During the development of your child, you might be wondering when do babies reach for objects. It is important to note that your child goes through several developmental phases as he/she grows up.

As a newborn, your child kept his/her fingers curled into miniature fists. In no time, your child realizes that he/she has hands and arms that are good at grabbing things. Once your baby wants something, he/she will learn to reach for it. Your heart will surely melt when your child reaches for you from his/her crib.

When to expect – when do babies reach for objects

If you are wondering when do babies reach for objects, there are slight differences for each child. Your baby should be reaching for familiar objects by 5 months old, although some might start reaching for toys, mama or papa by 3 months.

How to help your baby

Newborns do not know much about their bodies or the world around them. As your child starts to spend more time being awake and alert, you can count on his/her rapidly developing senses to discover new possibilities.

Just before your baby starts to reach for objects, he/she will experience two big discoveries – there is a world of toys, objects, people and interesting things outside the crib and playmat and his/her arms and legs can help reach those objects.

You can help your baby discover how to reach for and get other objects. One way on how to help baby reach for toys is to simply place toys within easy reach on his/her playmat or in the crib. You can also hold toys within close range so your baby can see and reach for it and always praise when he/she tries. Although your baby does not have the eye-hand coordination skill to successfully get objects he/she reaches for, the interactive play is a great benefit.

Remember that each child is unique and develops at a different rate. If your baby is not reaching for toys or objects after reaching 5 months old, it is not necessarily a cause for concern. Your child might be naturally hesitant to reach for new things or he/she has not been presented with something that attracted his/her interest enough to grab for it. Take note that playtime with a lot of objects is the ideal way to support the growing spatial awareness and motor skills of your child.

What comes next?

Now that you have an idea of when do babies reach for objects, you might ponder on what is the next step.

Once your child masters grasping, throwing is not far behind since many babies enjoy hurling their toys. By the time your baby is a year old, he/she will enjoy playing ball, banging objects together and stacking towers.

When your child is 18 months old, the artistic or creative side emerges and your child will be fascinated with crayons and how to use them to write and draw. At 3 years old, your child is coordinated enough to try jotting down letters and maybe his/her name.

What is your role?

You can kindle the grasping reflex of your child but placing a toy or colorful object slightly out of reach and encourage him/her to hold it. Provide a variety of objects that are easy to hold such as plastic rings, soft blocks, and board books.

Once your baby is practicing his/her pincer grasp, try to encourage to pick up soft finger foods such as cooked carrots and peas.

When to worry

Since you now know when do babies reach for objects, it can be worrisome if your baby is not showing signs of this developmental milestone. If your baby does not seem to show interest in a toy or object you placed in front by 2-3 months old, cannot hold an object at 3 months old or does not try to touch or pick up an object by 3-4 months old, it is best to consult a doctor. Take note that premature babies might reach this milestone later than their peers.

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