Why a Pincer Grip Is Important For A Baby’s Development
A baby needs to develop the ability to hold its head up high when it learns how to walk. If the baby cannot do so, then the infant will not learn how to move forward with confidence or strength.
Therefore, it is essential that the newborn be able to use both hands at once while holding its head up high and using one hand for balance.
The first thing that is needed for the newborn to do is to have strong muscles. These muscles must be developed before the baby can begin learning how to crawl and walk.
Strong muscles are necessary for the newborn to control its body weight while walking. The second thing that is needed for the newborn to do is to have good coordination between all of these muscle groups, which means that they must be coordinated correctly.
When a newborn is born, it does not yet have enough coordination to perform many tasks. Therefore, it takes time for the newborn to acquire these skills.
However, if the newborn is allowed to practice them regularly, then eventually the newborn will become proficient in performing most of these activities. When this happens, the baby will be ready for some of life’s other basic tasks such as eating and drinking from a bottle and even crawling around on its own!
Pincer Grasp Exercises
Before the newborn is ready to begin performing the pincer grasp exercises, it must first be able to perform some other tasks. For example, a newborn must first be able to hold its head up high while sitting up on its own before it can hold anything between its hands.
The newborn must also be able to pay attention to an object that is being moved from one hand to another without dropping it.
The best way for the parent to practice these tasks with their newborn is during the bath time. This is the only time when both of the hands of the parent are free and they can pay full attention to their baby during this time.
The parent can fill a bowl with warm water and place it on a counter within the reach of their baby’s hands. Then, they can place small toys, such as blocks or plastic keys, inside of the bowl.
The newborn will instinctively try to grab the toys with its hands and play with them. The parent must try their best not to interfere with what the baby is trying to do.
This way, the baby will gain confidence in what it is doing and achieve a sense of accomplishment when it successfully picks up a toy. Eventually, the baby will learn how to coordinate its two hands in order to pick up a toy and bring it close enough to use its mouth on it.
Eventually, the baby will be able to perform the pincer grasp. The parent can put a small piece of soft food on their finger and allow the baby to try to take it off of their finger using its mouth.
When this task becomes easy, the parent can move on to putting small pieces of hard food on their fingers.
When the baby begins to experiment with different textures and tastes, this is a good sign that they are ready for solid foods. Most babies can master this skill on their own within a few weeks.
Other activities that promote development of the pincer grasp are fun and games! When the baby begins to get bored, it is a good idea for the parent to begin playing with them in some way.
For example, when the baby is laying on a blanket on the floor, the parent can take a washcloth and wave it in front of the baby to grab its attention. The parent can also wave small objects, such as a small rattle or a small ring, in front of the baby’s face to see if they try to reach out for the object. When the baby grabs hold of the object, the parent can give them a cheerful comment and clap their hands together to let them know that they did a good job.
When the baby begins to grab at objects that are outside of their reach, it is time to begin teaching them how to crawl!
Sources & references used in this article:
A study on the development of some motor phenomena in infancy by BCL Touwen – Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 1971 – Wiley Online Library
Why Don’t Children Sit Still?: A Parent’s Guide to Healthy Movement and Play in Child Development by E Dort – 2018 – books.google.com
Baby swimming by G Rapley, T Murkett – 2010 – The Experiment
What’s going on in there by G Butterworth, F Franco – … development …, 1993 – Cambridge University Press …
Dandy Hands by L Ahrendt – 2002 – books.google.com
Parallel and divergent patterns in blind and sighted infants by L Eliot – How the brain and mind develop in the first five years of …, 1999 – researchgate.net
What is special about pointing in babies by WDP Begin – craft.nationaldb.org
Global developmental delay in a 10-month-old infant boy by S Fraiberg – The Psychoanalytic study of the child, 1968 – Taylor & Francis