Do you know which side you normally carry your child on?
Next time you are picking up your sweet children, take note of which side you put them on.
Did you have them on your left?
Science says most of us are and the reason why is fascinating.
The reason most favor one particular side when holding your baby is not something you would necessarily notice straight away. But this tendency in mothers, human and otherwise, is one which has had scientists scratching their head for a long time.
Pprevious research has indicated that 70–85% of women and even girls show a bias to hold infants, or dolls, to the left side of their body. This doesn’t only occur in motherhood either. Little girls of preschool age have demonstrated the left sides carrying too.
What I find even more interesting is that this is not the same with males at all. Fathers tend to carry more often on their left side but other men do not.
For years, theories have been tossed about in an attempt to explain this preference. Scientists have delved into studies around handedness, proximity to mum’s heartbeat, left breast sensitivity and socio-psychological factors.
But recent studies are showing that the truth is far more cerebral.
It’s Actually All About The Brain
When a mother hold her child on her left side the mothers right side of her brain lights up. The right side of the brain is what helps a mother bond with her child.
Physical touch on the left side of the body is matched with a response in the right side of the brain.
This relationship between one side of the body and it’s opposing side of the brain is called lateralisation.
The right side of the brain is the side responsible for language and interpreting emotional signals, amongst other things.
Therefore, when a baby is held on the left, the mother better able to interpret it’s physical and emotional cues.
You may also find it interesting that humans are not the only ones who do this. Researchers have found that wild horses, reindeer, walruses, kangaroos, and whales tend to keep their young on their left. Even young that we’re able to choose the side to be on tend to stay on the left side.
So, take note today of what side you carry your children on. If it is your left then great job at carrying and bonding with your children. 😀