How Baby's Hand Skills Develop

What's to Come, Improving Skills

What to expect in the months to come...

By 5 Months

  • Shake a rattle
  • Flip pages of a book

By 10 Months

  • Hold a sippy cup
  • Clap hands

By 12 Months

  • Roll a ball
  • Point
  • Wave bye-bye

By 14 Months

  • Stack two blocks
  • Hold a spoon and use it to feed herself

By 18 Months

  • Turn knobs
  • Build towers of up to four blocks

4 Ways to Improve Skills

  1. Provide baby with interesting and safe toys to touch, shake, and bang together. Place these toys just out of her grasp and encourage her to reach for them.
  2. While baby will enjoy discovering new objects in varying shapes and textures, she will also love brushing her fingers over your face as you make different expressions.
  3. Read books to your baby every day. Even though she cannot yet understand the words, she will enjoy using her hands to turn the pages for you.
  4. By 8 months, let baby try to feed herself. It will be a messy task, but it's one way she will eventually master the pincer grasp and getting things to her mouth. And in this case, there is an instant reward!

Originally published in American Baby magazine, February 2005.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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