The Montessori method has created a reputation for itself as a very independent, flexible, and effective way of teaching young children about life and the world around them. It is also reputed to be a somewhat different and unusual method when compared to most curriculums. One of the things that sets Montessori apart is its room mirrors.
A lot of Montessori bedrooms for babies and young children have mirrors because they have been proven to help babies recognize and understand their reflections. Mirrors are a great way to keep little ones entertained and will encourage interactive play and healthy movement.
Still not convinced of the perks of a mirror? It may sound a little strange, but there are definite upsides to having one in your baby’s room. Read on to learn why they are helpful, the pros and cons, and why you may choose not to use one.
What is a Montessori Mirror?
As you probably know by now, a mirror is usually a hallmark of most Montessori bedrooms, both for babies and toddlers. While the benefits and purposes of a mirror change as your baby grows older, many Montessori parents and experts will argue that there are several benefits to putting a mirror in your little one’s room. If you are a Montessori parent looking for an appropriate mirror, never fear! There are several options for you to choose from.
If you are on a budget, you can always opt for a thin, long, cheaper mirror that can be found at most stores for 10-20 dollars, like this one. A mirror that takes up a good amount of wall space near the floor will provide plenty of room for your baby to observe himself or herself. Just remember to fasten it securely to the wall. The last thing you want is for it to topple over onto your little one.
You could also go for an acrylic sheet mirror which is also on the cheaper side, like these on Amazon. An acrylic sheet mirror is thin and easy to fasten to the wall. This is a great choice for any Montessori parent!
If you have a little more cash to burn, you can also invest in something called a toddler mirror, like this popular one on Amazon. These mirrors are built into a sturdy wooden frame and will usually sell for somewhere around $80-$170. Toddler mirrors are so expensive because they come with their own stabilizing frame which will prevent them from tipping over onto your child. An additional perk to having one of these is that you can tip it up the other way as your child gets older and taller.
The last and most expensive choice of all is the mirror with a pull-up bar. Like the toddler mirror, the pull-up bar mirror is secured in a sturdy frame and has a pull-up bar attached to it for your baby/toddler’s use. One of these can be bought for 120-200 dollars or so. If you want a safe, effective choice for your baby, this is definitely it.
How Will a Mirror Help Your Baby?
Now that you know the type of mirror you might need, you surely want to know why you may want a mirror in your baby’s room and what the benefits are. Here are some of the main reasons a mirror could be beneficial for you and your little one.
Mirrors first and foremost are great teachers of cause and effect for babies. Mirrors teach babies to watch and track their movements and will help them to become aware of their reflections. They will also be able to refine their senses (touch and sight especially) through visual and physical interactions with the mirror.
Mirrors should be placed in a separate area from the bed because this will help instill a sense of order in your baby as he or she grows. The bed is for sleeping and the movement area is for work and play (of course this doesn’t need to be strictly enforced and definitely not until they are older). Related: Why Use a Floor Bed in Montessori?
As mentioned before, no matter where you install the mirror, just make sure it is safely and securely fastened to the wall so it does not pose a danger to your little one.
If nothing else, a mirror will keep your baby occupied and entertained. It will encourage your little one to move around and develop a good sense of what the mirror is and how their reflection looks. It will aid their cognitive and physical development as they explore all that the mirror has to offer them.
Montessori Mirrors: The Pros and Cons
Now that you know how a mirror can be beneficial, let’s talk about the real pros and cons of having one in your baby’s bedroom. Hopefully, knowing these will help you to make an informed decision!
The first and most obvious perk to having a mirror in your baby’s bedroom is the entertainment factor. Babies love faces and looking at their own in a mirror will help them to learn and grow. They will love watching the mirror copy their movements and do whatever they do. They may try kissing or touching their reflection from time to time and, if nothing else, it will keep them busy for quite a while.
Aside from aiding your baby’s development, a mirror will add a shiny, brightening factor to a bedroom or nursery. It also provides the room with a sense of depth, making it seem bigger and a bit more welcoming. Additionally, there are some pretty nice mirrors for you to choose from. This will add a lovely touch to any room and make it very eye-catching.
While the pros do outweigh the cons, there are still some drawbacks that should be taken into account. Firstly, a mirror could be dangerous to your baby. If you have it fastened to the wall securely, there is less to worry about, but if there is any chance it could fall on your little one, that’s definitely not a good thing. Plus, if it isn’t a high-quality mirror, hitting and kicking done by your baby could very well break it, posing an entirely different kind of danger.
Mirrors also have the potential to disrupt your baby’s sleep. Why you may ask? If the mirror is put close to the bed, your baby could become overstimulated by looking at their reflection too much. This will make it increasingly difficult for your little one to fall asleep, which will then result in their sleep schedule being interrupted. However, this can be remedied simply by putting the mirror somewhere the baby cannot see it when they are going to sleep.