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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've seen it mentioned here quite a few times that a baby should have developed the pincer grasp before starting solids? What is the reasoning behind this?

My dd is 9 months and has been eating solids (self-feeding, she will even grab the spoon from us when we try to spoonfeed) since 6.5 months, but only now has developed a pincer grasp, but she still doesn't use it all the time. Does this seriously mean that I should have not started her on solids and taken away food that she grabs from our plates herself? I get all the other guidelines for starting solids, but not this one. DD was ready to eat, and was feeding herself quite well even without a pincer grasp. I also thought finger foods were how the grasp was practiced and mastered.
 

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With all due respect to certain people here, I think the pincer grasp one is off-base. My DD can self-feed just fine and she is only just developing pincer grasp at 8 mo. But even without it, she is still adept at picking up teensy tiny pieces of carpet lint and putting them in her mouth.
I think sitting unassisted and showing interest in food are the primary indicators.
 

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I'm a big advocate for delaying solids and always put that on my list, BUT if all other signs point to being ready, I wouldn't worry. Since she self-feeds just fine then it seems to me she's ready.

-Angela
 

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I think that the reasoning has to do with fine motor skills-- if your child doesn't have adequate fine motor control to self-feed, they shouldn't be eating. If they can manage the spoon on their own, though, I don't see how it's that much of an issue.
 

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i think the point with using the pincer grasp as an example is that it is more specific (and less verbose
) than saying "has adequate fine motor skills to pick up small objects and appropriate coordination to bring the objects to the mouth." usually that coincides with the development of the pincer grasp. however, some babies are able to pick up pieces of food with a 'raking' grasp and bring food to their mouths...not a perfect pincer but with all other variables in place i think that it would satisfy the fine motor guidelines for delying solids.

good question...you made me put on my pt hat today
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by spughy
With all due respect to certain people here, I think the pincer grasp one is off-base. My DD can self-feed just fine and she is only just developing pincer grasp at 8 mo. But even without it, she is still adept at picking up teensy tiny pieces of carpet lint and putting them in her mouth.
I think sitting unassisted and showing interest in food are the primary indicators.
I agree with you Spughy. I also wonder why the lint can make it in his mouth via pincer but not the mango? One mama I know says if she wants her daughter to eat something, she just drops it on the floor.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
I agree with you Spughy. I also wonder why the lint can make it in his mouth via pincer but not the mango? One mama I know says if she wants her daughter to eat something, she just drops it on the floor.

That's easy-- mango is slippery. Lint isn't; in fact, lint all but sticks to your hands when you touch it, especially if your hands are at all damp (as the hands of babies often are).

Hm. Maybe that's why my daughter likes sand so much..
 

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You would think that - but he uses "rake grasp" with everything I put on his high chair, but "pincer grasp" with anything on the floor. It's like I'm starving the kid when people come over - so hungry, he'll eat lint, sequins, scraps of paper...as long as it's on the floor...
 

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I figure it's the same reason that DD's toys, developed specifically for babies to put them in their mouths, are not NEARLY as fun for DD to suck on as our dog's manky old tennis ball.


Anyway, back to the topic at hand - yes, food is often slippery and doesn't make it all the way to the mouth. But I figure any effort is good enough. And my DD likes to hang onto the spoon and "help" direct it into her mouth too - and that, combined with the wide open mouth and the flapping arms and "more more more" sounds, helped convince me that yes, she really was ready for food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Annika was definately ready to eat. She was always grabbing the spoon and looking for more. She doesn't just help direct the spoon, she just grabs it and licks the food off it. We have a 2 spoon system, where I trade the empty spoon for a full one.

After stressful experiences with dd1 and trying to get her to eat when she wasn't ready (pressure from public health nurse in Sweden, and that is what ALL good Swedish babies do, I didn't know better until after I stressed and finally did some research) I definately waited until dd2 was really ready for food.
 

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My dd is also just now developing a "pincer grasp", but rakes anything and everything into her fist, then to her mouth. She has been self feeding for just over two months- the first month or so not a lot made it into her mouth, but she's now quite adept and picking fistfuls of food up off the tray then squeezing the food into her mouth.

And lint, sand and any random piece of garbage blowing around the park are prime candidates for self-feeding, too


I agree with pp, "pincer grasp" is often used as handy shorthand for "able to pick up food and put in mouth". I say if all signs pointed to ready, you were right in listening to your baby's needs
 
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