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  #1  
Old 03-16-2002, 09:10 PM
Mephisto Mephisto is offline
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Why Shouldn't A Baby See Its Reflection? Superstition Question.

Well? Not long ago I was walking past a mirror with my infant daughter in my arms. As I did, I turned so she could see her reflection and said something like, "Who's that pretty little girl?" or something equally corny and fatherlike. And was promptly reprimanded. Seems everybody in my wife's family thinks a baby shouldn't see her reflection or something bad will happen. This is a new one to me. What's the bad thing, why would it happen, where did this superstition start. Just curious. Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 03-16-2002, 09:26 PM
Mr. Blue Sky Mr. Blue Sky is offline
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Supposedly, it will cause the baby to stutter later in life.
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  #3  
Old 03-16-2002, 09:33 PM
JillGat JillGat is offline
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In Jamaica, you can't let your baby see their shadow or a ghost will follow them home.

It won't make them stutter, though. That only happens if you cut their hair before they start to talk.
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  #4  
Old 03-16-2002, 09:34 PM
AWB AWB is offline
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Definately a superstition, but not one I've ever heard of.

Saying corny little things to my daughter is one of the joys in my life. After almost every bath I give her, I hold her up to the mirror and ask, "Who's that!?" She grins and giggles, and so far her soul hasn't been stolen by the spirits of the mirror.

Your in-laws are just flaky.
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  #5  
Old 03-16-2002, 11:32 PM
Mephisto Mephisto is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Blue Sky:
Supposedly, it will cause the baby to stutter later in life.
Weird, I wonder why?

Quote:
Originally posted by JillGat:
In Jamaica, you can't let your baby see their shadow or a ghost will follow them home.

It won't make them stutter, though. That only happens if you cut their hair before they start to talk.
Nuh-uh! You're making that up! Aren't you? Because that does sound kinda familiar . . .

Quote:
Originally posted by AWB:

Your in-laws are just flaky.
You can't even begin to really understand . . .
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  #6  
Old 03-16-2002, 11:46 PM
Exgineer Exgineer is offline
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Eh, don't worry about the mirror thing.

BUT, if you clip her toenails left-to-right, or if she was born under a new moon, you gots yerself some problems, brother.
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  #7  
Old 03-17-2002, 01:41 AM
Eliahna Eliahna is online now
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Your in laws are weird

Everyone knows that it's PETS that aren't supposed to see themselves in the mirror. Fancy getting babies and pets confused.
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  #8  
Old 03-17-2002, 09:57 AM
kniz kniz is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by cazzle
Fancy getting babies and pets confused.
Fact is that pets never reach the point of intelligence that they know they are looking at their own image. A baby also does not know this and there is a point at which they are able to do this just like a lot of other things. The fact that they don't recognize themselves is probably the basis for the superstition.

Only piece of advice I have is to pray your daughter does not stutter, because in-laws can make life miserable.
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  #9  
Old 03-17-2002, 11:17 AM
cmkeller cmkeller is offline
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In Orthodox Jewish circles, the baby-seeing-himself-in-the-mirror thing was a superstition that the kid will be conceited.

I don't know, however, how much of that has any genuine roots in Jewish tradition.
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  #10  
Old 03-17-2002, 12:16 PM
Sofa King Sofa King is offline
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This is all a conspiracy on the part of behavioral scientists who want to conceal the fact that children really are animals, isn't it?
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  #11  
Old 03-17-2002, 05:41 PM
SpoilerVirgin SpoilerVirgin is offline
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No word on origins, but according to this page:

Quote:
If a baby is allowed to see itself in a looking-glass before it is some months old, it will die before the year is out, or develop the childish complaint, rickets.
Apparently cutting her nails before she's a year old will cause her to become a thief.

My favorite from that page:

Quote:
Spit upon a new-born baby and you will bring it luck.
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  #12  
Old 03-17-2002, 07:10 PM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by SpoilerVirgin
Quote:
Spit upon a new-born baby and you will bring it luck.
When anthropologist Louis S. B. Leakey was born in the bush in Kenya in 1903, the local Kikuyu tribesmen visited his cradle and "baptised" him by spitting all over him. In their culture it was considered a blessing on the newborn.
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  #13  
Old 03-17-2002, 10:53 PM
JillGat JillGat is offline
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[[Apparently cutting her nails before she's a year old will cause her to become a thief. ]]

Many people in Jamaica say that, too. Well, not exactly that. They say, "Naw cut a fi im nail dem or im a ton tief."
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  #14  
Old 06-12-2011, 09:14 AM
KimisDream KimisDream is offline
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Apparently a baby shouldn't see their reflection until they are one because it can mean an early death for them.
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  #15  
Old 06-12-2011, 12:44 PM
YogSosoth YogSosoth is offline
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How else are you supposed to see if the baby's a vampire or not?
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  #16  
Old 06-12-2011, 01:36 PM
Lasciel Lasciel is offline
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There are so many stupid baby superstitions, it's a wonder parents with newborns ever did anything at all.

