Your baby’s fine motor skill development at 6 months old. Follow your baby’s milestones step-by-step.
Fine motor skill development allows babies to learn how to use the little muscles in their hands and fingers to perform subtle movements, such as reaching for, grabbing, and handling small objects.
Fine motor skill development: 6 months old
At this age:
- When holding an object, your baby can use their wrists to turn it and look at it from different angles.
Remember that not all children develop the same skills at the same speed. The material on this website is for general information purposes only. If you’re concerned about your child’s development, speak with a doctor.
- They use their hands to grab, hit, and knock over objects (e.g., they can pick up a toy, hit their spoon against the table).
- They’re slowly learning to use their thumbs to pick up objects more easily.
- They can reach for and pick up an object and bring it to their mouth.
- They explore objects with their palms or fingers (e.g., they tap their bottle or chest, touch and tug at their parents’ hair, glasses, and face).
- They’re learning to pick up an object while already holding something in their other hand.
Over the next few months, your baby will begin to do the following:
- Hold their bottle by themself.
- Try to drink from glasses or cups without lids.
- Attempt to feed themself.
- Hold an object in each hand and smack them together.
Discover how to develop your baby’s fine motor skills through books. (In French)
How can you help your baby progress?
Every child is different and develops at their own pace. That said, you can help foster your baby’s development by adopting the Comfort, Play, and Teach parenting approach, which can easily be integrated into your daily routine. The table below outlines small, age-specific actions you can take that will benefit your baby’s fine motor skill development.
During bath time, when you give your baby different toys that they can submerge in the water and put in their mouth, | |they exercise their hand-eye coordination while having fun. They also develop depth perception.
When you fill a box with household items (large enough not to be swallowed) and show your baby how to take them out of the box and then put them back in, | |they learn to grab hold of objects and move them around.
When you let your baby hold and use a utensil or a lidless cup (empty or near empty) during meals, | |they learn that they can do the same things as you. They also develop the ability to grasp and hold small objects, like a spoon.
When you hang a large ball in a mesh bag within your baby’s reach and show them how to hit it with their hands and feet (while under constant supervision), | |they learn to move objects using their hands and feet. They then begin to understand that for every action there is a reaction.
Scientific review: Sonya Côté, occupational therapist
Research and copywriting: The Naître et grandir team
Updated: September 2019
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Ferland, Francine. Le développement de l’enfant au quotidien : de 0 à 6 ans. 2nd ed., Éditions du CHU Sainte-Justine, 2018, 264 pp.
Canadian Paediatric Society. Caring for Kids. “Your child’s development: What to expect.” www.caringforkids.cps.ca
Université de Montréal. “Portail enfance et familles : Les étapes de développement de l’enfant de la naissance à l’adolescence.” www.portailenfance.ca