Pincer Grasp

You will notice a lot of developmental milestones in the very early phase of your little ones life. Pincer grasp is a fine motor skill that your baby develops during the first year of her life. Learn what it is and why it is important.

Last Updated: 23 October 2020

Pincer Grasp
Pincer Grasp
What is Pincer Grasp?

Pincer grasp is the ability of your child to hold an object with thumb and index finger. Accomplishing this grasp makes your child become more independent. Pincer grasp is seen in a lot of day today activities like eating, dressing and brushing teeth. Pincer grasp involves brain and muscle coordination and it is an important motor development.  

When this milestone is seen?

Although children acquire developmental milestones in their own timeline, the pincer grasp is usually seen during the 9th to 10th month of your baby’s life. If a child is unable to develop this milestone over a period of time, it is considered to be a developmental delay.

Pincer grasp development

Pincer grasp is important which allows your child to write and use a computer mouse in their later stages of life. This fine motor skill requires precise control of small muscles in the hands, strength and hand-eye coordination.

Based on the ability of your child to pick up things, pincer grasp is classified into:

Inferior or crude pincer grasp: During this initial stage of development of this reflex, your baby starts using the pads of the index finger and thumb to pick up small objects. You will notice your baby picking up finger foods and small objects. This reflex is usually seen during 7th to 8th month.

Superior or neat pincer grasp: When your baby has started using the tips of the thumb and index finger to pick up objects it is termed as neat pincer grasp. You can notice this refined grasp during 10th 12th month of your baby’s life.

Pincer Grasp activities for baby

You can promote pincer grasp development in your baby with lots of activities and toys.

·         Place finger foods like cooked carrots or pieces of banana in front of your child and watch them how they try to pick up those foods.

·         Playing with blocks

·         Making them turn the pages of the book

·         Point out pictures in books or body parts

·         Allowing them to push buttons

·         Pulling tissues out of a tissue box

·         Stacking rings

·         Using balls of varying size and texture

·         Dropping objects into a container will aid movements of the hand, wrist, and individual fingers.

·         Any toy that involves squeezing or pinching movements

·         Playing with kitchen items like spoons, cups and bowls

Make sure that they stay away from choking hazards.

Pincer Grasp activities for kids

Kids will also enjoy pincer grasp activities which will help them write and hold objects firmly.

·         Board and card games

·         Ask them to scribble on a paper

·         Play dough – hide small toys in the play dough

·         Craft activities

·         Peeling stickers

·         Search and find sensory play activities

·         Crocheting

Once your baby’s grasp becomes more precise, they start exploring more activities to determine size, hardness, texture, weight, and other properties of the objects. They will eventually love writing and coloring.

Developmental delay

Babies reach developmental milestones at their own pace. However, if your child is 8 to 12 month old and shows no interest in picking up toys and seem disinterested in activities, it may indicate a developmental coordination disorder. Some of the reasons for delay in pincer grasp are due to genetic disorders like cerebral palsy and autism. Some premature babies may take a little more time to develop motor skills.

A doctor may refer your child to an occupational therapist. They can help your child to reach this milestone.





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