Using a mirror for speech development
While your child's speech and language system is growing, mirrors can be helpful ways to integrate speech "work" into your day-to-day routines. Even as early as their first week of life, babies can benefit from mirrors!
Tummy Time: As early as a day or two after birth, tummy time is introduced. One of our favorite ways to engage our babies during tummy time is with mirrors. This helps keeps them engaged, allows them to start establishing a sense of self, and also helps with visual development. Since we are already using a mirror to engage them, this is a great opportunity, especially as your child gets older and can tolerate tummy time longer, to get down on the ground with your baby and start modeling facial expressions and babbling sounds!
Morning and nighttime routines: During most morning and evening routines, we naturally spend time in front of the mirror. Whether it is while we are brushing our teeth or while we are brushing our hair, usually we are looking at ourselves. This is a great and natural opportunity to take a second to focus on our speech and language development. To focus on language, we can label everything we see and this can even become a part of our routine! Label body parts, actions, parts of our articulatory system (teeth, tongue, lips), items we use for care, etc. If you want to focus on speech development, you can practice making speech sounds, making silly sounds and faces in the mirror, or draw (with a dry erase marker!) letters to practice letter-sound associations and letter identification.
In the car: Simply putting a car mirror on the headrest of your seat can be so beneficial to speech and language growth. Kids are fascinated by seeing themselves and you will soon hear them talking to themselves in your backseat!
If you are concerned about your child's speech or language development, seek out a certified speech language pathologist!