Newborn babies have a grasp reflex. As soon as anything is put into the palm say your finger, the baby takes a firm grip of it. Gradually, at around three to four months, the baby can hold objects. He will put out his hand and try to hold the object. His coordination is poor initially, but soon he learns to hold a rattle and beat it around. He is only using his palm and the four fingers (like monkeys). The thumb is not used at this stage.
By the age of six months, the baby wants to hold the spoon and tries to take it to his mouth. Of course, his coordination is not good, and he only succeeds in putting the food in his hair or his ears. But soon he becomes an expert at it. He holds objects, learns to transfer them from one hand to the other and even tries to hold two objects in one hand. By eight to nine months, he begins to make use of his thumb and fingers, and can hold small objects like peas, beans and coins, between his thumb and fingers.
Of course he also learns to pick up anything small from the floor which may not always be very clean. He puts everything in his mouth. With his proficiency at crawling and his ability to pick up little things here and there, he can be up to a great deal of mischief and you have to watch him carefully. He may be busy in a corner exploring the unswept floor behind a chair and relishing the taste of dirt! By one year, the grasp is mature; he can hold objects, transfer them from one hand to the other, and enjoys dropping and picking them up.