Cut their hair before they speak and they'll stutter.

Let them see their reflection before they're a year old and they'll die.

Cut their toenails and they'll become a thief.

Let a baby girl touch the ground and she'll become a streetwalker.

I suggest inviting the in-laws over and doing all of those combined into a nice baby-parent-interpretive dance, and then giving the inlaws a look like:

"What you going to do about it now?"
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  #17  
Old 06-12-2011, 05:19 PM
BigT BigT is offline
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I'd have figured that, since the baby didn't recognize their reflection, that their soul must be in the reflection. Thus you are creating a soulless child, or, at least one with less of a soul (having it split between the real and the reflection.)

Stuttering seems like an odd thing to connect, unless there's some connection with stuttering and having less of a soul.
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  #18  
Old 06-12-2011, 06:22 PM
FeAudrey FeAudrey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
How else are you supposed to see if the baby's a vampire or not?
Or a zombie!

Last edited by FeAudrey; 06-12-2011 at 06:22 PM..
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  #19  
Old 06-13-2011, 07:28 AM
Waldelfe Waldelfe is offline
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My grandma always said that the baby will be vain if it looks in the mirror before the 1. birthday.

And you're not supposed to cut the hair, too so the stupidity can grow out.

If you tickle the baby it will stutter.
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  #20  
Old 06-13-2011, 11:10 AM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waldelfe View Post
My grandma always said that the baby will be vain if it looks in the mirror before the 1. birthday.
.
This was the reason I always heard why babies shouldn't look in mirrors
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  #21  
Old 06-13-2011, 11:18 AM
Martiju Martiju is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waldelfe View Post

And you're not supposed to cut the hair, too so the stupidity can grow out.
So that's why teenagers let their hair grow long...!
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  #22  
Old 06-13-2011, 02:02 PM
BigT BigT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
This was the reason I always heard why babies shouldn't look in mirrors
Yeah. Vanity makes more sense. It sounds like a lot of superstitions just got melded together over the years.
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  #23  
Old 08-19-2012, 09:50 AM
ser olmy ser olmy is offline
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stuporstitions

i always believed that if a baby had stupid parents that believed in superstitions and reprimanded their child because the child liked itself the baby would grow up to be stupid like its parents and have low self esteem
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  #24  
Old 08-19-2012, 12:34 PM
njtt njtt is offline
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According to Lacan, it will cause the baby to develop an ego, and become alienated from him/herself.

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  #25  
Old 08-19-2012, 12:56 PM
Troppus Troppus is offline
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Where in the world did people get superstitions before black cats were domesticated, sidewalks crafted, and mirrors, umbrellas and ladders were invented? I understand why we were prone to look for trouble when we didn't quite understand meteorlogical, geological, and astronomical events, but why do some manufacture trouble from simple man made objects?
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  #26  
Old 08-19-2012, 01:44 PM
septimus septimus is offline
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OP didn't say if his in-laws were Thai, but that superstition sounds familiar. I know babies here aren't supposed to smell flowers. To admire a baby you call it "ugly" not "cute."

Tokay geckos are lucky if they sing out "tokay" seven or more times in a row, or if they live inside your house. We have both, but the inside tokays are smart enough not to attract attention by croaking "tokay." I can't even begin to keep track of all the superstitions (are dog litters lucky when even in number, and cats odd? Or is it vice versa?); fortunately foreigners are often exempt.

One superstition easy to remmeber is: At a funeral you must pick up the incense sticks with your own hand, don't let anyone hand them to you. If, at a funeral you receive the incense sticks from the hand of another that means: You're next! (On more than one occasion I've explained this to a fellow foreigner and watched their jaw drop open -- their wife had been handing them the incense sticks!)
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  #27  
Old 08-19-2012, 02:32 PM
johnpost johnpost is online now
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double zombie or no

you can't let them see their reflection because they will cry. babies are very territorial. they are always reaching for stuff. gimme, gimme, gimme. if they see a rival for anything they will scram their heads off and not stop. you can't hope to put them together until at least three years old and then they still are biting each other fighting for toys.
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  #28  
Old 08-19-2012, 02:51 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
How else are you supposed to see if the baby's a vampire or not?
Use garlic. The mirror thing is too dangerous in case your baby wouldn't be a vampire. Its soul could stay inside the mirror insuring a prompt death.
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  #29  
Old 08-19-2012, 02:57 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
I know babies here aren't supposed to smell flowers. To admire a baby you call it "ugly" not "cute."
Assuming that this Thai superstition is the same as what is found in many other cultures, the reason is that positive statements might attract the envious interest of malevolent spirits. Some cultures even go as far as giving children derogatory names until they've grown up a bit.

Last edited by clairobscur; 08-19-2012 at 02:57 PM..
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