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The Perks of Having a Baby With One Hand

A year ago, Rachel reached out to me and mentioned how she and her husband had learned they were going to have a baby girl born with one hand. Since then, we’ve stayed in touch and even had a chance to meet before their daughter was born. They ROCK and Rachel was kind enough to share her views on what it’s like to be the mommy of a baby born just right! Thanks Rachel!

My dearest angel of a daughter was born “just right” with her left arm ending just after the elbow. We knew about the limb difference long before she was born and couldn’t have been more excited to meet her. Since her birth, I’ve discovered there are many perks to having a baby with one hand. Here’s my list so far:

1. It’s easier to get her dressed. That little arm slides through onesies.

2. I only have 5 finger nails to trim.

3. When she’s breastfeeding she can only pinch while on one side.

4. She can’t suck her thumb all day. When she started thumb sucking we discussed if we should discourage it. My husband pointed out that if she’s sucking her thumb and wants to do something she either has to stop sucking (not a bad thing) or use her little arm. It’s a win-win situation.

5. I only have 5 finger nails to trim. Seriously. This is awesome.

6. There’s only one hand to grab and pull hair with.

7. Little arms make great holders for circular rattles and toys. I keep thinking I need to make some kind of sleeve with a pacifier on the end.

8. Rolling over is very easy in one direction.

9. Only one hand can scratch me/her/the cat.

10. When she’s older she can tell people her parents have an alligator farm/are shark divers/are pirates if they ask what happened to her arm.

I know there will be many more cool things about parenting a kiddo that is Born Just Right, but I’d say this is a pretty good start!


  1. Kathryn on August 30, 2013 at 11:47 am

    What a cutie! Another perk that will be helpful when it gets cold outside – you only need one glove/mitten and only one hand can ever get cold!

    I used to tell kids a shark took my arm (when I was a kid myself) and a boy once got so white with surprise that I felt bad and stopped. But I had a good run with that story!

    • Jen Lee Reeves on August 30, 2013 at 11:51 am

      That’s so funny, Kathryn! Jordan hasn’t made up any stories yet. But I’m sure it will happen some day.

  2. Rebecca on August 30, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Regarding number 7; my son turned his little arm INTO a pacifier! Very convenient!

    • Jen Lee Reeves on August 30, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      See? These are things you can’t say with a two-handed kid! I love it.

  3. Rachel on August 30, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    We live in Florida so I think saying, “my parents own an alligator” will be a great story!

  4. Emily Miller on August 30, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Cute! My little Eva turned 1 in July and she only has one hand too. She is a lefty! I love the comments about cutting only 5 nails. I have four kids and I hate cutting nails. I always smile when it’s Eva’s turn for a trim. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jen Lee Reeves on August 30, 2013 at 1:49 pm

      Happy birthday to Eva! I think we can all agree on the nails! And when our girls get older, manicures are a lot cheaper!

  5. Catherine on September 3, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Number “10” is my favorite. My little grandson is now 19 months and was born missing his left hand. I hope we can instill in him the confidence to use those lines on people who ask. Actually, I prefer it if people ask instead of just look at him and when I see them looking, I simply explain that he was born that way, it doesn’t hurt, but it just makes it harder for him to do some things.

    • Jen Lee Reeves on September 4, 2013 at 10:36 am

      I’m right there with you, Catherine! I’d rather people ask instead of stare.

  6. Rachel on September 4, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    So far we’ve had no staring issues, but she’s still a baby and so darn cute, most people don’t even notice! Both kids and adults have asked what happened to her arm. The only time it somewhat bothers us is when they ask apologetically.

  7. Lucinda LaPierre on September 15, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    My stepdaughter had the shark story. She even was playing with a shark puppet at the bookstore when a little boy asked her about her arm. When she told him about the shark he asked her if the puppet was the shark that bit it off. She told him yes and proceeded to chase him around the store. My husband of course laughing hysterically at her. She’s quite the little entertainer. She decided one day to give up on the story and just tell kids she was born that way. Kids stare all the time and many ask. She handles herself very well. If kids have more questions we help her out with the explanation. She just says she was born that way but many kids don’t understand. She now has a new prosthetic that she is deciding about. On our way home from getting it she said “dad when will my arm grow like normal?”

    • Jen Lee Reeves on September 17, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      Isn’t that a difficult question? I think a lot of kids end up asking it. I know we went through a similar experience. But Jordan has not had fun with it yet. She isn’t angry answering questions but she hasn’t gotten silly about it yet. She certainly has asked questions. But lately, she seems pretty at peace with her world.

