Baby motor skills development

Your toddler's skills are coming together to help her feel more comfortable and confident in her surroundings

All hands

As she gets better at cruising and then walking, watch your baby's hands. At first they'll be thrust out to the side for balance. But soon they'll relax, settle lower and swing with her gait. The next step is the ability to carry something around with her or drag something behind her. Finally she'll learn to transfer objects from one hand to another, reach for objects and even twist around, all while walking forwards. Being able to stoop and recover something, first with a handhold and then without, is another big developmental hurdle. The only skill that trumps it is the ability to grab something on the floor, get up with it and walk away at high speed – and that will come along soon enough!

Bright eyes

Your baby's growing visual skills will work with her increasing mobility to give her a wariness of heights. She may accidentally get herself stuck, but she won't go over an edge or try to come down from a height on purpose. She probably won't be that fond of sharp drops, either. Respect your baby's new-found hesitation – it will help keep her safe. After all, she's the naïve explorer here; you're the old hand. As she gets better at exploring, your baby will definitely try to test her new senses of depth and distance. Since you're the one with experience, it's up to you to keep her safe while she experiments.

Get a sneak peek at upcoming developmental milestones.

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