So, This Is Why We Hold Babies On Our Left Side

Ever find you carry babies on the left side of your body? Well, science has a reason for that.

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Every time I hold a baby, the first thing that goes through my head is 'Don't drop it'.

Now, I don't have a tendency to drop things and never intend to let go of a baby, but the moment a friend or relative passes me their tot, I can't help envisage this awful slow-motion moment, like that stairway shootout scene with the pram in The Untouchables.

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However, once this momentary panic fizzles away, I'm just like every other human being with a tot – cooing, blowing bubbles and kissing the top of their head – as I carry the little one on my left side, which I suppose must be my stronger arm, right?

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Well, according to science, there's a reason why I – and many humans – seem to favour holding babies on our left sides and it's got nothing to do with muscle power.

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Previous research suggested that 70-85 per cent of women hold their babies on the left due to an ancient evolutionary feature that helps us keep babies safe.

But, in a study published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, left-side bias or left-cradling bias, urges the right side of the brain to process emotions and take in information from what's happening around us.

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The authors wrote: 'Left-cradling bias is a distinctive feature of maternal behaviour in humans and great apes, but its evolutionary origin remains unknown.'

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For the study, scientists examined 10 different species of animals (including walruses, kangaroos and humans) and found mothers held or cradled their offspring to the left, every time.

The researched surmised that our favoritism for the left side allows mothers to process information, logged in the right side of the brain.

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In other words, by carrying babies on our left-hand side, we take in information like emotions, tears, laughter and yawns with the right side of our brains, which ultimately helps us to bond better with a babe better and process how they're behaving.

'Our findings suggest that sensory lateralisation facilitates mother–infant bonding,' the study reads.

So, next time you have a baby that's crying, pop it on our left side and craddle it to sleep as you bond and fall in love with the little one. All together now, 'Aww'.

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