4-Month-Old Baby Uses the Left Hand More Than the Right

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Babies, at this stage still don’t have hand preferences. This happens later in life, between the second and fourth years of their life.

But if you see your 4-month-old baby uses the left hand more than the right, it’s okay but it doesn’t mean that he or she will be left-handed. 

Often, at this period of time, they switch hands and use them both as they wish. If in any case, you notice that your toddler is using one hand more than another, make sure you take your baby to the pediatrician for an examination. 

A new study on a child’s brain, revealing that a 4-month-old develops the ability to use their left hand more than their right one.

Psychologists at Columbia University monitored the development of 29 healthy children between ages 3 and 12 months, recording how many times each side of their brains responded to objects’ insight. 

In general, they found that babies reach for objects with either hand quickly and equally often. But from five months on, something changed. The use of each hand slowly shifted away from its initial preference towards more asymmetric usage. 

Meaning even though he was using his left hand slightly more than his right hand before six months of age, by 12 months he was using his right hand noticeably more.

Although this may seem like a relatively small and normal part of human development, it is actually more than just that: It causes a difference in how babies use their bodies.

While most babies use their right hands to explore the world, those who are left-handed tend to favor the left hand as it often helps them reach for things.

As such, researchers have found that young children who had been given intensive instruction about mirroring and hand motion with one hand preferred using either their right or left hand more than the other. 

That proved true even when these children were only 4-months old! This study presents novel ways to help infants and toddlers develop confidence and sensory skills.

Is it normal for a baby to hold one arm more than another?

A newborn is usually moving only one arm rather than both at the same time. So, it’s normal if you see your baby move one arm at a time.

However, after the baby turns 3 months, it should start moving both arms at the same time. At this stage, they are usually aiming to reach things, such as toys or their parents. 

A baby might seem like a very fragile and vulnerable creature, but they actually possess some surprisingly strong abilities. One area where this is most evident is in their prehensile grasp reflex

The ability to grab onto items and hold them securely, even though they are not yet old enough to fully control the use of their hands. It’s normal for a baby to grab one arm more than another as they build up this reflex over time. Hence, you do not need to worry about it!

It’s also common for babies to favor one hand over the other when playing with small objects like blocks or crayons. This is because they may rely on vision more heavily when they’re younger and their sense of touch hasn’t developed fully yet.

Some babies will hold one arm up, occasionally batting at any objects they see, and some may favor one side or another.

However, there isn’t any reason to be concerned about this behavior. This is just a sign that your baby is exploring and enjoying their new world!

How early do babies show hand preference?

When a baby is around 18 months old, they show hand preference. This is a beginning when you can notice if your baby is performing left or right hand. At the age of three, the parent should be certain about whether their child is left or right-handed. 

In the past, we have seen a not-such-a– pleasant reaction when the baby is naturally a lefty. This is nonsense, and if your child is also using the left hand, let them be. Don’t force them to use the right one instead. 

Although it’s not known why some babies seem to prefer one hand over the other, theories include differing dexterity levels between both hands.

Also, it can be influenced by how much attention is given to either one (i.e., parents may encourage children to use their right hand). It’s also possible that asymmetry in nerve development may play a role in the pattern of handedness.

Regardless, there are plenty of reasons during these early years for parents and teachers alike to be encouraged by practice with either left or right hands.

When a 4-month-old baby uses the left hand more than the right, it’s unlikely that it will keep using that hand in the future.

The question is: does this preference remain throughout the infant’s lifetime, and what causes it? Do those early preferences carry over to children’s hand preference?

The short answer: yes and no. It’s likely that your baby’s hand preference will change over time, and probably more than once.

Our understanding of how early these preferences might be present suggests that we need to pay closer attention to environmental factors like handedness in utero — sometimes called prenatal handedness — which can alter a child’s hand preference at birth or even before birth (in utero).

Why does my baby use his left hand?

If your 4-month-old baby uses the left hand more than the right, it’s because they are exploring the world around them. They are searching, touching, and grasping everything they can with both hands or maybe they prefer a little bit using one more than another.

But if this situation is shown repeatedly, this may indicate some neurological condition or indicate developmental delay. That’s why it’s good to contact your healthcare provider and share your concerns. 

It’s a question that has puzzled us all since the dawn of the modern human. Just like when can you start using baby products and many more.

Babies are born with their hands already in different positions. Some babies use both hands equally, but most kids tend to prefer one or the other because of this preference.

Until recently, studies on handedness had relatively little scientific importance because it could be “passed down” from parents to children without much thought about its origins.

Some babies will always use their right hand for everything, others will use their left. The difference can be a mystery to parents and even pediatricians, especially if the baby never shows any signs of preference.

Can you tell which hand is dominant in a baby?

You can tell which hand is dominant in the baby as early as 18 months. But usually, the clear preferences are shown later, usually between the second and the fourth year of their life. 

Sometimes even this is not the case. 

Some kids don’t show their hand preferences until preschool, around their fifth or sixth year. Usually, these kids are ambidextrous – they are able to use both hands equally.

Hence, a 4-month-old baby uses the left hand more than the right hand will not be an indicator if your child is lefty or not.

However, there are some signs that show up at birth, but they don’t always have to be right. One of the most obvious is the chirality of the baby’s hands. 

A baby will typically have one palm facing outwards with their fingers curled downwards which indicates they are most likely left-handed!

There are also other indications, such as positioning their head to look at things with their right eye and sucking on either thumb or index finger.


When kids are still at the earliest stage, parents like to notice even the tiniest details. So, it’s not unusual for a mom or a dad to notice that their toddler is using one hand rather than another.

Many of them say that a 4-month-old baby uses the left hand more than the right, but this is just a coincidence. 

Babies this young don’t have a hand preference, and they are usually using both hands. Sometimes they hold one up more than another or occasionally switch, and that’s normal. 

The first time a parent can notice that a baby is slightly showing any preferences is around the baby’s 18th month. At the age of four, you should already know if your baby is left or right-handed. 

If in any case, you see that your baby is definitively using one hand more at the earliest stages, make sure you visit the doctor and do an examination. 

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