JFF - How Soon Can You Tell If Your Child Is Going to Be a Righty or a Lefty?

Updated on July 01, 2011
L.W. asks from Waxahachie, TX
14 answers

I'm just curious is all. I'm right handed and come from a family of "righty's" but my husband is left handed. Our daughter is right handed but I can't tell what our 22 month old son is going to be yet. He seems to be stronger in his left. When he throws with his right hand it's all over the place but when he throws with the left, it's more deliberate and stronger most of the time. So I'm leaning towards him being a lefty. Either way is fine with me, like I said this is just out of curiousity. I guess I really won't know for sure until he's older. When did you all realize with your children that they were right or left handed? My husband hopes that he's a righty because most everything is geared towards right handed people. TIA!

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answers from Dallas on

I was able to tell that my daughter's were right handed about 18 months - its when they started coloring with crayons. They would move the crayons between hands but always used the right hand more. By two they were definitely right handed.

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answers from Jacksonville on

I agree with Jo G. When she starts doing something that most people traditionally do with the same hand all the time (like using utensils). Just set it down in front of him, right in the middle-not to either side at all- and see which hand he uses to pick it up and which hand he tries to use when he uses the spoon. Of course, this still won't tell you anything if he doesn't consistently use the SAME hand every time. But if he does, then you'll know.

I intentionally never (NEVER) HANDED a crayon to my kids. I would set it down on the table in front of them, until they were already using pencils in school. I am a righty. My husband is a lefty. Both of my kids use their right hands. My daughter I am confident is and should be a righty. My son, I'm not sure about. He is much more ambidextrous and I wonder if he was influenced by SEEing me use my right hand for everything when he was small.

I wouldn't worry about it. Just be aware when you are teaching him things, to let him grip whatever it is on his own first, and then correct his actual grip- don't put something in his hand. For example: teaching him to bat a baseball. Don't say pick up the bat and put it over your right shoulder. Instead, ask him to pick up the bat and then stand with the bat over his shoulder (don't specify which one, let him choose). If he questions it, tell him he can do it on whichever shoulder he'd like. He can try it on one shoulder one time, and then the next he can try the other shoulder, and then decide which he likes the best later.

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answers from St. Louis on

Put a spoon in front of him, what does he pick it up with? It really is that simple.

I just wonder if your daughter is actually right handed. All my kids should have been lefties but the youngest was the only one we left alone to become one. The other three were forced to be right handed.

My psych professor told me that left and right handedness is actually close to 50/50 but there is such a social stigma that we force lefties to use their right hands. I should have been left handed, as it is I use both.

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answers from Lynchburg on

I have a mix of 'righties'...'lefties'...and 'ambies'...

My 'test' was when they could consistently eat a thin soup/broth from a spoon! lol

Best Luck!

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answers from Dallas on

I was able to tell that my daughter's were right handed about 18 months - its when they started coloring with crayons. They would move the crayons between hands but always used the right hand more. By two they were definitely right handed.

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answers from Cleveland on

my daughter is a lefty she eats with her left drinks with her left writes with her left throws with her left she has been doing all this since 18 months or so

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answers from St. Louis on

I had all lefty's until they started pre-school then they all went to the right hand. I never said anything to the teachers, because I didn't know any better. BUT if my 11 month old favors his left hand too, I will not let them push the right hand on him.

However, we hand it figured out by age 2 that all of our kids favored their left hands.

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answers from Daytona Beach on

i was ambidextrous until i started school they made me write with my right hand. most schools do this. if a child can use both, they will typically make them use the right hand since it's so common. i still use my left hand for a lot of things, and can still write with both, but it's mostly my right now.

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answers from San Francisco on

This past year my 4 year old has been working on handwriting in pre-school. It is becoming clear that we have a lefty!

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answers from Salinas on

We've got a lefty 8 year old girl. It was pretty obvious she favored the left from about 1-2 years old but still used the right enough so we weren't really sure until around 3. Things like putting on her jacket and teaching her how to tie shoes made us realize she was much better with her left. I spent very little time even thinking about it. No left handed scissors or anything special and she's always managed well. She is super coordinated, top of her class academically and an all-star softball player so my husband and I never understood why people think it's harder. I think the thing that makes it harder on leftys is that so often the world makes a big deal out of it and sometimes tries to change them. We love our little lefty girl, it makes her unique!

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answers from Sacramento on

You can tell when they use a spoon and confirm when they start using crayons for art.

I'm a lefty and hoped our kids would be righties and lucked out. It definitely is harder being a lefty. I remember in elementary school we'd have only one or two pairs of left-handed scissors in class, so I'd always have to wait my turn to cut things. I eventually trained myself to cut using my right hand out of frustration at all of the waiting (why my parents never sent me in with my own scissors, I don't know). So, if your son is a lefty, my big tip is to send him to school with his own scissors. He'll really appreciate it!

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answers from Dallas on

My son is a lefty and he always put his left foot in his pants first. Same with his shoes or sandals. My two girls are righty and they put there foot in their shorts/pants with their right foot first. Every since they were able to walk.


answers from Seattle on

My oldest is a righty..the other two the verdict is still out.

My middle will spoon and fork right...does everything else left.

My youngest does everything Left but bats right.

So, I truly dont have a magical age to say when they will for sure have the hand down they will be using...because I have two that are very both sided still.


answers from Kansas City on

Our 3.5 year old son is a lefty. We knew he was going to be a lefty at a little over 1 year old. He has only ever used his left hand- that's how we knew.

Our just turned 2 year old daughter 'seems' to be a righty, but we aren't sure about her yet because she likes to use both hands most days.



answers from Oklahoma City on

My 4 year old is still deciding. He can bat left handed or right handed. He colors with both. I think that in elementary school when they start writing so much more that he will start to really favor one over the other.

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