Once your baby masters how to clutch larger toys and objects in her palm (usually after 4 months), she'll spend the next several months using her hands regularly and gaining more dexterity in her fingers. Between 8 and 12 months, she'll develop a pincer grasp, which means she'll be able to pick up smaller objects (like pieces of food) between her thumb and forefinger. To help your baby hone her pincer, scatter some Cheerios (if she's already eating them) on her high chair tray and let her feed herself. Just be prepared for most of them to end up on the floor, since your child will also be discovering that she can throw (a skill most babies love) right around the same time.
Copyright 2009 Meredith Corporation.