Grasping something or object in baby is a reflex movement. Baby’s hand always placed in grasping position, but he/she has reflex to grasp everything near his/her small fingers. Of course, it is including when you put your finger in his/her palm, automatically baby will grasp it.
When baby at 2 months of age, this reflex movement will disappear and baby’s grasping hand which initially in closed position will be started to open thus his/her palm will appear. Baby will also try to take and grasp everything at his/her reach such as hair or dress. Baby will be also glad to explore that object and put it in his mouth.
At the beginning, the taking process and grasping object doesn’t run well. First, grasping usually is shivering and object he/she grasped would generally detach/fall, but it will be handled well along with his/her motor skill development.
Grasping process or grasping object can be occurred in gradual. As parents you are probably rigorous in observing the grasping stage of your baby, check these out:
- 0-12 weeks. Baby is born with grasping reflex. At this stage, just touch his/her palm and she will grasp your finger by her small fingers. This movement is based on baby’s instinct and lasting during first eight weeks. Also, at this stage baby will be able to open her palm and start trying to take/hold soft object such as doll.
- 3 months. At this stage baby has not been able to take/hold/grasp, but his/her hands and eyes coordination has been well developed, thus baby is frequently willing to try taking anything at her vision reach.
- 4-8 months. At 4 months of age, baby has been able to take and grasp big object such as block. But she has not been able yet to take small object such as button.
- 9-12 months. At this stage, your baby has been able to take and grasp objects. Preference to use left or right hands has developed. Dominant hand will grow stronger, but to ensure whether she is left- or right handed, we still should wait until she is at the age of 2-3 years old. Taking and grasping small objects ability is also developing, thus she has been able to take button using thumb and index finger. Since it has been coordinated well, then baby has been able to use spoon for eating.
Grasping Stimulation for baby
Kid’s growth and development will be optimum when parents provide appropriate stimulation, including stimulation for training her motor such as grasping object. The stimulation should be done by parents effectively by looking at her eyes meanwhile inviting her to talk as teaching them to grasp object. How to do those tasks? Check these followings:
- Put toys or bright colored object out of her reach and stimulate her to take it. Definitely, you shouldn’t put it too far from baby’s reach.
- At 3 months of age, do floor gym. Lay him/her down on mattress and “tease” him/her with interesting toys above her.
- Select reachable and graspable objects. For example, soft block, circle made from plastic and others.
- When her ability had been growing well, stimulate her to take finger food such as peanut or carrot. But watch her so that she does not enter that food except to her mouth.
Ability to take, hold and grasp object is the foundation for various activities which will be mastered later by your child.
When baby has not been able yet to grasp, what should I do?
Don’t too worry when your baby has not been able to grasp well yet. Following are suggestions for you:
- Object shape and size alternatives. Perhaps the object is too big to grasp by baby’s hands or maybe too heavy. Give lighter and appropriate sized object for her hands.
- Don’t always make her depend on you. Don’t give a help immediately when baby faced difficulty. Provide her opportunity to try again. When she had difficulty taking an object, don’t bring the object immediately and put that object on her grasp. Instead, just putting that object nearer from her reach and let her tries again.