  8. yashpal singh on January 11, 2014 at 10:02 am

    I got my little nephew girl with just right hand, we can say little God gift to us. bless her 🙂

  9. Angela Towers on April 2, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Hi. I’m Angela. 28 years old and my son was born with a full right arm/hand but his left arm stops at the wrist and he just has stubs for fingers. Looks just like the little girl in the pic above. He is 14 month old now and doing just brilliant. He actually looks at his right arm as if that is the one that is different 🙂

    • Jen Lee Reeves on April 2, 2014 at 8:03 am

      It’s great to meet you, Angela! Our kids are awesome and it’s so cool to watch them grow.

  10. Tammy Tratford on May 16, 2014 at 1:34 am

    Hi I’m in need of some help for my niece ,her daughter my niece was born with one hand all so she is a beautiful litte angle she is 3 years old an last night she has started to say things like I hate my hand I just want to be normal like everyone else an she just crys her heart out ,an it hurts everyone my niece tells her that she is special an hugs her is the any groups that she can take her daughter to meet other children ,we live in Australia Queensland ,thankyou .

    • Jen Lee Reeves on May 16, 2014 at 6:42 am

      Tammy, I’m so sorry she’s having a tough time right now. I want to let you know that it’s okay for her to be sad, as long as it doesn’t consume her life. We were sad once when our kids were born and we needed time to mourn. Our kids deserve that too. I wrote about it a while ago: I do think sharing pictures and finding ways to meet up with other kids can be really meaningful. I’d recommend checking out the Limbkids organization. I think they could be wonderful help.

  11. Gihan Aploon Khan on September 4, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Hi everyone, I live in Cape Town, South Africa. I have 3 son’s and my youngest son Mihran is 1 year and 2 months old, his right arm is similar to the baby in the picture. Until he was born I have never really known anyone with a limb indifference reading all these post have really given me a sense of comfort. Thank you 🙂

    • Jen Lee Reeves on September 4, 2014 at 9:38 am

      I’m so glad you found Born Just Right, Gihan!

  12. Sarah Middleton on September 29, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    I am 40 yrs old and born with one hand. My right arm looks exactly like the beautiful child above. My family and I have ALWAYS referred to it as my “little arm.” This is the first I have heard anyone also call it that term. Never missed it, never needed it. It is who I am & I owned it! Great start for parents looking at positives, my parents never let it define me.

    • Michael menechino on September 15, 2017 at 4:55 am

      Hi , I’m 48 have 4 handsome sons and a beautiful wife . I was born with 1hand so my left did all the work . I played on 2 sport teams and rode in motocross and bmx for 11 years . I never had a problem picking up girls In my school years and most things were pretty easy for me to learn to do. Funny thing I remember growing up in a tough environment was I always got into fights and oddly I won most of them .. I think back and talk to a lot of old friends on fb today and they will always say the same thing that know one thought of me having one hand .. 🙂

  13. navneet sekhon on November 9, 2014 at 10:43 am

    My daughter is 9 years old .she was born with left hand. her right arm ends on wrist. She used to get hurt when ppl stared & ask question reg. what how it happened… But as the time passed now she has learned to tackle those situations.. but I know she ‘s undergoing a very difficult phase of life.
    This is a good platform where we all can share our views. Can anybody tell what exactly cause this absence of hand or digits.

    • Jen Lee Reeves on November 12, 2014 at 10:07 am

      Navneet – in many cases, experts think a blood flow problem in-utero caused the limb difference.

  14. Angela Towers on November 12, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Hi. Lucas is going to be 2 on the 15th of January. How time flies. When I was pregnant with him, the midwife said my bump was measuring bigger than it should be. I had something called polyhydramnios (extra fluid in the sac) but unfortunately it can cause birth defects. Never in a million years did I actually expect it to happen to my gorgeous boy but it did. He was born with his left arm ending near the wrist with stubs for fingers, no muscles or tendons in his arm either so nothing as of surgery can be done but I’m happy to say he wouldn’t need it anyway. He’s the most happiest little boy I know and he melts my heart xx

  15. Kate Nichols on July 6, 2015 at 1:44 am

    My son was born today at 35 weeks 5 days, as a complete shock to his father and I he was born with his left arm ending above his elbow. After a completely normal problem free pregnancy we certainly wasn’t expecting this. Are there any support groups out there?

    • Jen Lee Reeves on July 6, 2015 at 11:20 am

      Hi Kate. Congrats on your little guy. I completely understand the surprise and shock that you can feel. I hope it’s okay, I’m going to send you an email and see if I can connect you to some great organizations that offer a ton of support.

