montessori at home.
But what are they for?
And what kind of mirrors are baby safe mirrors?
Well let’s dive into what they are and what your options are for getting one!
Montessori Wall Mirror Benefits
We used a Montessori wall mirror right from the beginning and have seen the benefits first hand from having one with both our boys.
By having a baby in front of a baby safe mirror they are able to do so much discovery visually with the need of having full body movement.
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When in front of the mirror they can see other parts of the room when they may not be able to turn themselves around yet, as well as they can begin visually tracking any thing moving in the reflection whether that be themselves, pets, siblings, mobiles, or caregivers.
Now it is important to note a common myth and set the scientific record straight (the biologist in me like to make sure the science is clear), babies under 12 months are not capable of recognizing their reflection in the mirror as themselves.
The ability to recognize their own image develops around 18 months old.
There are still plenty of benefits for having a baby safe mirror for your baby’s play area though, so don’t let that one myth deter you!
Developmental Benefits of Baby Wall Mirrors
A baby wall mirror supports visual tracking as they watch themselves, pets, siblings, or toys in the mirror.
Gross Motor Skills
Baby safe mirrors often encourage baby’s to move to get closer to the mirror, whether that be roll, sit-up, or stand eventually with pull up bar.
This makes for a great activity when focusing on tummy time, as a tummy time mirror it can lead to increased time baby is interested in staying on their tummy and visually exploring their surroundings.
Using a baby safe mirror promotes concentration as the mirror often catches their attention and holds their gaze for long periods of time.
Sense of Self
From around the age of 18 months and on-wards babies will begin to recognize their own image.
When they look in the mirror they will be able to know it is them and when they move they are looking at their own movement.
If you want to have a bit of fun, you can do a game at the mirror with your baby that researchers have done by dabbing something on baby’s nose (like child-safe paint or dipping sauce to be yummy) and see if your baby touches the mirror or if they touch their own face and recognize it’s happened to them.
What to Consider When Choosing a Baby Safe Mirror
What kind of material should Montessori wall mirror be?
There are a variety of materials mirrors can be made from when looking at wall mirrors. So here so here is what you NEED to consider to find mirrors that are safe for babies:
Baby safe mirror materials include acrylic that is shatterproof. Acrylic is a transparent plastic with the strength to be shatterproof and still provide optical clarity.
Types of Baby Wall Mirrors
The two main types of baby wall mirrors to consider are :
- Baby Safe Mirrors That Attach to Wall
- Baby Safe Mirrors That Move
If you want ability to move the mirror and plan to be present with your child whenever they use the mirror, then a mirror that can move might be your preference. Just make sure to store it somewhere safe when not in use.
Otherwise, the baby safe mirrors that attach to the wall are the safest option.
Mirrors that attach to the wall can also be paired later with a pull-up bar when your child is learning to stand. (Think like a ballet bar in front of a mirror)
What kind of Wall Mirror Should I Get?
Safety Wall Mirror – Lakeshore Learning
Lakeshore learning offer excellent quality wall mirror that is used in schools and can be purchased for home use.
The safety of this product makes is a fantastic choice to consider for a wall mirror.
Acrylic Mirror Sheet – Amazon
If you are looking for a budget friendly option that you can easily attach to the wall with a few command strips or mounting tape then this is a baby safe mirror you can consider.
Framed Mirror – Lovevery
The safest moveable mirror I have found has been the mirror that comes with the Charmer Play Kit for for 3 -4 month olds. If you happen to have a newborn or a child this age I would easily recommend this kit for the materials and the mirror that you get.
Check out their reviews, there is see a cute video of it in use if you want to see it in action.
You can use this mirror as they grow and eventually use it for a DIY self care station when they are a toddler.
Double-Sided Shatterproof Mirror – ECR4Kids
Another option of a mirror that you can move and also grows with your child is ECR4Kids Full Length Mirror that can be used both directions.
Great for using as a mirror for baby when they are young, and when they are older it can be used for self care and getting dressed independently.
I am all about items that will grow with your child so that you get the most out of your investments in childhood furniture.
A great 2nd choice if you are wanting something that you can move room to room.
Looking for Sustainable Option?
Often price and sustainability is a concern with Montessori furniture items, so I like to share a secret I found not long ago.
Good Buy Gear is a second hand items website where parents often will sell their Montessori items after their children have outgrown them.
The items are usually in great knick and is often a much more budget friendly option of sourcing Montessori furniture, so make sure to check them out.
I just type “Montessori” in the search bar and see what comes up in my area.
Great for Montessori wall mirror and other larger Montessori furniture items.
How to Display a Montessori Wall Mirror
Where should I keep the mirror?
A baby wall mirror is best kept horizontal and parallel to your baby’s play space.
This allows for them to get the full view of the room.
Having it parallel also allows for your child to scoot and wiggle around their play space and still see themselves in the mirror.
Thus, having your baby’s play area next a wall is a common choice among Montessori parents.
When next to a wall you also have the option of attaching a Montessori mobile from the wall above it to hang over your baby’s play area.
If you are concerned about attaching anything to the wall, Lovevery also offers a great play gym space that you can put alongside a wall mirror.
This type of play gym also pairs well with any of the moveable baby safe mirror options above.
Have a look if you don’t have many Montessori materials for your baby yet, getting this play gym will save you from needing to get many Montessori materials as they are included with this play gym.