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How much do you think your life/personality can be determined in your first few days of life?

(9 Posts)
fucksticks Sun 05-Jul-09 11:38:03

Objectively you'd think not a lot really. You can't remember anything from that young can you?

But my DS is left handed. No one from either side of the family is left handed.
DS broke his right arm when he was first born. He obviously couldnt move it and for the first few weeks he sucked his left hand for comfort.
Since then he's used his left hand for most things.
I am positive its because his right arm was out of action those first few weeks and it changed his natural instinct from right handed to left handed.

Do you think this is possible?

hobbgoblin Sun 05-Jul-09 11:41:12

I don't know but your story makes you wonder doesn't it?

I had a house mate who hd some serious mental health issues going on and was in therapy. This was years ago but I recall her chatting to me about some of what her therapist said.

Anyway, she had a very traumatic birth and seemed to think some of her adult issues were related to that - all stored up in her unconscious.

I'm not sure if I buy into that idea but am open to the possibility!

Meglet Sun 05-Jul-09 11:45:57

I'd say the first few days / weeks wouldn't make a difference either (first few months, yes). But the broken arm mystery makes me wonder.

Ds had a stressful labour and was an em cs, and a very grizzly baby. While dd was a planned cs and an easy baby. I'm sure someone must have done research into this sort of thing.

cory Sun 05-Jul-09 11:47:17

some people are pretty well ambidexterous, so the only reason they end up right handed is because it is easier in our society

if that is the case with your ds, that may explain it

though it is also possible to be the only lefthander in the family; my brother is, afaik

traceybath Sun 05-Jul-09 11:50:42

I'm not sure personally about first few days but definitely first year or so - in terms of feeling secure/needs met etc.

But then i would choose to believe that as ds2 was poorly when born and in an incubator and not allowed to be held much so would hate to think that would have a long term effect.

Of course once he could be held i didn't put him down for about a year blush

amberflower Sun 05-Jul-09 12:12:08

I would have to say no, because my mum had puerperal psychosis when I was born (most severe form of PND) and was admitted to a psychiatric unit within a day or so, was then on mega medication for the next 8 months and was by her own admission on 'auto pilot'. And I don't think I have suffered any 'ill effects' of that at all. I have a lovely relationship with my mum and always have had, and I have no mental health issues or anything like undue anxiety etc which might have been put down to traumatic birth circumstances. Apparently I was also a very chilled out easy baby as well. As was my sister, who was born 2 years later at which point my mum had the psychosis all over again. Neither of us have any 'lasting' issues which might be put down to a fairly traumatic start in life.

So for me there doesn't seem to be a link, but I am sure for others it may well seem plausible.

hobbgoblin Mon 06-Jul-09 09:30:52

On reflection I think my post was a bit insensitive so I apologise to those who have had traumatic birth experiences either being born or birthing their own DC. Like I say, I can only go by what my housemate seemed to think, and I'm not sure I agree, but I thought it was ann interesting pov. though I now realise it may have been best left unshared. Sorry. blush

TheBreastmilksOnMe Mon 06-Jul-09 09:45:27

I believe that the early experiences a baby has absoloutly has an effect on them, not that they would remember the actual experience but that it would shape their brain at the time it happened so it would change their course of development.

Take this example: A young baby who is left to cry and is not picked up much in his early days won't actually remember being left to cry and not cuddled much but the experience of being left to cry will have taught him that the world is an unfriendly place that doesn't meet his needs.

Take the same baby who's cries are met with love and kind words. His opinion of the world is going to be that it's a much nicer place.

So how you treat a baby and the early experiences they have are fundamental in shaping that babies personality and development.

muffle Mon 06-Jul-09 09:49:28

I have always wondered about this because I had a traumatic birth involving an emergency rush from one hospital to another and spending days in an incubator while my mum was in intensive care.

I grew up in a highly dysfunctional family with parents who could seriously damage your self-esteem - an abusive dad and stand-by mother - and my sister has (IMO) been deeply affected by that, has problems with relationships, addictions, is very self-loathing and angry. I suffer from anxiety, but I have always felt very strong inside and always been happy. It is maybe fanciful but sometimes I wonder who looked after me at first and if they showered me with love and wellbeing.

I might be wrong, it could just be that people are different, but I have also heard psychologists etc say that your first experiences of life do have a big effect.

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