  16. Lindsay on July 8, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Hello, I’m from England and 25 weeks pregnant with a very active baby who we found out at our 12 week scan doesn’t have a left hand, further scans show it ends at the wrist and from what they can tell it just wasn’t in baby’s DNA to have a left hand. They can’t see any evidence of other causes. My husband and I have been completely happy with this news since finding out as we firmly believe this child can achieve what ever it wants to in life as it will find a way of doing those things. We certainly will make sure it gets the same opportunities in life as our eldest child. After talks with a consultant today it’s hitting home that however much we’re fine with it, the doctors will want to see much more of us with this child and I’m starting to feel the weight of the unknown adventure that lies ahead of us. I don’t usually Google health related things but I’m glad I did because I’ve found this thread and it’s giving me my grounding back and it’s wonderful to read your stories.

    • Jen Lee Reeves on July 8, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      Congrats on your new baby, Lindsay. I know it can feel overwhelming. But I promise, your son will do everything your older son can do and possibly more. Please feel free to email me: jen [at] bornjustright [dot] com.

    • Katie on July 25, 2016 at 10:06 am

      Hi! I just happened upon this website and read your post. If it makes you all feel better or less worried about the little ones future- I am a 36 year old woman who was born without my left hand. I am a lawyer, am happily married and just gave birth to our second son. it was a little rough in the younger years but I didn’t let it stop me and my amazing family never treated me any different so I never felt different. I certainly don’t let anyone treat me differently. A strong and fun family is all these little ones need and I wish you all the luck and love in the whole world!! Xoxo

      • Jen Lee Reeves on July 25, 2016 at 11:30 am

        Thanks, Katie! I totally agree. The combination of strong and fun makes a world of difference!

  17. Kate Nichols on July 16, 2015 at 8:41 am

    @Jen I would love that! We have been home from the hospital for a week now and are just now starting to get settled. I do have a question though, has anyone had any issues with carseat’s? His arm stop right above where the elbow would be and I’m nervous about my carseat harness.

    • Rachel on July 16, 2015 at 9:46 am

      @Kate Fern’s arm stops just below the elbow, so it’s a bit longer, but we didn’t have carseat problems when she was little. The biggest problem I’ve found is that because of her arm she ends up holding her shoulder a bit differently. I have to be really careful that she’s centered in the seat and the straps are tightened properly. There’s a great website/Facebook group called Carseats for the Littles with EXTREME detail on best carseat safety. You can also connect with a certified tech in your area, or post pictures to the group, to get help and advice.

      • Kate Nichols on July 17, 2015 at 7:35 am

        Thanks Rachel! I’m going to check out that page!

    • Jen Lee Reeves on July 16, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      Jordan didn’t have any trouble with car seats until she got older and I had to tell her to keep her arm in. No matter how tight, she could wiggle once she got into a toddler stage. Jordan has an arm that sounds very similar to your little guy. Keep those tights strap and hang in there! I’m still reminding Jordan to use seatbelt straps properly at all times!

  18. Steve on July 29, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    @Kate My daughter Mara’s left arm stops at her wrist and she has five little stubs that the Dr.’s called “digits” for fingers. What is “normal” in today’s world. My daughter will be 2 in September and is thriving. Her friends were so cute when they first met wondering why she didn’t have a hand and saying that it would eventually grow. Mara continues to impress my wife and I everday and has become a quite an impressive climber.

    I just found website and look forward to sharing more stories.

    • Jen Lee Reeves on July 31, 2015 at 10:24 am

      I’m so glad you found Born Just Right, Steve! Our kids really can do ANYTHING!

  19. Kate on August 18, 2015 at 1:22 am

    So glad I found this website. We have just found out today at our 20 week scan that our little one is missing the left hand. We are still a bit in shock (having lost a bubs to Trisomy 15 in Feb this year). Thankfully it seems that it is not part of a larger issue like Trisomy 18 (which they first suspected). We have no idea what any of this means or what the future holds – just glad to find there are others to connect with. Thank you for sharing your journey 🙂
    Brisbane, Australia

    • Jen Lee Reeves on August 25, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      Congrats on your little one, Kate. A limb difference is an adventure but it will not stop your little one from living an amazing life. Please let us know how we can help!

  20. Alyssa Carlisle on August 20, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Hey guys I’m 20 Weeks pregnant and just found out that the doctors told me she won’t have a left hand that her arm stopped growing right after the elbow, also she has a Ventricular Septal Defect, has anyone else had these two things together?

    • Jen Lee Reeves on August 25, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      Hi Alyssa, congrats on your little one. I have never heard of a child with a limb difference and a ventricular septal defect but it’s very possible they may play into each other. Hang in there! Your daughter is going to grow into an awesome little girl.

