The short answer: it depends. A lot.
Some kids don't tend to develop hand dominance until 2-3 years of age, while others may show preference as early as 18 months. Still others may be ambidextrous until their 5th or 6th birthday. It's all normal!
If your child hasn't already shown hand preference, there are some ways you can "test" and some things you can do to support development of their dominant hand (especially if you suspect your little one is a lefty - who often have difficulty with right-handed products).
"Test" Their Dominance
Curious about whether you have a leftie? Here are some simple things you can do to observe your children's hand preference. Of course, this may be different on different days depending on your child's age and may not be permanent (and it's certainly not scientific :))!
- Watch the hand that your child uses to pick up her favorite toy or the hand she favors for eating (this may be difficult to determine if she is still finger feeding)
- Watch how he stirs: stirring in a counterclockwise motion mean he's more likely to be left-handed.
- As she gets older, watch the hand she chooses to hold a crayon or pencil. (Note often kids switch hands because their muscles get tired, so look for the hand they use when first initiating the task).
- Roll a ball toward your baby. The hand that he uses to reach for it is likely his dominant hand.
Support Your Lefty
As a lefty living in a right-handed world, some common tasks are not so easy! Making sure you have these specially designed (for lefties) tools will help with their development and supporting and building their confidence.
- Can opener (not for your toddler, of course!)
- Kizingo curved left-handed spoon :)
- Pens (they teach appropriate grip and won't smudge)
- Guitars and chord books (again, not for your toddler!)
Whether your child is left- or right-handed, have fun letting your little one discover their dominant hand and don't worry if you're still not sure which they are. It will become clear over time.