My 8 month old seems to be showing a preference for his left hand. He still uses both hands very well, so I'm not worried that there is anything wrong (i.e. I've read that if a baby only uses one hand it could mean a developmental problem with the other hand.). But, when given a choice he tends to pick things up with his left hand more often than his right. Often when he is feeding himself if he picks up a piece of food in his right hand he will pass it to his left before putting it in his mouth.

Is it too early to know which hand will be his dominant hand? At what age will we know if our child will be left or right-handed?

asked 06 Jan '10, 01:57

cat_g's gravatar image

accept rate: 25%

edited 07 Jan '10, 09:23


+1 for the great question! we've been wondering the same with our 7 month old as each time we think she's left handed (dad is a leftie) she uses her right hand!

(06 Jan '10, 02:06) Lin

Excellent question! Thanks for asking it... I wanted to know this too.

(06 Jan '10, 04:09) Scott ♦♦

Ditto Scott and Lin !

(06 Jan '10, 13:11) Emi

Dear cat g, If you go to the link "reaching and grasping and handedness" you should arrive at the "google books" Just below the book picture icon you should be able to see a search box. If you type in "Handedness" then hit "go" it should take you straight to the page, from here you should be able to go back a section using your mouse. I hope this works for you.!

(07 Jan '10, 10:21) Emi

I have heard that a child will show clear signs of being left or right between the ages of 1-4, but that changes could even occur as late as 5-6 years and that hereditary factors, social environments and neurological development and motor skills can all have an effect on whether children are left or right handed.

The book Human Development A life-Span View by Robert V. Kail, John C. Cavanaugh contains some useful information about Motor Skills and the sections about Reaching and Grasping and Handedness are interesting reads.


answered 06 Jan '10, 15:12

Emi's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%


See page 106 for those sections. Thanks, Emi!

(06 Jan '10, 17:18) Scottie T

@Scottie Thank you too ! (For some reason I thought the link would take you straight there) :)

(06 Jan '10, 17:39) Emi

@Emi or Scottie T: I can't seem to get past page 94. I get the message "Restricted Page. You have reached your viewing limit for this book." Is there a way to view the section Emi suggested without buying the book? :)

(07 Jan '10, 10:02) cat_g

@cat g. I will try and have a look now. I had thought that the link I had posted would take you straight there, but that wasn't the case. Scottie kindly pointed out the page number. I will try and see what I can do!

(07 Jan '10, 10:10) Emi

I tried playing with the Link icon in the corner of the book reader, and it seemed like if I used that URL and plugged in 106 for the pg= parameter it would work, but not consistently. What a pain...

(07 Jan '10, 11:03) Scott ♦♦

I can't tell you how many times I put strategically placed Cheerios in front of my daughter to try and find out the same thing!

It was only when she began to colour/draw/paint etc. that it became quite apparent that she was right-handed - so about 12-18 months or thereabouts (I can't exactly remember)


answered 06 Jan '10, 03:28

Kate's gravatar image

accept rate: 20%

I haven't got enough rep to leave comments, but I'm intrigued by "I'm not worried that there is anything wrong".

Is being left-handed a bad thing?


answered 07 Jan '10, 08:49

Benjol's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%


@Benjol: Of course not! In fact, I'm left-handed myself and hope that he will be left-handed too. :) What I meant by that was if my son was only able to use his left hand it could signify that he had a developmental problem with his right hand.

(07 Jan '10, 09:17) cat_g
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Asked: 06 Jan '10, 01:57

Seen: 8,339 times

Last updated: 07 Jan '10, 09:23