Parenting Counts is a product of Talaris Institute.


Can Reach Voluntarily for Things (3-6 Months)

In their early months, infants may reach for things, but these early attempts (called pre-reaches) are generally uncoordinated swipes at objects in a baby’s visual field. By 2 months, these hit-or-miss pre-reaching attempts may even decline as infants move closer to voluntary reaching. When they are around 3 months old, most babies become more accurate in their voluntary reaching attempts. Because babies do not yet understand that some objects shouldn’t be in their mouths, adults need to keep the home environment free of potentially harmful items while still allowing their infants to explore.


Hofsten, C. von (1984). Developmental changes in the organization of prereaching movements. Developmental Psychology, 20, 378

Thelen, E., Corbetta, D., Kamm, K., Spencer, J. P., Schneider, K., & Zernicke, R. F. (1993). The transition to reaching: Mapping intention and intrinsic dynamics. Child Development, 64, 1058