Baby Grasping and Grabbing
The first time your baby is grasping your thumb you will feel the most remarkable feeling. The baby will be just as excited as you are, as it is equally surprised that it can grasp and grab things.
The baby monitor is the ears of the parents, and nowadays even the eyes. Designed as a little one-way walkie-talkie, with or without built-in camera, the parents can listen to every sound during the first times when your baby is grasping things, it is overwhelmed by the fact that it can hold on to something. Only latter come the recognition of what it actually is holding on to. The curiosity lasts though.
When a baby is born it has a natural and almost built-in gripping ability. If you touch the baby’s hand with one finger, the baby will hold your finger and it is quite a strong grip. The baby can with the entire hand maintain that hard grasp for only a short while though, as it not yet has enough energy or control of its muscles
This means that the baby’s grasping is an automatic reflex in the beginning. A newborn baby hands will mostly be closed the first time, and then open up.
At the age of 3 months the baby can grasp things but not with a greater force; it is still mostly a reflex.
When a child is 4 months, it begins to pick up larger items such as toy cars. The baby’s grasping is more determined, but still not entirely fool proof. Do not give the baby things to hold on to, as the grip might easily falter.
Between 9 and 12 months of age, the baby can easily grab things it sees and considers interesting. It mainly uses the so-called tweezers-method: the baby can grab little things between her/his thumb and index finger. At this stage, the baby also puts everything in her/his mouth. So while the grasping is developing, you need to make sure that the things lying around are not small; as the baby otherwise might swallow them and suffocate. An advantage of the baby’s grasping process it that you can start and try to have the baby use its own cutlery (specially made for children of course, so that there are no sharp edges on them).
It takes a while for a baby to fully understand and learn how to pick up things and keep it with their little hands. At the age of 1, they are usually well developed and have the muscle control to lift up everything.