Around the third month of life , the baby shows a growing interest in everything around him, a new world for him. But he not only begins to discover spaces, toys, different situations, but he also begins to discover some parts of his body. Around three months, the baby discovers his own hands that will become his first toy.
This is a big step in self-awareness. The key to this advance is that the baby is able to perceive the smallest details quite well, and can focus at almost any distance , which makes it easier for him to focus on his hands, so close to his eyes.
It is also now when the baby has much more control over their own movements , especially those of the head, but also of the arms, although there is still a long way to go before they fully control their little hands and make coordinated movements.
What you can do is open and close them and the improvement of hand-eye coordination begins . You will learn the position of the arms in front of the body with the hands interlaced. Some babies will learn to move their hand to their mouth to suck on a finger or fist. Later you will discover its usefulness in manipulating your environment.
All these advances in the baby’s development mean that he can spend long periods of time moving and observing his hands in detail, that he begins to suck on them, shake them when he sees something he likes, and can separate and join them.
How to stimulate baby’s hands
We are facing the baby’s first toy , which is also free and gives a lot of play, worth the redundancy. Now we are going to show him that they are his little hands, we are going to move them in front of them, we will caress them by opening and closing our fist, we will count the little fingers…
At first he will wrap around objects by cupping his entire hand, but by the sixth or seventh month he will be able to grasp objects, transfer them from one hand to another and also pick up small objects, even as small as a button.
But how can we stimulate them in this wonderful discovery of their own hands:
- Textured books and toys: there are books, blankets to play on the floor or stuffed animals with different textures (some include labels -make sure they are well cooked-), ideal for this stage of discovery.
- Gym with mobiles : the gym or activity arch that is placed on the floor or included in the hammocks helps the baby to exercise the grasping distance of objects.
- Simple sleight of hand games – patting hands, high fives or playing simple games like ‘the five little wolves’ or ‘this little finger bought a little egg’ will delight them.
- Massage your baby’s hands : Gentle touch and stroking in the form of a massage will help stimulate your baby’s hands.
- Sing songs with hand movements : it’s time to review the repertoire of children’s songs accompanied by hand choreography such as ‘I take out a little hand, I make it dance, I close it, I open it and I put it back’ or ‘My hands, my hands I move them’.
- Make him imitate you : the baby will start to imitate your gestures, so the best mirror you can give him is yourself. When you talk to him, gesture with your hands, put your hands to your head, etc. and your baby will quickly learn to copy your movements.