The Development of Motor Skills in Babies

August 17th, 2009by admin


When a baby is born, he has no motor skills at all. Motor skills develop as the child ages. Motor skills are divided into two groups: gross motor skills and fine motor skills.

Gross motor skills begin to develop first. Gross motor skills involve the large muscles in the body. For example, a baby can usually control his eye movements and hold his head up by the time he’s one month old. As the baby grows and gets older, he will learn to roll over, sit alone, pull himself to a standing position, crawl, stand alone, walk, run, climb, etc. Each new ability indicates that the baby is developing gross motor skills.

Fine motor skills take longer to even begin to develop. The first indication that a child is beginning to develop fine motor skills is when he gains the ability to pick up an object using his thumb and first finger. As fine motor skills develop, the child will be able to transfer and object from one hand to the other. He will improve at manipulating small objects. Eventually he will learn to button buttons, zip zippers, thread objects onto a string, stack blocks, color, cut paper with scissors, print, write, etc. The development of fine motor skills is the development of smaller muscle groups in the body.

The time table for the development is not written in stone. Babies don’t all develop at the same rate or learn in the same order. The newborn baby begins to develop physically, of course, and to develop motor skills; but he is also developing intellectually, socially, and emotionally at the same time. Some children will rush ahead in physical development, while others might rush ahead in intellectual development.

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