I'm trying to determine when it is possible that a baby is aware that they are one of the people in the mirror, and whether it's the same time that they realize that the other person is a reflection, not just an extremely similar looking person to the one who's holding them.

I know all babies are different, but assume there are studies that indicate the approximate median age and/or ranges when this skill is developed.

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    I was just wondering if this was different for identical twins :) (See my recent Q parenting.stackexchange.com/questions/11343) But to contribute to the discussion-I just put one of my nearly-1-year-old id twins in front of a mirror the other day, & while she was very excited & seemed to think it was another baby, she did not seem to think it was her twin. She just...reacted slightly differently than she does when she sees her twin. I don't think she fully realized yet that it was herself, but she did realize that she could raise her hands and the baby in the mirror would do the same... Feb 3, 2014 at 20:29
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    A test is to put something on the baby's face that can be seen but not felt, such as a smear of diaper cream. You can note the day when they go from "ooh, that silly baby has a smear of cream" to touching their own face to confirm it is there. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_test
    – Chrys
    Feb 3, 2014 at 23:43
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    I once asked my son: "Where is Luca?", and he pointed to his reflection in the mirror. That was also pretty good evidence that he understood it's him :)
    – Ana
    Feb 4, 2014 at 2:25
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    What Chrys said. I wanted to know the same thing, so I put a dot of yogurt on my sons nose and looked into the mirror with him. He did not notice it until he saw his own reflection, and instantly grabbed his face to wipe it off. He is just turning 8 months old for perspective. Feb 8, 2014 at 11:10

1 Answer 1


Most studies I've found indicates that toddlers will realize that the cute little person in the mirror is them around months 16 - 18, give or take.

Free cites:

Scholarly cites (these are scholarly abstracts and most are not free to read unless you are a student or faculty):

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