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    What is the pincer grasp?What age does the pincer grasp
    develop?Read This NextThe types of graspsPincer grasp activitiesGo to Your Baby’s Age
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Time for your baby to master yet another new feat: the pincer grasp. Here’s how to encourage this important object-grabbing skill.

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Your baby might be mastering big moves as she crawls and maybe even pulls herself up to stand, and honestly, those are the milestones that grab the most attention (and camera time).

But while what your baby is doing with her hands and fingers right now might not
be as flashy, it still deserves equal billing. So get ready to be wowed by the pincer grasp.

What is the pincer grasp?

Although it sounds like something a lobster might do with its claws, the pincer grasp simply means the ability to grab a small object with the thumb and index finger. And this growing dexterity sets the stage for all sorts of skills. 

In a few months, your little one will be using this pincer maneuver to feed herself — first without utensils, then with them. Mastering the pincer move means your soon-to-be toddler will learn to button, zip and snap her clothes. And eventually, she’ll be able to color with a crayon. Who knew two fingers could do so much!

What age does the pincer grasp
develop?

Between 9 and 12 months old, your baby will begin using the actual pincer grasp. She’ll practice using her fingers to pick up everything from Cheerios to your pet’s kibble and the dust bunnies on the floor — and, if you’re not careful, put everything she grasps in her mouth. She’ll continue to work on this skill during toddlerhood and beyond.

If you don’t catch your baby doing this pincer grasp maneuver exactly 9 or 10 months, no worries. She may be
busy perfecting other skills, like waving bye-bye or hoisting herself up on her two feet. Babies develop their own pace, and sooner or later, she’ll be finessing her pick-up skills.

As always, if you have any concerns, check in with your pediatrician for reassurance.

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The types of grasps

Long before she’s able to coordinate her thumb and index finger, your little one is setting the stage for perfecting the pincer grasp.

From 6 to 12 months, your baby’s technique for picking up smaller and smaller objects will get more
sophisticated as it goes through various types of grasping maneuvers.

    Raking grasp. Around 6 months, your baby will likely pick up a coveted Cheerio or a soft piece of avocado by raking it toward her with her hand, covering it with her palm and squeezing it into her fist. That’s known as the raking grasp.Inferior or crude pincer grasp. By the time your baby is 7 months old, her hand-eye coordination is better than it was. Not only can
    she can transfer bits of food or small toys from hand to hand, she can also pick them up using her two fingers. But instead of using the tips of her thumb and forefinger to pick up the Cheerio (as she will in a few months), she’ll grasp it using the pads on her thumb and index finger. This is known as the inferior pincer grasp (aka the crude pincer grasp). Superior pincer grasp. The name says it all — the superior pincer grasp is just a fancy name for the pincer
    grasp. This means your baby is using the tips of her thumb and index finger to pick up tiny things on her high chair tray (or the floor).

Pincer grasp activities

You’ll want to give your baby lots of opportunities to let her fingers do the exploring. Luckily, you don’t have to rush out and buy a bunch of pincer grasp toys — you already have the things she needs to practice this skill.

All you need for pincer grasp activities are
things she’ll enjoy touching, investigating and maneuvering, such as:

    Soft finger foods, like cooked pasta, peas and carrots cut into very small pieces; thin banana slices; and (of course) Cheerios or puff cereal. Scatter a few tasty morsels on her tray to tempt her to feed herself. When she’s done, offer a few more bites.

    Activity boards. These busy boxes will keep her, well, busy with lots of
    buttons to poke, switches to flip and dials to turn. Also try busy books that usually have Velcro strips she can grab with her thumb and index finger and pull up. These toys also teach the important thinking skill of cause-and-effect.

    Pull toys. Once your baby is walking well, she’ll love dragging a pull toy around the house. Until that day, try this trick to get her to use the pincer grasp: Put the pull toy’s string in front of her and see if
    she’ll pick it up with her finger and thumb. If she doesn’t, do it yourself, and see if she imitates you. (Make sure you stay close by as she continues to practice.)

