Baby,  Fine Motor,  Fine Motor,  Learning,  Learning,  Skills

Fine Motor Skills Checklist for Babies 0-12 Months

Do you ever find yourself asking what fine motor skills should my 3 month old be able to do? Or, what fine motor skills should I be working on with my 9 month old? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

Babies develop at a rapid pace during their first year of life. During this time, babies are practicing a wide variety of fine motor skills.

Fine motor skills involve using the small muscles of the hands and fingers. They allow us to produce movement, coordination every time we use our hands to grasp and manipulate objects.

Use the checklist below as a guideline for typical development of motor skills to work on with your baby. Encourage your baby to practice each skill with activities, play, and words of praise.

Remember, all babies learn at different rates and not every baby will learn the same skills at the same time. Always talk to your doctor if you have concerns about your baby’s development.

Related Post: 7 Simple Tips to Teach Your Baby a New Motor Skill

Do you ever wonder what fine motor skills your baby should be able to do? Use this checklist and free printable as a guideline to track your baby's development!

Fine Motor Skills 0-3 Months

  • Watch hands move
  • Hold a small toy for a few moments
  • Bring hands to mouth
  • Start tracking voices/sounds with eyes (close to face)

How to Practice These Skills

During the first few months of life it is best to let your baby explore their new world. Provide them with plenty of time on their tummies or backs and watch as they discover their fingers, toes, and mouth.

Fine Motor Skills 3-6 Months

  • Reach for toys or people with both arms
  • Flail arms/legs
  • Grab objects with whole hand
  • Attempt to pass objects from one hand to the other

How to Practice These Skills

As your baby continues to develop skills, give them opportunities to practice.

For example, place easy-to-grab, favorable toys around your baby and watch them play, grasp, and reach. Feel free to hand your child toys and help them hold onto it. Then, watch as they play or attempt to maneuver the toy with their own hands.

Fine Motor Skills 6-9 Months

  • Pick up toys/food and put in mouth
  • Pass objects from one hand to the other
  • Hold objects for long periods of time
  • Use a raking grasp to move objects
  • Points/pokes with index finger
  • Plays with hands

How to Practice These Skills

Continue to assist your baby master his fine motor skills. In addition, provide opportunities for repetition once your baby shows a desire or interest in a skill.

For example, if you see your baby pointing at objects, take them for a walk around your house pointing and naming objects.

Fine Motor Skills 9-12 Months

How to Practice These Skills

As your child approaches his or her first birthday, you will see new skills emerging more rapidly than the first few months of his or her life. During this time, modeling desired skills will be essential to success.

For example, have mealtimes as a family. Model how to pick up food with fingers or with a spoon/fork. Encourage your baby to do the same and cheer/clap for them after each attempt.

Another great time to model skills is to wave hello and goodbye throughout the day, to stuffed toys, or to characters on a television show.

Show your baby how to turn pages of a book, starting with thick, board book pages, moving to thinner and smaller pages as they master the skill.

Related Post: 5 Easy Ways to Practice Pincer Grasp for Babies

Related Post: 7 Easy Tips to Teach Your Baby to Hold Her Own Bottle

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Use this checklist to keep track of your baby’s development and to have fun while doing so! Comment below!

Fine Motor Skills Checklist for Babies 0-12 Months FREE PRINTABLE


Do you ever wonder what fine motor skills your baby should be able to do? Use this checklist and free printable as a guideline to track your baby's development!

Hillary is an elementary school teacher who loves teaching all littles, not just her own. She's enjoying life as a mom to her little girl and adjusting to be a working mother. When she's not teaching, she loves to travel near and far, drink wine, and watch reality tv!

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