Toting around a tot is all part of the mummyhood experience (my daughter is four and she still requires ‘uppy’ on a daily basis). But have you ever stopped to notice what side you carry your child on? 70-85 per cent of mums opt to carry their bub this way (and not for the reasons you might expect).
A study published in Semantics Scholar indicates that at least three out of four women tend to hold their babies on their left side.
This is not just something that is noticed in mums. Even little girls often carry their dolls around on the left side. And animals, including humpback whales, kangaroos and walruses either carry or guide their young on the left side as well.
So what is going on?
Why the left side?
It could have something to do with the majority of the population being right-handed (88 per cent are right-handed). Carrying bub on the left means you still have your right hand free to grab your keys, send a text or open a door.
It could also have something to do with the position of the heart – carrying bub on the left means they are closer to mum’s beating heart.
But recent research indicates that it’s actually a lot more complex than either of these theories. It all comes down to the emotional connection.
Carry on the left; interpret on the right
When bub is being held on the left, the right side of the mother’s brain lights up. This is how physical touch works and is known as lateralisation. When you are touched on the left side, the response comes from the right side of the brain.
What’s so special about the right side of the brain?
It is responsible for interpreting emotional signals and language (among many other things). Thus, when bub is being carried on the left, mum’s right side of the brain is activated and she is more easily able to interpret physical and emotional cues.
The physical act of carrying bub on the left equates to a better emotional connection to your baby. Crazy, right?
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