Does your 2-month-old baby spend a lot of time playing with his hands, staring at them, holding one with another, or touching his fingers, as if he is giving a close inspection of their little hands? If this is the case, congratulations! He has reached another milestone which implies not only physical development but also the beginning of self-identity.
Examining their own hands – Developmental milestone of your 2-month-old babies, implying they have discovered their hands
Development of hand and arm skills are significant milestones of 2-month-old babies. It was mentioned in the popular Dr Sears The Baby Book that babies playing with their hands is the most remarkable developmental milestone at this stage.
Our little explorers use one hand to explore the other. Sometimes they clench their fists, and sometimes they only close one or two fingers. Of course, it is also common for babies to suck on their mysterious hands. Babies at this stage can see their hands and will soon stare at them. They will realize that their own hands are the most familiar and convenient “toys" they have.
Discovering their hands – the first step of self-cognition and the beginning of self-identity
Self-cognition, to put it simply, means babies being well aware of their existence as a person with hands, eyes, and smiling face, etc. They then need to differentiate themselves from others. Babies with self-cognition usually have a greater sense of self-satisfaction.
The psychological concept of self-identity was proposed by the famous American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst, Erik Erikson. Babies’ self-cognition and self-identity are inter-connected. While self-cognition helps babies understand themselves more, self-identity makes them more confident, smoothing their way through social group life and role changing in the future.
Babies’ cognition of their bodies is a form of self-cognition. A 2-month-old baby discovering his own hands is the initial move of self-cognition, and it also fosters his self-identity.
How to make use of babies’ interest in playing with their hands to cultivate their self-identity
For babies at this stage, exercises that can attract them to pay more attention to their hands are the best ways to cultivating their self-identity.
1. Red string game – guiding babies to observe their hands
Babies at this stage can distinguish between colours and black and white and are excited when seeing red. Make use of this feature and guide them to observe their hands with red. You may do this by tying a red ribbon on the little hand. Babies will then excitedly raise their hands and observe the little ribbon and their hands.
2. Grasping game – feeling their hands through exploring toys
You may also play the grasping game with babies, letting them feel their hands through exploring toys. Given the 2-month-old explorers’ limited control of arm and hand muscles, Dr Sears The Baby Book suggests a semi-inclined position is helpful to such grasping exercises.
When babies are facing and looking forward to Fisher-Price’s NEWBORN-TO- TODDLER ROCKER, the semi-inclined position makes them raise their arms and hands together. Through exploring their toys, babies start feeling their hands.
3. Mirror game – observing themselves and sowing the seeds for self- cognition
Mirror Game is a typical baby game that let babies observes themselves in the mirror. There are still more than ten months to go before our 2-month-old learners can realize that the person in the mirror is themselves. However, success cannot be achieved overnight and quantitative change leads to qualitative change. We will witness our babies’ skill improvement after more and more practices.
Mothers may place your babies on Fisher-Price’s KICK & PLAY PIANO GYM. Fix the mirror on the toy arch and let babies smile at their reflections. You are sowing the seeds of their self-cognition.
Image source: Fisher-Price
The small gesture of playing with their hands carries tremendous significance to our 2-month-old babies – helping them acquire self-cognition and fostering the development of self-identity. Follow the above, practice with your little one, and train their flexibility today!
[US] Berton L. White (2016), The New First Three Years of Life, Beijing United Publishing Co., Ltd, 43, 54.
[US] William Sears and the others (2015)?Dr. Sears The Baby Book, Nanhai Publishing House, 501.
Gao Zhenmin (2009), 0-1-year-old clever baby left brain right brain development, Chongqing Publishing Group Company Limited, 64.
Liu Ling (2009), The Relationship between Development of Infant Self-cognition and the Mother-Infant Bonding, Doctoral Dissertation of Liaoning Normal University.
Parenting advice is given as a suggestion only. We recommend consulting your healthcare provider to know more.
This article was contributed by Fisher-Price and republished on theAsianparent with permission.