Verified by Kimberly Langdon M.D.
Kimberly Langdon is an obstetrician/gynecologist with 19 years of clinical experience and graduated from The Ohio State University, College of Medicine.
Baby Doesn’t Grab Feet- Reasons & Solutions
A common movement for babies just past the 4-month mark is for them to start grabbing their feet. If your baby has not ‘found their feet”, there are a few reasons why this has not happened:
There are a set of milestones that your baby should be achieving as they grow. Of course, it is normal for them to miss one or two, but a visit to your healthcare provider should be made if they miss multiple milestones.
Babies develop at different rates; some are just slower than others in advancing their developmental progress.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a guide for what milestones to watch for, along with ways to help your baby learn and encourage their development.
You should note which milestones your child reaches and if they have lost any skills they have once had to discuss with their doctor.
Each baby explores the world in different ways and may skip a step in developing their movement and coordination. For example, some babies are so obsessed with their hands that they never notice their feet.
If you notice other babies grabbing their feet, but your baby is just not interested, there is no need for concern. Different activities and sensations feel better for some babies than others, and every baby will not do every step in the milestone book.
Each baby develops their movement skills at a different pace, so unless your baby is not advancing in multiple areas, you do not need to worry. Typical movement and coordination skills that you can expect your baby to have can be found here.
Setting aside time each day to assist your baby with their development will make it easier for them to learn how their body works.
For example, helping your baby exercise and move in different ways will allow them to develop coordination while strengthening their legs and core to be able to complete these movements on their own.
If you are still trying to figure out where to start, your healthcare provider can help you devise a plan.
Playing with your baby in specific ways may encourage them to start grabbing their feet.
You can place them under a baby gym to encourage different types of movement or use wrist or ankle rattles to help your infant become curious about the sounds created when they move their limbs.
You can gently grab your baby’s feet and bring them into their view or even elevate their hips with a blanket or pillow underneath, making it easier for them to discover their feet.
When should babies be grabbing their feet?
An infant should start to notice and grab their feet anywhere from four to eight months. Of course, some babies never grab their feet, so if it does not happen, there is no need to worry.
How can I encourage my baby to grab his feet?
You can encourage your baby to grab their feet by using the solutions outlined above or by holding them in a sitting position while gently moving their feet towards their hands. Placing brightly colored toys or objects near their feet may also help them to begin reaching toward their feet.
Is grabbing feet a milestone for a baby?
Grabbing feet is a movement milestone for a baby, but it is important to remember that not every baby will complete every milestone.
Is it common for babies to only grab one foot and not the other?
Babies typically do not develop a hand preference until age two, so there may be an underlying issue causing them to do this. However, if a baby continues to favor one arm or leg over the other consistently, it may be a good idea to take them in for a check-up.
While you may want your baby to reach every movement milestone in the book, this is highly unlikely to occur. You can help them, but they will ultimately do what is comfortable for them; sometimes, this includes missing milestones completely.