Handedness is usually established by the third year of life. I believe you can predict the handedness of your child very early on if you are observant. I actually believe it could be seen on prenatal ultrasounds if anyone would look closely. This is based on my observation that when parents tell me that one foot points out at the four month checkup it is 9 out of 10 times the right foot. That is, the right hip is more externally rotated than the left.

This is just a reflection of the fact that in utero, one leg is folded in first and stays there. I believe it is the leg on the dominant side of the body - for 90% plus of children, the right side. The ligaments and musculature are stretched more on the side folded in first, as you can readily demonstrate by trying to mimic the folded up attitude of a fetus for yourself. When I see an infant with the left foot pointing out more, I have found that almost invariably, one of the parents is left-handed.

Once the child starts crawling and pulling up, the stretching forces tend to equalize, and this assymetry disappears. You will still see it, however, in a lot of infants when they first start pulling up to stand, and their little feet splay out - more on one side than the other. Pretty soon, though, they overcome this as the muscles and ligaments come into balance.

Night, Night! Dr. Hull's Common Sense Sleep Solutions© Copyright© Site Information/Disclaimer