The early warning sign in newborn babies many parents mistake for 'genius'.

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New mothers the world over share a single, ever-present fear: that their newborn baby will be anything other than happy and healthy.

Most parents tend to fall into a routine of obsessing over developmental goals; baby KPIs, if you will, that signify a level of growth ‘normal’ enough that parents and doctors alike need not worry.

By four months, they should be rolling. By six months, teething. And by the time they hit 25, they should most definitely be moving out of home.

But according to paediatrician Dr. Daniel Golshevsky, parents should be paying far less attention to the benchmarks their baby should be hitting by certain ages. Attention need be paid, rather, to the things happening early on that perhaps shouldn’t be.

LISTEN: Paediatrician Dr. Golshevsky speaks on our podcast for new parents about what it means when a newborn favours one hand over the other. Post continues after audio. 

“A child under the age of one should not have a hand preference,” Golshevsky says on Mamamia’s podcast for new parents, Year One.

“I once had a parent who came to me and said ‘oh yeah, my baby is right handed’, and they were three months old. My heart just sank.”

According to Golshevsky, an infant should only begin to develop a hand preference once they’re over the age of one. While common sense would suggest a baby who develops a hand preference earlier is ‘advanced’, the opposite is in fact true.

“If the [newborn] baby preferences their right hand it’s not because they’re going to be right-handed. It’s because they can’t use their left.”

If you have any concerns about the development of your baby, contact your local GP or paediatrician. 

Listen to the full episode of Year One all about the important milestones, below. 

Click here to join Year One With Baby on Facebook for more content, and to discuss everything surrounding the first year of your baby’s life. 

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