Finger dexterity: developing the pincer grasp

Since birth, your baby began developing and fulfilling an incredible amount of skills that allow him to interact with his surroundings. As a parent, it is amazing to see how our babies meet these challenges with eagerness and joy!

One of the great milestones that your baby will fulfill during his first year of age is the pincer grasp. This milestone is fundamental for his development and involves grabbing small objects with the index finger and thumb. Achieving this skill is not easy, it requires a lot of practice. This finger dexterity milestone will begin to develop around the eighth or ninth month of your baby’s life. At first, you’ll see him begin to use this type of grasp clumsily but little by little the movement will become more precise.

Developing the pincer grasp is a huge a breakthrough in the psychomotor abilities of your baby. From raking objects with the whole hand to being able to do it with two fingers opens your little one endless possibilities that allow him to learn, grow, become more independent and continue to explore. If it were not for the development of fine motor skills, one could not play the piano, guitar, write or type a text message. It’s amazing what our body can do and watching our babies develop these skills is wonderful!

How I can stimulate pincer grasp in my baby?

  • Let your baby self-feed on soft pieces of food such as bits of banana, steamed potato or small baby cereal puffs. This way your baby works his motor skills without the risk of taking inedible objects to his mouth. Just remember that at the time your baby eats it is crucial to supervise him to avoid any choking.
  • Let your baby make a mess, this helps stimulate the dexterity of his fingers as he will be moving his hands freely.
  • Place books for your baby in front of him. Your baby will not be able to change pages one at a time, but turning even if it is 5 pages at a time helps him develop his fine motor skills.
  • Let your little one break or poke pieces of soft paper, just be sure to supervise that he does not put the pieces in his mouth.
  • Place blocks in front of your little one and try to build a small tower with your baby.
  • Place a box with small objects and help your baby to store and remove them.

There are a lot of things you can do to develop the pincer grasp and the dexterity of fingers. Be sure to check out our activity catalog and remember that over the course of the following months you will be surprised to see your little one develop his fine motor skills.

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