Should You Put a Mirror in the Nursery? Pros & Cons Explained

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When planning the nursery for a new baby, parents often might wonder if it’s a good idea to hang a mirror in there.

Whether you imagine a full-length mirror, a smaller mirror that’s placed high above a dresser, or even a mirror on the ceiling, there are some important things that you must consider.

So let’s dive right in! Should you put a mirror in the baby’s nursery?

There are tons of benefits to having a mirror in the nursery — babies love looking at their reflection, and there are some great developmental benefits like improved visual tracking and making that oh-so crucial tummy time more enjoyable.

However, just remember that a heavy mirror could fall off the wall and become a danger to your baby if it’s not mounted properly. It can also become a distraction if baby can see it while he’s sleeping.

Let’s take a look at some more pros and cons of mirrors in the nursery.

Benefits of a mirror in the nursery

First, let’s take a look at the reasons why putting a mirror in the nursery may be a great idea, for your baby… and also for you!

1. Babies enjoy looking at their reflection

Even though babies don’t recognize their own reflection until around 18 months of age, they still love to look in mirrors.

Even very young babies will watch in delight as the baby in the mirror copies their movements.

As they get older, babies will often smile, laugh, and try to kiss their reflection.

Having a mirror in the nursery will be a source of entertainment for your baby, even before they understand the concept.

(Pro tip: Showing a fussy baby their reflection in the mirror is a great way to calm them down! It’s worked well for both of my daughters.)

2. Looking at a mirror aids your baby’s development

Mirrors are great for baby’s mental and physical development.

The interesting reflective surface tends to catch your baby’s attention.

And the longer he focuses on the mirror, the more his attention span grows.

Looking at his own reflection will support your baby’s visual tracking as he watches the reflection of his moving arms and legs.

It may also encourage your baby to roll over, crawl, or stand as he tries to get closer to his reflection.

Spending time belly-down is important, but not all babies enjoy it.

Placing your little one on the floor in front of a low mirror can make tummy time possible without the tears.

3. A mirror makes the nursery look bigger and brighter

Mirrors give the illusion of depth to any room, making it look more spacious.

A large mirror placed on the opposite wall to a window will also reflect light around the room, making it look lighter, brighter, and more welcoming.

Even if your intention isn’t for your baby to look in the mirror, a mirror can transform the nursery from a dull and dark space into somewhere that you both enjoy spending time

4. There are some beautiful mirrors to choose from

If you’re still undecided about whether to have a mirror in the nursery, you’ll probably be swayed towards the ‘yes’ camp when you start browsing for kids’ mirrors online on sites such as Pinterest and Etsy.

Forget about boring rectangular mirrors!

Today’s modern nursery mirrors are shaped like clouds, bees, or lightning bolts.

They’re edged with macrame, raffia, or glitter frames.

A well-placed statement mirror can tie your whole nursery decor together.

Drawbacks of a mirror in the nursery

Now before you go ahead and buy a mirror for the nursery, there are some important things that you’ll want to think about.

1. Mirrors can be dangerous

Mirrors are traditionally very heavy and made of glass, which poses an obvious danger in the nursery.

As babies become interested in mirrors, there’s a real risk that a heavy glass mirror could break or fall on them.

Instead of glass, you’ll want to choose a baby-safe mirror that’s made from plastic.

Acrylic mirrors are 17 times stronger than glass, lightweight, and much easier to hang securely.

2. A mirror could disrupt your baby’s sleep

While some babies may be fine with a mirror by their crib, other infants may become overstimulated by their image, which could make them struggle to fall asleep.

That’s the last thing that you’ll want!

If the nursery is big enough, you should have separate areas for sleep and play.

Aim to have the mirror at floor level, so that your child can see it when lying on the floor or crawling around.

3. Playtime often doesn’t happen in the nursery

Oftentimes, parents-to-be can overestimate how much time their babies will actually spend in the nursery.

For the first few months, a newborn baby will sleep in a mini crib or bassinet in the parents’ bedroom.

Even when they move to sleep in the nursery, you may find that the baby’s room is used only for sleep and not for play.

With an endless list of chores to accomplish during the day, many moms and dads find that they spend almost all of their time downstairs, rather than in the nursery.

So, that nursery mirror might not get used much at all!

Alternatives to nursery mirrors

Placing a large mirror in the nursery can certainly be a good idea for many reasons.

But there are some alternatives that may offer an even better experience for your baby. 

Hang a mirror downstairs

If the main aim of having a mirror is for your baby’s wellbeing and development, then it would make sense to hand it in the place where your baby spends most of her time playing.

If you hang a mirror in the living room or kitchen, your baby will be able to access it more frequently than she would in the nursery.

A full-length mirror can also be useful for adults — and anyone else in the household — to check their appearance before they leave the house.

Hang a tapestry in the nursery

While a mirror can certainly brighten the decor of a nursery, nothing will add interest like a bright, colorful tapestry.

There are so many beautiful wall hangings available online and many of them are very affordable.

You could have:

  • something personalized with your child’s name
  • something educational such as a huge map of the world
  • or just choose a pretty tapestry that matches your color scheme.

If you’re feeling arty and have the time to spare, you could even paint a custom mural on the nursery wall.

Buy a small mirror for playtime

A mirror doesn’t need to be huge for a baby to enjoy it.

Small, handheld mirrors and mirrored toys can be very interesting for little people.

As well as being cheaper, these also have the benefit that they can be easily moved around the house.

(You can even find playmats for babies that include small, child-safe mirrors.)

Another option — parents often find that babies are most interested in playing with things that aren’t actually toys.

Check your kitchen for any large shiny spoons or pans. You can also get some cute books that have mirrors inside.

Wrapping Up

Babies love mirrors and having a mirror in the nursery can be a great idea. 

It’s vital that you make sure that any mirror you choose for the nursery is baby-safe and attached to the wall securely — use heavy-duty drywall anchors for heft mirrors!

Ideally, you’ll also want to place the mirror away from your baby’s sleeping area if you have space.

If you decide against putting a mirror in the nursery, think about where else you might be able to hang one so that your baby can enjoy looking at his or her reflection during playtime — there are tons of developmental benefits.

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Hope this helps!