Of late do you notice some new development milestones in your little one? Does your baby try to grasp things and hold on to them?
As a new mom, it is overwhelming to see your baby cross new milestones of growth and development! Have you heard of the pincer grasp? Your baby may be opening his fists and grasping his toys better or even picking his first bite. Are you excited already about one of your baby’s first signs of independence? Read on to know more!
What Is The Meaning Of A Pincer Grasp?
A pincer grasp (1) is a kind of finger hold that your baby will start developing between the age of nine and twelve months. In the pincer grasp, your baby will use the pointer finger and the thumb to squeeze together an object before grasping and picking it up.
Reaching The Pincer Grasp Age:
Your baby already has grasping reflexes from the time of birth. Your baby will react to any sudden or loud noise by grasping his fists. These are the first grasping reflexes of your baby.
Grasping an object with the entire fist will make it difficult for your baby to pick up an object. By the ninth or tenth month, your baby will start understanding how to pick up a thing. He will start bringing his index finger and thumb together in an effort to form a strong grip.
[ Read: Physical Development In Early Childhood ]
When Will My Baby Use The Pincer Grasp?
By the time your baby reaches the sixth or seventh month, he will show a noticeable interest in trying to reach out and grasp. At this age, your baby will start getting ready to practice the pincer grasp. He may use the tips of his fingers to try and hold an object. By the time your baby reaches the ninth or tenth month, he may be able to pick up small objects by holding them between his index finger and thumb. By the time your baby turns one, he will start enjoying and practicing a lot of pincer grasping.
What Will My Baby Do While Using The Pincer Grasp?
The first thing your baby will do when he starts mastering the act of pincer grasp is put everything in his mouth! If you think it is difficult to keep things out of your baby’s reach so that he does not put it in his mouth, you will now be facing a Herculean task.
Once your baby starts using the pincer grasp, he will also be in a position to feed himself better. Now your baby will be able to hold a small cereal and place it in his mouth. You can give your baby healthy finger foods like carrots and cereals, now that he can grasp solids food and eat them.
[ Read: Help Baby Learn To Roll Over ]
How Can I Encourage My Baby To Master The Pincer Grip?
As with any other developmental milestone, it is important to remember that all babies grow and develop at their individual pace. While most babies will start developing the pincer grasp near nine months of age, some babies may also reach the milestone after their first birthday. There is no need to worry if your baby is reaching other milestones, at a comfortable pace.
Here are a few activities that can encourage your baby to use the pincer grip:
- Encourage your baby to look at objects in a book and point at them.
- You can also let your baby play with soft dough and make holes in them with his fingers.
- Get toys that your baby can squeeze, push or pull apart. It will encourage your baby to try and hold objects using a fine grip. It will also strengthen the tiny muscles in your baby’s hand.
- You can also give your baby a big non-toxic crayon and encourage him to scribble.
As your baby starts trying out the pincer grasp, it means he is ready for some more exploration. He will now want to hold and check out objects. It will aid your baby’s learning process. It is also the time when your baby will start feeling more independent, especially if you allow him to eat on his own.
If you have a baby at home, tell us when did he start trying the pincer grasp? Did you use any particular activity to encourage your baby grasp better? What were the special precautions or steps you took to ensure your baby had enough chances to practice the same? Share your experiences in the comments section below to help other moms.
[ Read: Baby Milestones Chart ]
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