So much happens in baby’s first year—they transition from "helpless" to "on-the-move" in what feels like seconds. In just their first few months, your little one will begin to lift her head, to laugh, and to grasp at things. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), babies learn to grasp rattles at around four months.
"These abilities progress from reflexive grasping to voluntary grasp and release. Babies should be given opportunities to play with toys and food to advance their fine motor skills," says the AAP. Let this list give you a head start on toys that baby will love to grasp!
Balls & Rattles: Grasp, Shake, & Roll
Balls are bouncy fun and can also be great tools for grasping babies. “Ball play helps children develop grasping skills, eye-hand coordination, tracking, finger muscles, and the ability to move objects from one hand to another,” says Francis Wardle, Ph.D., for Scholastic’s Early Childhood Today.
Sensory Toys: Grasp Now, Play Even More Later
Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes: This product is a Baby Einstein all-time best seller, and it was also named to Care.com’s “29 Best Toys for Babies Under 1”. Its large, easy-to-press button lets baby toggle through seven high-quality classical melodies. And—as the name suggests—a sturdy handle makes it easy for baby to tote this toy around for music and fun on the go. It also grows with baby, playing music and bringing fun well after the grasping stage.
"I bought this for my son when he was 1. He loved it then, and now, at almost 4 years old, he has come across it and again loves it. He knows the order of the songs and goes through to repeat his favorites." — Mom and Take Along Tunes Owner
Baby Einstein Octoplush: This soft plush pal is a great toy for grasping. By squeezing each patterned leg, baby will hear the corresponding color in English, Spanish or French. Even young babies can interact with the Octoplush by touching and grasping to feel the various textures, and by squeezing to play classical melodies. This little guy also has volume control, so moms and dads can decide how loud is loud enough. It's a great toy for toddlers, too, as they continue to explore music, sound, and touch.