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An underrated milestone: hand-to-hand transfer

Some major gross motor development might be happening around 20 weeks, like confidently rolling from belly to back and back to belly, and sitting up. These exciting milestones are probably overshadowing a particularly underrated skill - transferring an object from one hand to another.

It’s around the 5-month mark that your baby is discovering that his hands are useful, that he can control them, and that they can be used to do what he wants. Passing a toy from one hand to the other is a skill your baby has been working on for a couple of months since it requires coordination across the centre of your baby’s body and crossing the midline (bringing his hands to his mouth was just the start).

Crossing the body’s midline is the ability to reach across the middle of the body with the arms and legs. This allows children to cross over their body to perform a task on the opposite side of their body and is their first step in getting dressed on their own, eating with utensils, and holding crayons.

The interlocking discs is a traditional Montessori material designed for transferring from one hand to the next. The angle encourages wrist motion which adds an extra challenge. Letting your baby enjoy the discs as a teether will encourage them to bring an object to the centre of their body and transfer it to their other hand.

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