The Power of Parenting

Thursday, 03 December 2020

Fine Motor Development: Your Baby at Four Months

Fine Motor Development means mastering precise and accurate small muscle movements of the fingers and hands in order to reach, grasp and manipulate small objects.

Typical Skills
  • Relaxes with hands mostly open, not in fists as before
  • Reaches for objects when supported in sitting position, and then brings them to mouth
  • Uses mitten grasp, i.e., fingers close on open palm with thumb sticking out
  • Glances from one object to another and looks at toys placed nearby
  • Tries to swipe at objects, but still inaccurate; may look from object to hand, and back to object; often misses, but can grab it sometimes
Emerging Skills
  • Claps hands
  • Can bring hands together though hands may meet below, beyond or in front of object
  • Waves a rattle placed in his hand

If you do this:


  • Let your baby play with your fingers while breast- or bottle-feeding
  • Show your baby one toy at a time
  • Enjoy the intimacy of touch at such times
  • Be able to focus and explore without feeling rushed
If you do this:


  • Hold toys out for your baby to grab
  • Sit on the floor with your baby on his back, between your legs; as you sing, gently pull your baby up to a sitting position
  • Practice the skill of looking, reaching and touching many times
  • Strengthen his arm, back and abdominal muscles in this face-to-face game
If you do this:


  • Label each toy your baby holds and plays with
  • Praise your baby’s successes with descriptive phrases, for example, “Great reaching”
  • Learn the names for objects over time
  • Begin to learn what she is good at