Your baby’s small movements often lay the foundation for more complex and challenging ones. For example, developing motor skills usually requires babies to master one before they leap to the next. Two of these minor but significant movements are reaching and grasping (fun fact, these actions are known as prehension).
Prehension allows your baby to interact with the world around them on their terms and sets in motion the development of skills such as writing with pens, throwing and catching balls, using knives and forks, and dressing.
A couple of things have to happen before your baby truly reaches and grasps with intent and purpose. One is his visual development because you have to see something, calculate the distance, and determine the direction to move in before reaching for it. Another is moving their hands into position so they can close their fingers around an object.
Although babies are born with a palmer grasp reflex (involuntarily closing their hands when something touches their palms), accurate, voluntary reaching and grasping develop around four to five months of age.
Since reaching and grasping are critical for further motor development, it’s never too early to introduce your baby to some reaching and grasping challenges.
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