New research explains why most of us tend to cradle and cart around our offspring on our left sides.

By Melissa Willets
January 11, 2017
Left Side Mom
Credit: Dragon Images/Shutterstock

Okay, I'm officially weird. It turns out that according to science, 70 to 80 percent of women cradle babies on their left sides and there's also an actual physiological reason for it. Except, I always carried my babies on my right...

Putting my own nonconformity to the (right) side for a moment, let's delve into the science. A study in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution looked at so-called left-side bias or left-cradling bias and found that fascinatingly, many species of animals practice it, from walruses, orca whales, and kangaroos to human beings.

Why? Well, the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and the right side of the brain also controls emotions. So by holding a baby on your left side, you are able to very efficiently tap into important functions for a mother, like figuring out why your baby is crying and bonding with her. Pretty interesting stuff, huh?

Researchers admit the evolutionary origin of why mothers across species hold babies on their left sides remains unknown. But their conclusions make a lot of sense, although some are questioning how big of a role being right- or left-handed makes in the equation.

I am right-handed. I figured I was stronger on my right side, and that is why I've tended to hold and cradle my children on the right. Or I'm just a weirdo!

What side do you hold your baby on?

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.

Comments (2)

April 13, 2019
I would hold them with my left arm because I’m right handed. If they needed a bottle or something it was always easier for me to hold with with my left and feed them with my right.
December 2, 2018
My baby never slept well (especially through the night) until I started using the website >>SleepBaby .org<< - that website has been by far one of the best things I've ever got my hands on to get him to fall asleep quickly. Best time is 45 seconds from awake to asleep! Can’t imagine life without it! I heard about it through a kindergarten teacher who uses it to put to sleep a group of 30 children. Check it out! >>SleepBaby .org<< - sorry, you can't post links here so you'll have to turn it into a normal link :) Best of luck to you and your family!