Infant Milestones

Click here to add a short description.

LEARN MORE

Fine Motor

“Fine motor” refers to the movements we make with the small muscles of the hands. Children start to use their hands right at birth to explore their own bodies and the world around them. Their fine motor skills develop as their whole body starts to move and become more stable. They also learn to do more things with their hands as their cognitive and social/emotional skills improve.

Below are some of the typical developmental milestones for fine motor skills. After each age group, you can find some “red flags” that might indicate a problem.


Between the ages of 0-4 months, your baby will:

  • Turn her head toward sounds and voices
  • Stare at bright objects and follow them with his eyes
  • Move her arms together and apart
  • Bring his hands to his mouth, and possibly suck on his own hands or fingers
  • By 4 months, lift his head and shoulders off the floor when laying on his tummy

Between the ages of 4-8 months, your baby will:

  • Grab onto objects within her reach
  • Roll over to explore and get to objects
  • Prop himself up on his arms when laying on his tummy
  • Sit independently for brief periods
  • Pass objects from one hand to the other hand

Red Flags for Fine Motor Development (0-8 months)

If you notice some of the following things about your baby by the time she is 6-8 months old, you may want to talk to your doctor, or to another health professional such as an Infant Development Consultant, occupational therapist or a physiotherapist.

  • She still keeps one or both hands clenched in a fist
  • His arms seem very stiff
  • She is not able to prop herself up when laying on his tummy
  • She is not able to pick up objects within her reach
  • He is not able to sit by himself for short periods
  • He is not able to roll over to get objects

Between the ages of 8-12 months, your baby will:

  • Reach, grab, and put objects in her mouth
  • Pinch small objects (e.g. cheerios) with thumb and pointer finger
  • Move objects from one hand to the other
  • Drop and pick up toys
  • Bang two objects together
  • Let go of objects on purpose
  • Put things into containers (with large openings) and take them out again
  • Bite and chew toys
  • Hold a spoon (but not yet feed herself)
  • Hold his own bottle
  • Hold out an arm or leg to help with dressing
  • Wave hello or goodbye

Red Flags for Fine Motor Development (12 months)

If you notice some of the following things about your child by the time he is 12 months old, you may want to talk to your doctor, or to another health professional such as an Infant Development Consultant occupational therapist or a physiotherapist.

  • He is not able to grasp toys and let them go again
  • She does not bring toys to her mouth or bang them together
  • He is not able to bring his hands together at the middle of his body (e.g. clapping)
  • She is not able to feed herself finger foods, using her thumb and pointer finger to pick up food
  • His movements seem shaky or stiff
  • He is not able to move around on the floor to get the toys he wants
  • She is not able to put objects into a large container
  • His hands are kept in a fisted position
  • She is not able to hold her bottle by herself
If you have concerns about your child, please feel free to contact us to speak to a professional. You can also make a referral to our program at anytime.
0