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Who Is in the Mirror?

baby seeing self in mirror

About this Video

As infants grow, they notice more and more about the world around them. Here, we see 3-month-old Yana looking at her reflection in the mirror while exploring the infant area at a children’s museum. We hear Yana’s dad encouraging her curiosity about the reflection by asking what she sees in the mirror. Yana works hard to keep her head up as she watches her reflection. She is unaware at this point in her development that she is looking at her reflection. She is driven by her curiosity about faces to look closely at the image she sees even though she needs to work hard to engage her muscles to do so.



Baby coos.

Dad: See the baby there?

Baby coos.

Illinois Early Learning Guidelines for Children Birth to Age Three and How They Were Met

Developmental Domain 1: Social & Emotional Development
Children develop identity of self.

  • Indicators for children (birth – 9 months): Demonstrates interest in faces and voices of others
  • Action: Yana smiles and makes faces in the mirror as she sees her reflection in the mirror. Although she does not yet realize that she is looking at her reflection, she is motivated to keep looking in the mirror. Her interest in faces and voices will continue to develop over the next few months and help her realize she is a separate person from her caregivers.

Developmental Domain 2: Physical Development & Health
Gross Motor
Children demonstrate strength, coordination, and controlled use of large muscles.

  • Indicators for children (birth – 9 months): Lifts head while on tummy
  • Action: Yana holds herself up using her arms to look in the mirror. She also turns her head from side to side as she studies herself in the mirror.

Developmental Domain 3: Language Development, Communication, & Literacy
Social Communication
Children demonstrate the ability to engage with and maintain communication with others.

  • Indicators for children (birth – 9 months): Smiles and uses other facial expressions to initiate interactions with caregiver
  • Action: Yana makes noises and rocks as her parents watch her engage with the mirror. She also smiles as she sees her dad in the mirror (off camera to the right).

About this resource

Setting(s) for which the article is intended:
  • Home
  • Family Child Care
  • Child Care Center

Intended audience(s):
  • Parents / Family
  • Teachers / Service providers
  • Faculty / Trainer

Age Levels (the age of the children to whom the article applies):
Related IEL Birth to Three Guidelines:
Reviewed: 2019