Grasping is a reflex action in newborns. The newborns wrap their tiny fingers around anything that comes in or put in their hands. By the time, they are two months old, this reflex action begins to disappear and that baby's fists, which used to be always clenched up together, start opening up. The baby may also try to clutch and grab things that are within his/her immediate reach, such as his/her mom's clothing or hair. He/she may also try to explore these things and try to put them in the mouth, after grabbing them. This is the time, when small things such as buttons, bright colored pills and coins should be kept out of their reach, otherwise they may try to pick it up and swallow them. Learn more about grasping the grabbing in infant, in the following lines.
Grasping In Newborns & Babies
Right after your child is born, up to a period of two months, he/she
would start to grab things. The baby would drop the things within a few
seconds after holding them, because the grasping skills are not refined
at this stage. When you touch your child's palm gently, he/she will curl
his/her tiny finger around yours. These movements are inherent in the
newborn and would continue to be involuntary for the first eight weeks
post birth. Your baby would clench in his/her fist during this stage.
He/she would also begin to open and close his/her fist at this time. The
infant would even try to grab soft objects such as stuffed animal.
By the time, your baby is three months old; he/she would develop the
skill of hand-eye coordination. After noticing things your baby would
like to hold, he/she would attempt to grasp them. During this stage, lay
your child on a soft mat. Let him/her swipe at attractive things hanging
above him/her. As the child grows one month older, he/she would try to
pick up larger objects such as plastic blocks, although he/she would be
unable to hold a tight grip. This is because the finger dexterity is
still not developed in the baby. When the infant is five to six months
old, he/she will close their fingers and grasp an object placed in
his/her hand. Even if something strokes your baby's palm, he/she would
immediately close his/her fingers in order to grasp, which is called the
palmar grasp. This grip can be strong at times. The baby may also
release their grip suddenly. Just touch your kid's palm - he/she will
curl his/her fingers around yours.
Pincer grasp is a developmental milestone for the infants. When your
little one is nine months old, he/she would learn the pincer grasp or
the ability to pick up very small objects, between the index finger and
the thumb. In fact, it is the foundation of the activities such as
coloring and eating. The best way to inculcate pincer grasp in your
child is to give him/her soft, lightweight objects with different and
interesting textures. Make sure that the things you give your toddler,
in order to explore them, are not hazardous.