Infant Motor Skills Development – The First Year

By FredrickHobbs

The ultimate goal of a parent is to teach their children to be independent and this training begins the moment you bring home your new baby. As the baby starts to become alert and active in the new surroundings they learn to be independent. A newborn starts developing their fine motor skills the moment they are born with squeezing their fist and facial movements. They are also working on their gross motor skills as they stretch and flex their arms and legs, and breath those deep breaths that fill their lungs with necessary oxygen they will now need to survive.

The first year of life a baby’s development is usually still measured in trimesters or 3 month intervals. There are two main skills your baby will learn to master and they are referred to as gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills will enable a child to sit up, walk and throw a ball. Fine motor skills enable us to hold a pencil, use scissors and play finger games.

Infant muscle development begins with the baby trying to lift its head. You will find the first major development will be the baby holding up the head as the neck muscles strengthen. From there it is onto being able to roll over and sit up without help. As your baby develops each of these skills you will notice the need for more challenges as their confidence builds.

Every baby develops at their own pace so do not be alarmed if your new baby is not developing at the same rate as another. It is important that you provide age appropriate toys for baby no matter what the learning stage is. Age appropriate toys provide important new learning strategies and reinforcement of ones that are already mastered.

Although eye-hand coordination is different than fine or gross motor skills they will be developing at the same time. This particular skill will allow the baby to pick up small objects and feed itself.

Toy manufactures have developed toys especially for helping infants and toddlers develop all the necessary skills they need. These educational toys are designed to stimulate interest and teach your baby at different stages of learning abilities. These type of toys are good for teaching boys and girls both, usually color and pattern preference will separate the girl toys from the boy toys.

During the first year of life you will want to make sure there are absolutely no small parts on any of your child’s toys. There is a large variety of toys for this age group and some of the easier to find ones that will also grow with your baby are:

1. Large puzzles that have a few pieces that are sized for small hands with child friendly pictures.

2. Large Lego Duplo Blocks: These types of blocks are large and the child needs to put a peg into a hole helping with more than one skill at a time.

3. Large Plastic building blocks: These blocks allow babies to stack and build things that require balancing skills and eye/hand coordination skills along with fine motor skills.

4. Different types of peg and hole toys: Similar to puzzles these are made of plastic and have pegs to match holes in different colors or shapes.

5. Plastic stacking toys: These toys are designed to stack on a center peg and each ring is a different size and color that will stack onto each other.

Belinda Nelson is a free lance copywriter who enjoys writing on a variety of subjects. Each article is carefully researched and put together for the benefit of the reader. You are invited to find out more and leave your own comment about her findings on the subject of educational toys for children [] by visiting: []