Transfer with stabilization
After babies have become more skilled with reaching and grasping, they will start to explore the objects in their hands. You can see in this video how this sweet baby looks at the object, using her sense of sight to help her move the spoon in her hands. Using the developing fine motor skills, between 0:5-0:7 months, babies are able to transfer objects from hand to hand. At first they use their mouth or an external surface to help with the transfer. With repetition, the baby will no longer need the external surface (about 0:6 months).
Release is not automatic at this stage. The baby will use the opposite hand to stabilize the object. They will pass the object from hand to hand. The stabilizing hand will hold and “steady” the object as the working hand gains a secure grasp. At this point the stabilizing hand is able to release the grasp and the process will be repeated, as the stabilizing hand becomes the working hand. With this practice, fine-motor skills are fine-tuned and release will become automatic between 9-10 months (i.e. dropping objects onto the floor becomes a favorite game). And don’t we all love this game.
You can see how this process takes months to develop, starting around 0:5 and developing until around 9-10 months. It is a fun process to watch, as babies become more and more skilled at transferring objects between the hands. The process that starts almost as a reflex (the opposing hand grasps the object being held while the holding hand releases) becomes easier and easier until the hand is able to release with skill. The process becomes quicker and more exact during these developing months. The hands will continue to develop grasp patterns during this time also, moving in various directions to form to differently shaped objects.