Your baby’s fine motor skill development at 7–9 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: 7–9 months old
At this age:
- Your baby drops things accidentally and then looks for them.
- They examine objects by grasping, shaking, rolling, and hitting them.
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 can pick up, hold, and manipulate objects with each hand and knock two objects together.
- Your baby can pass medium-sized objects (e.g., wooden blocks) from one hand to the other.
- They grip objects more skillfully. For instance, they can open their hand to fit the size of the object they want to grab.
- Instead of handling objects with just their palms, they use their thumb, index, and middle fingers.
- They can pick up small objects, like shoelaces or cereal, between their thumb and index finger.
- Your baby can pull ropes and press squeeze toys.
- They stick their index finger into holes and interesting objects.
- They can eat certain foods (e.g., soft pieces of fruit) without help using their fingers.
- Your baby is learning to hold a spoon.
- They can hold their bottle on their own.
Over the next few months, your baby will begin to do the following:
Pick up small objects with their thumb and index finger and put them in containers, like bowls.
- Remove items intentionally from boxes.
- Drop objects on purpose.
- Try to clap (with or without success).
- Point to objects with their index finger.
Find out how to support your child’s fine motor skill development 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.
When you give your baby finger food at snack and meal times, | |they learn to feed themself and become more autonomous.
When you give your baby toys of different sizes and textures, | |they practise opening their hands while exploring different shapes and textures.
When you craft noise makers (e.g., by filling empty plastic containers with small objects) for your baby to grip and shake, | |they learn that they can make things happen.
When you play fingerplay games with your baby, | |they learn to control their finger movements.
When you give your baby an empty box and objects to put inside it, | |they get to practise holding and releasing objects.
When you read a story to your baby and encourage them to handle the book, | |they have fun touching and turning the pages while spending time with you.
Scientific review: Sonya Côté, occupational therapist
Research and copywriting: The Naître et grandir team
Updated: September 2019
Photo: 123rf.com/Eugene Sergeev
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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