WHITNEY: Toddlers love selfies. Are we surprised?

If she could say so herself, I’m sure my daughter would tell you that she’s got an impressive mouth full of teeth. Small ones, big ones, some that are waaaay in the back, all of which are completely fascinating.

I have a video, in fact, of Olivia proudly displaying these teeth of hers. It starts out with me holding my phone, attempting to point it in her direction to capture her cuteness, but the plot thickens when she grabs it, throws it to the floor and then hovers over the front-facing camera, gnashing her teeth for the audience.

And so it came to pass — baby’s first selfie, in video form.

If it’s your first time hearing of the concept, here’s how it’s defined in the Oxford English Dictionary, which validated the word as part of current lexicon in 2013. A selfie is “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”

Olivia’s own video selfie might have been her first, but it wasn’t her last. As she becomes more deft at using our cell phones, she’s gravitating more towards using the camera. I can’t tell if it’s necessarily by choice or because she’s triggering the app with the way her thumb lands on the screen as she hold the phone. Either way, I’m finding more blurry pictures of blankets and toys and, yes, a few way-too-close selfies every time I turn around.

Apparently, it’s a phenomenon that’s clogging up our Facebook walls and breaking down the playroom walls as well.

“Toddlers Love Selfies: Parenting In the iPhone Age,” trumpeted an Associated Press headline this week, with the story that follows detailing the photo-taking habits of the under-5 set.

“Tot-centric snapshots can help build a healthy self-image and boost childhood memories when handled correctly, but shooting too many photos or videos and playing them back instantly for a demanding toddler could backfire, said Deborah Best, a professor of cognitive developmental psychology at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.

“The instant gratification that smartphones provide today’s toddlers is ‘going to be hard to overcome,’ she said. ‘They like things immediately, and they like it short and quick. It’s going to have an impact on kids’ ability to wait for gratification. I can’t see that it won’t.’”

To curb the craving for instant gratification, one woman in the same article says she deals with the “Can I see it now?” pleas from her son by making him wait to see her pictures from the day until after dinner or until dad gets home so they can all look together. Seems smart.

Another parent wonders, with thousands of photos to flick through on his iPad, if his children will ever appreciate a single photo from their younger years in the way he remembers some of the cherished snapshots from his youth. Hmmm. I’ve wondered the same.

I think it should come as a surprise to no one that children love to look at themselves. The same article says the selfie peaks toddlers’ curiosities in the same ways as a mirror, the low-tech way of checking out one’s reflection. Remember those? Headlines like “Toddler Love Selfies” incites a bunch of hand-wringing though, because we’re all secretly worried about passing our tech obsession along like genetics. Who knows? Maybe one day our grandchildren will be living the The Matrix and it will be our faults!

As to worrying about our kids becoming self-obsessed little monsters, experts suggest we remind our toddlers of the existence of other by showing them photos with them and their friends or family. Basically, shatter their delusions that the world revolves around them — the sooner, the better. It’s your job as a parent.

If I see my kid snapping a selfie, I might just jump in the shot myself.

Why not? Do you know how many of my selfies Olivia has photo bombed?

I wonder where she picked up this strange self-obsession. Hmm.