  21. The Early Days – My Right Hand Man on February 7, 2016 at 12:22 am

    […] an article which straight away made me chuckle and got me excited about our future all in one go. The Perks of Having a Baby with One Hand brought so much joy and hope back into my life at a time I was wavering. Until this point I’d […]

  22. Susan on March 13, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Hello everyone!
    I feel blessed to have found this website because it brings such a sense of connection. My little grandson was born without his left hand. I remember we found out at 12 weeks and it was such a shock. Yesterday I sat by the lake with my little 5 month grandson and keep looking at how adorable he was while he made me laugh every time he laughed and kicked! That was the very lake I sat at one year again and cried thinking something was wrong with my little grandchild! But nothing is “wrong”!! God sent him to us with some limitations just like He does for everyone. We just can see his limitation. He will face challenges like everyone else but is blessed to have a strong supportive family. Do I still cry and wonder about his future? Of course! Yesterday I saw him trying to grab and hold something with his one hand. I know it would have been easier with both hands ! It was at that point that I realized “but he can still grab, smile, play, etc”. He will have his difficulties just like all of us! His perception of the world will be the foundation we build. Believe me, it will be a strong omen
    Thank you to all who post and share because it is the support that makes us feel stronger.

    • Jen Lee Reeves on March 18, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      Susan, I promise you that every day your sweet grandson grows, the less you will worry about his limitations. That’s because there really are no limits to his future. If you focus on giving him the space to figure it all out, he really will figure it out. Jordan has surprised me every step of the way with how she naturally adapts. Please let me know if we can help in any way!

  23. Karel Kramer on September 6, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    My son is now 31. He was born without a right hand. He is a successful lawyer and has no problem having girlfriends or an active social life. When he was younger I dragged him to meet all sorts of kindred souls. A few years ago he told me he understood why I did so and that it probably was a good thing to do in most cases — but not in his. He considered himself normal and resented being reminded that he wasn’t. I’m writing this just in case your child seems reluctant to participate in groups of others with similar disadvantages. BTW, I also taught him that since life is unfair, use it to his advantage. In college he was able to register for classes before others and take longer on written tests.

  24. Taylor on October 2, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    I have been born missing my left hand and honestly I found this website quite offending tbh. There are no “perks” of having one hand it is the hardest and honestly the one of the worst things. I wouldn’t wish it on my enemy having people staring, laughing and making comments all the time. You have people judging you all the time. Yea I guess your trying to be positive about it but it can easily offend people with a similar disability

    • Jen Lee Reeves on October 12, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      Hi, Taylor. I’m so sorry your experience with a limb difference is so negative. The goal of this website is to try and help open the minds and awareness about limb differences. Hopefully, by talking openly about the challenges and benefits, more people in the general public will understand a limb difference isn’t a big deal.

  25. Nabeel on October 13, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Hi Group,

    I live in London and new to group. Reason i am writing here to get some support that my wife had 20 weeks scan last week and we have just came to know that our coming child will be having having left arm by the elbow and no left hand. This news itself is shocking for both of us as we have 2 more childs and they are completely normal. Consultants have advised us that cause for this is amniotic band which stops blood flow and hence no further parts developed. They have advised us that once child is born they will look into options .

    Since we have came across this news both of us are sad thinking how child will live and spend all life. I have read views here which have given us hope that kids of this kind will be special and learn their way to cope with the things. Any support on this will be helpful.

    • Jen Lee Reeves on October 13, 2016 at 4:31 pm

      Hi, Nabeel! Congrats on your third child. I promise your little one is going to grow up strong and able. Everything is possible as long as you let your little one try it all. A child with a limb difference will be just as normal as your other two! Feel free to drop by our Facebook page to keep up with additional stories and please let us know if you have more questions. You can also email me: jen [at] bornjustright [dot] com.

  26. Rebekah Jones on October 26, 2016 at 4:18 am

    Hi, Thank you for sharing your story! My favorite cousin just had his first grandchild about a year ago. He – Quill – is an adorable boy. He was born with only about half of his left arm but it hasn’t slowed him down. His grandpa posted a video of Quill on FB yesterday and he’s dancing while his grandpa plays the guitar and sings to him. He’s taking steps holding on to couches and tables. Within the next couple of weeks he’ll be walking!

    I watched part of the Special Olympics and was amazed to see what the kids could do who look just like Quill. I watched body builders work out with the same lack of half of an arm but it was not a deterrent. They were all really buffed!

    I live in MO and my cousins live in OR. I want to send a present to Quill but not sure what would be best. Typically, for someone his age I would buy duplos; an interactive item like Leapfrog; maybe a set of “tools” with a big dump trunk .

    I would appreciate any ideas any of you may feel like sharing. Thank you!

    btw, #3 is hilarious! My son used to pinch me on the back of my arm and it hurt! I finally started wrapping a cloth diaper around his hand so he could pinch it and my bruises could heal. LOL The diaper/nurse connection must have become strong in his little mind because when he started crawling and wanted to nurse he would get a diaper out of the diaper bag and bring it to me. 🙂

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