During the first months of life, children understand their environment as a tidal wave of stimuli that put their cognitive skills to work. But at what point do babies begin to become aware of themselves and their surroundings?

Recognition starts very early in babies, with research suggesting that even newborns can see people and objects that are 12 inches away from their faces. At this age, babies love looking at mom and will enjoy observing the world around them as they start spending more time awake each day. But at what age do babies start to recognize familiar objects and people?

In this post, we’re going to have a look at a monthly timeline of what your baby will be able to recognize.

Month 2

At 2 months of age, your baby will start to recognize the faces of their primary caregivers. They might also enjoy looking in the mirror! But although they can see their reflection, they won’t understand for some time yet that they’re looking at themselves. Instead, looking in the mirror is more of a social activity for them.

Things you can do

  • Make eye contact with your baby whilst nursing
  • Spend time singing and talking to your baby in a position where they can see you

Month 3

At 3 months of age, your baby will begin to recognize the toys and objects that they see the most often. This could be a teddy, a pet, or a baby rattle. Although they won’t yet know or understand the name of the object, they’ll recognize it when they see it.

Things you can do

  • Start pointing out objects around your baby
  • Let them spend time gazing at the things they’re interested in.

Month 4

At 4 months of age, your baby is becoming much more aware of their environment and can follow moving objects as well as watch people doing things. Your baby will start recognizing the difference between colors, so be sure to give them lots of visual stimulation in the form of books and colorful toys!

Things you can do

  • Change the scenery around your baby’s crib
  • Take them out into the world for lots of adventures

Month 5

At 5 months of age, your baby will be able to recognize objects even when they’re partially hidden. They’ll also begin to understand that objects still exist even when they can’t see them.

Things you can do

  • Read books with lots of bright and colorful images

Month 15

Though your child will be able to recognize the important people in their life before 15 months of age, it’s not until 15 months that your child will be able to recognize their reflection. Before 15 months, your child will think that they’re looking at someone else in the mirror. Someone that just keeps showing up in the same places as them!

Things you can do

  • Put a mark or sticker on your baby’s face before giving them a mirror. You’ll know that they’re starting to recognize themselves when they become conscious of the thing on their face and try to remove it when looking in the mirror!

Has your baby started to recognize themselves and the things around them yet? Let us know in the comments!