Grasping is something that your baby would be doing instinctively from the time he/she is born. The first signs of this motor skill would be seen when your baby tries to grasp your fingers by curling his/her tiny fingers around them.
At around the third month, grasping as a proper skill will start to develop. It will keep on developing and around the baby’s first birthday he/she would have developed hand-eye coordination and some firmness in his/her fingers to pick up and hold things securely.
A brief timeline in relation to the action of grasping is mentioned below:
- Up to two months: During this period the instinct to grasp is a reflexive action, and it is at its strongest for the first eight weeks of your baby’s life. This reflex will have gone by the time he/she is three months old.
- Three to four months: Your baby’s hand-eye coordination is getting better with time. He/she may be able to hold things in his/her grasp for a few seconds. But otherwise, he/she will not be able to clutch and lift things at this point.
- Five to eight months: This is the time when your baby learns to pick up and pass around small and light-weight objects. He/she will also have the tendency to put things in his/her mouth. Make sure that there are no hazardous things lying around your baby. Baby-proof your house well.
- Nine to twelve months: For the first time, your baby will be able to pick up objects properly, pass them around, and even drop them easily. He/she will also develop the pincer grasp around this time, owing to which she will be able to pick up small objects using the thumb and the forefinger.
Parents can encourage the baby to learn the skill of grasping by incentivizing the act of trying and learning how to pick and lift objects. Put toys or objects that your kid fancies, at some distance from her, and then encourage him/her to pick it up.
Like all milestones, different babies would be developing this skill at a different pace. However, it would be good to talk to your doctor if you see that your baby does not seem to notice any toy in front of him/her by the time he/she is two months old or he/she does not attempt to touch or pick up anything by the time he/she is around nine months old.