Why do you prefer to cradle babies on the left?

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Marie-Ange Demory
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It is often preferred to cradle babies from the left side of the body. But why?



It's more comfortable? To have the right hand free? No, since left-handed people do it too! Experts believe the reason for this preference is another: emotions are mainly processed in the right hemisphere of the brain, which is connected to the left side of the body.

A team of researchers from the University of Bochum, led by Julian Packheiser, investigated the matter extensively, reporting the findings in the journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews on June 26, 2022.

In general, researchers' interest in the topic dates back to 1960, the year the first study was published. Julian Packheiser's team, based in Bochum, analyzed well 40 studies on the subject. "To explain the effect, we looked for all the studies we could find on this topic," said the scholar.



The analysis revealed that the majority of people interviewed (between 66 and 72 percent) holds a child with his left arm. For right-handers the figure is even higher at 74%, while it is only 61% for left-handers.

Finally, there are no major differences in behavior between males and females: 64% of men and 73% of women hold a child with their left arm.

READ MORE: Needs or whims? How to react to the baby's cry

Emotions are fundamental

Scholars have reflected a lot on the reasons for this preference. Perhaps right-handers hold children only on their left arm so that their right hand is freer.



However, because emotions are mainly processed in the right hemisphere of the brain, people tend to move their baby into their left visual field, which is connected to the right hemisphere of the brain. This could be especially true for mothers who have already established a strong emotional bond with their baby during pregnancy.

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