From birth, your baby can grasp an object, usually your finger. You will need to put your finger against the palm of the babyâ€™s hand to get her to grasp at it. As your baby grows, she will develop the coordination to actually pick up things and hold them...
Babies are born with the grasping reflex. From birth, your baby can grasp an object, usually your finger. You will need to put your finger against the palm of the baby’s hand to get her to grasp at it. As your baby grows, she will develop the coordination to actually pick up things and hold them.
For the first two months of life, the grasping reflex is not a voluntary action. The baby will only grasp objects that are placed on the palm of his hand. At about two months old, the baby will discover his hands. He will begin opening and closing his fist and watching his hands as they move. At this age, he may begin to grab objects, such as his clothing or a blanket. This is not a voluntary movement either. The baby will grab objects that brush his hands.
At about three months old, your baby will begin to actively try to touch and grasp objects that interest her. She isn’t able to grab them and hold them yet, but will swat at toys and other objects that are close enough to reach. Babies at this age often enjoy playing on a mat with a baby gym or a toy bar attached to the car seat. Playing the swatting game is helping to develop eye hand coordination that is necessary for picking up objects.
Somewhere around the age of four months, the baby will first learn to pick up an object. The baby may be surprised the first time he picks something up and may squeal with delight and drop the object in his surprise. Initially, the baby will grasp large objects that are easy to hold, such as a soft toy or a rattle. Between the ages of four and eight months, he will develop the ability to pick up smaller objects as his fine motor skills continue to improve.
Once the baby begins to pick up objects, she will soon be putting everything into her mouth. You will need to keep small objects out of her reach to avoid choking. A rule of thumb is anything that will fit inside a toilet paper roll is too small for the baby. Provide larger objects and toys to allow her to practice grasping objects without the fear of choking.
Around this age, babies often begin self feeding. Feeding herself is a great way for your baby to practice picking up objects. Initially, she will use her hand as a rake to pull the food close. She will then use her entire fist to pick up the food. Gradually she will move to using her fingers to grasp food and put it in her mouth.
By the age of nine months, the baby has mastered the pincher grasp. This is picking up a small object using the forefinger and the thumb. As he feeds himself, this skill will continue to improve. Once he has mastered self feeding and using the pincher grasp, he will be ready to move on to eating with utensils. This is a skill that develops between the ages of eleven and eighteen months old, depending on the baby.
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