What’s going on for baby?
A baby can now use many different strategies and techniques to learn about a toy or an object.
This experimentation is called ‘cause and effect testing’. They’ll repeat some actions many times over, as though they’re testing to find out if the same thing happens every time.
They’ll also be mastering their ‘pincer grasp’ — using their thumb and index finger to pick up small objects.
This skill helps with the development of many fine motor skills such as manipulating toys and objects, turning pages in books and picking up small pieces of food.
Eventually it will also contribute to them mastering tools used for drawing and writing, and for threading beads and cutting.
How can parents and whānau help?
- Let baby safely do the same thing over and over again, as they test to see whether the same action gets the same result.
- Be patient with baby when they want to repeat (and repeat) an action.
- Keep a sense of humour.
- Give baby a variety of objects to explore with their hands.
- Give baby finger foods that they can pick up and feed themself.
- Check their Well Child/Tamariki Ora book for ideas about safe finger foods for this stage.
- Decide what baby should and shouldn’t touch based on whether it’s safe or not.
- Understand that just telling baby to leave something alone is not enough to stop them. Their curiosity is too strong.
- If you don’t want baby to touch something, try distracting them with another activity or moving it out of sight.