To grasp means to hold. The grasp reflex is the ability of your baby to hold tightly on to objects that touch his/her palm. This is an involuntary action and the grip of your baby is relatively strong (strength of the grip is unpredictable and varies). Sometimes, this grip is so strong that if you lift your hand up, your baby can be lifted along with it too!
Immediately after birth, your baby starts holding things, but by 6-8 weeks s/he unlearns it. Once again this hand grasp reflex starts developing from the 4th month. By 6 months of age, s/he is able to transfer objects from one hand to the other, thus improving his/her grip over objects. By the 9th month, your baby will be able to hold on to the object or is able to pick up the objects with his/her thumb and index finger, in what is known as the pincer grasp.
Baby grasping is a crucial milestone and is a predictor of his/her gross and fine motor skills. This is the foundation on which your baby will learn holding a pen, writing, drawing, coloring etc.
Here is a list of activities that can help you in developing the baby’s grip reflex
These are simple but effective activities that help in stimulating your baby’s grasp reflex; once he develops this, you can stimulate his pincer grip.
Here are some pincer grasp activities for babies:
By 6-8 months of age, babies learn to pick up things and transfer toys from one hand to another, yet some babies may take 9 months to pick up toys from the floor. But, if there is further delay, you must consult your pediatrician.
Here are signs related to the baby grab reflex that you must be concerned with:
Sometimes, babies take extra time to develop pincer grasp, so you need not worry about it. Avoid comparing your baby with other babies constantly, as each baby is unique and takes her/his own time to acheive milestones.
Also read: Spatial Awareness: An Essential Life Skill
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