Did you know that babies develop from the torso outward? That means they learn how to move their arms and legs before their hands and fingers.
So if you see your baby reaching, grabbing or pinching at things, this is good news! That means they are developing fine motor skills -- and one step closer to eating solid foods.
You can help your baby develop fine motor skills by watching out for and encouraging these signs:
Reaching: When your baby sees something he wants, he may reach for it. His eyes can focus on what he wants, but it takes a lot of control for his arms and hands to actually get it. Cheer your baby on!
Holding: When your baby grabs what he’s reaching for, he’ll likely drop it the first few (or twenty) times, but you can help your baby keep trying by placing things in his hand that he can practice holding on to.
Noticing Textures: As your baby gets better at holding objects, he will use his fingers to feel it, noticing any bumps, rough spots, smoothness, or other textures. Toys or blankets with textures will help encourage baby's curiosity about the things around him.
Hand-Eye Coordination: Why do babies put everything in their mouth? (Including that dirty piece of dog food from the floor?) They are practicing eye-hand coordination, using their eyes to focus, little finger muscles to grasp and arms to move things to their mouths. This skill will be helpful when they try to feed themselves.
Once your baby can sit up unassisted, Cheerios or any toasted O or puffs for babies are perfect for baby to practice all of these fine motor skill builders. All you have to do is put a handful on the highchair tray and let baby have at it! Watch baby reach, hold, explore textures and practice putting them in his mouth.
Do you give your baby Cheerios to practice fine motor skills?
Image via abbybatchelder/Flickr