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Right/Left handed- when can you tell?

I always thought that you couldn't tell if a child was right or left handed until really late, like when they start writing. But at 15 months Bethany is already showing a real preference for her right hand- she uses it most of the time for feeding herself, scribbling, signing. She doesn't have any problems using her left, so I'm not worried, but just wondered if anyone else has noticed the same thing?


  • Yep, I knew from quite early that both my girls will be right handed. As soon as they started using crayons at about 14 months they both showed a preference for the right hand. Sometimes Evie tries with her other hand but very rarely (she's nearly 19 months).

    I'm very disappointed as I'm a left hander and I hoped one of them might be! I feel quite special though as both my parents are right handed so there was only a 2% chance I'd be a lefty :lol:

    My great grandad was left handed and at school he was told it was wrong and forced to use his right hand, so he became ambidextrous!

    Sorry for lefty turn that this reply took :lol: it's not really relevant but I love to share!
  • When Poppy first started grabbing at things (4- 5 months) we realised she seemed to be favouring her left hand then as she has got older it has become more obvious. She does almost everything with her left hand! Every now and then she'll hold the pencil in her right hand but then quickly changes it into her left!
    So, in answer, I think you can have an idea from very early on!
  • Yes I could tell from an early age as well. Kara done everything with her left hand and now when she is colouring in she always uses her right hand. Its the same eating her dinner. She changes her spoon over to the right hand side.
  • In agreement with the others.

    I thinnk our los can give us a certain diea which hand is more dominant, however I guess when they start writing thasnwer is alot more definate.

    Our lo from a very early age has been more dominate with her left hand it always seemed to grasp things quicker than her right and ahve more strength. She uses both hands but if you put something in her right hand she will move it to her elft to use, she holds pens, spoons, toys balls to throw etc in her elft hand. She has started to drink from a cup one handed and will hold it with her left hand.

    My family are all right hand. My husbands parents are right handed and 4/6 children are left handed. Out of the oldest 4 only 1 is right handed. I couldnt tell you how many times my mil has told me this and how statisticly (?sp) they say theres a 25% your child will be left handed if both parents are right handed. Sorry Ive gone off on a tangent there!

    lea - as my husband says as a lefty himself, you are that bit more special as its less common! lol
  • I was convinced when lo was about 5/6 months htat he was left handed but apparantly according to hv you can make that call until at least 18months as most babies under this age are ambidextrous.

    But now at 2 years he is defo left handed, he eats, draws, picks everything up with his left and he also kicks with his left foot.

    Another good way to tell with a toddler is which leg they are most steadiest on when they lift their legs up. and again Shea is more supported when stood just on left leg rather than his right.

    there was a good article on be this week about lefties, not sure if its still there

  • both of my girls are right handed. i could tell from when they started using crayons at about 12 months. even if you hand freya the crayon in her left hand she will pass it to her right, she has never made any atempt to use her left.
    apparently they can still chenge which hand they write up until the age of 7, but im certain that my two are destined to be right handers. x
  • Both of mine are righties. DS has always done everything with his right hand and DD always favours her right hand for playing and drawing but she does eat with her left hand. OH is the same, right handed but eats left handed~strange but true lol!!
  • At Zackys 8 month check which he had at 11months (confusing I know but you know , backlogs and stuff), I said that he seemed to be favouring his left hand, they said that they would keep an eye on iy (which they didnt). He is now 17 months and is definately right handed. But OH is predominately right handed but is quite good at writting with his left as well, and it depends what im doing to which i am. I write with right hand, but do craft stuff with both, knit left handed, opens cans jars etc with my left hand, so im well n truely wierd LOL.
  • Thanks for the replies, looks as though it's pretty common to have an early preference. I guess it makes sense really, if it's genetic then it's not just going to appear suddenly, just hadn't really thought about it before.
  • I definitely have a leftie! Lo is 23 months, but I have been sure that he is a leftie since before his first birthday. He does everything with his left, and if you give him annything in his right hand, he just swaps it across into his left to do whatever he is going to do.

    Things like eating, drawing, shape sorter, pointing, putting his hand to his mouth to blow kissess, putting his finger to his mouth to say shhh, he has reversed all of his signs (signing mummies will know what I am saying - I put my right hand flat over my left fist to sign 'more', lo will put his left hand over his right fist) .. so many things.

    And claire, yes, he kicks with his left foot and is more stable on his left leg too.

    I heard a lot that you can't tell whether children are lefties or righties, and so I kept an open mind, but I am now absolutely 100% sure that lo is a leftie, and I knew before he was a year old.

    Not one person in mine or my husband's families are lefties though.
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