    Blocks of all sizes, shapes and textures, especially a few smaller ones that your baby can pick up with her fingers. She can also pass them from hand to hand, stack them, knock them down and clap them together. 

    Balls in
    different sizes and textures — try some that are big (but lightweight) enough for her to push and others that are small and supple enough for her to squeeze. Squeezing will strengthen her hand and finger muscles.

    Nesting toys and stacking rings that feature rings, boxes or cups of graduated sizes are good for holding, mouthing and picking up as she perfects her pincer grasp. Your baby will also pick up another important lesson: how
    different-sized objects fit together.

    Kitchen gear is always a hit. Give her a plastic bowl and put a few pieces of cereal and small baby-safe crackers on a towel beside her to pick up and drop into the bowl (if she doesn’t eat them first). You might have to show your baby how, but she’ll get the hang of it soon. Of course, she’ll also get a bang out of other cookware, like (unbreakable) measuring cups or spoons, wooden spoons and plastic
    containers. Just keep a close eye on her. 

Of course, this budding curiosity, along with her newfound mobility, means you need to be extra careful about keeping dangerous objects and choking hazards — like coins, buttons or small toys — well out of reach. But this is a fun stage, so enjoy it. And know that this is one of many milestones you have to look forward to!

From the What to
Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

    What to Expect the First Year, 3rd edition, Heidi Murkoff.WhatToExpect, Baby and Toddler Milestones, 2022.WhatToExpect,
    6-Month-Old Baby, December 2022.WhatToExpect, Fine Motor Skills, January 2022.WhatToExpect, When Do Babies Start Reaching?, February 2022. WhatToExpect,
    When Do Babies Start Grabbing Toys and Other Objects?, January 2022.WhatToExpect, Baby Self-Feeding, March 2022.WhatToExpect, Why Babies Mouth Everything,
    January 2022.American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatrics in Review, Developmental Milestones: Motor Development, July 2010.KidsHealth From Nemours, The Magic of Play: How it Inspires & Aids Early Development, December 2022.American Academy of Pediatrics,
    Hand and Finger Skills, August 2009.CHOC Children’s/Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Developmental Milestones: Fine Motor Skills and Visual Motor Skills.KidsHealth From Nemours,
    Smart Toys for Every Age, June 2022.Zero to Three, Stages of Play From 6 to 12 Months: Discovering Connections, February 2015.American Academy of Pediatrics,
    Starting Solid Foods, March 2022.American Academy of Pediatrics, Toy Buying Tips for Babies & Young Children: AAP Report Explained, December 2022.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Important Milestones: Your Baby By Nine Months, July 2022.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, When, What, and How to Introduce Solid Foods, July 2022.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
    Choking Hazards, July 2022.Children’s Hospital of Richmond VCU, Fine Motor Skills: Birth to Two Years, 2022.National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine,
    Toddler Development, August 2022.

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At which age does an infant start to recognize familiar faces and objects such as his or her own hand quizlet?

Terms in this set (45) At which age does an infant start to recognize familiar faces and objects, such as his or her own hand? The child can recognize familiar objects approximately age 3 months.

At which age would the nurse expect the anterior fontanelle to fuse?

The anterior fontanelle usually closes sometime between 9 months and 18 months. The sutures and fontanelles are needed for the infant’s brain growth and development.

Which characteristic best describes the fine motor skills of an infant age 5 months?

Which characteristic best describes the fine motor skills of an infant age 5 months? At age 5 months, the infant should be able to voluntarily grasp an object.

What are the expected physical assessment findings in a 6 month old infant ATI?

Able to lift chest and head while on stomach, holding the weight on hands (often occurs by 4 months) Able to pick up a dropped object. Able to roll from back to stomach (by 7 months) Able to sit in a high chair with a straight back.
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