If you often hold your baby on your left side, you’re not alone. Researchers from the University of Sussex recently released a new study that found the phenomenon to be related to how our brains process information.
The mystery of why mothers cradle babies predominantly on their left side has long baffled scientists. Over the years, there have been many theories, such as freedom of the dominant hand and location of mom’s heartbeat. However, according to this new study, the habit is nature’s way of helping us stay in tune with our babies.
Hand a woman a baby — or even a doll — and she is likely to cradle it on her left side. According to researchers, this allows mothers to keep a close eye on their child’s changing emotions and needs.
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You’ve probably heard of the differences in the right brain versus the left brain before. While the left brain processes logical information, such as language and math, the right takes care of ideas and emotions.
When a mother holds her baby on the left side, the information she absorbs is passed directly to her right brain. From facial expression to tone, this makes it easier for mothers to quickly understand the emotional cues that their babies are trying to communicate.
Interestingly, the University of Sussex also included males in their study. They found that men do not have the left side bias and cradle children equally from left to right.
However, many female animals, including kangaroos, sheep, whales, and horses, have also been found to favor the left side when caring for their young.
It’s incredible to think of the ways that mothers are prepared to take care of their babies without even realizing it. Who knows? We might have other special powers that we have yet to discover!
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