Why We Hold Babies The Way We Do

Why We Hold Babies The Way We Do
11 January 2017

Which side do you hold your baby on?

I had to think about that for a moment but it's definitely the left hand side in my case, although that's mainly so that I have my right hand free for holding a cup of tea or scoffing a biscuit.

But according to new research, it could have a much more scientific explanation than that.

New Scientist reports:

'Mothers hold their children more on the left and wild mammals seem to keep their young more on that so too, at least when fleeing predators. Now it seems many mammal babies prefer to approach their mother from one side too – and the explanation may lie in the contrasting talents of each half of the brain.'

Could it be that we perch our babies on our left hand side so that we can read their social cues and facial expressions better?

I love that idea, and any notion which hints at the clever stuff that's going on beneath the surface of what seems like routine mother/baby interactions.

I still reckon the ability to hold a cup of tea steady whilst caring for your child also has evolutionary value, though!

What's your view? Do you hold your child on one particular side? And do you think it has a clever scientific explanation or are you all about the biscuits too? Leave us a comment below or come and join the conversation over on our Facebook page.

53 comments

  • Nikki G.

    I have always held my babies on my left hip.

  • Lesley M.

    They say women hold babies to the left as our hearts on that side ! I'm a lefty too :thumbsup_tone1::baby_tone1::grin:

  • Clare W.

    Hold mine on the right but think that's more to do with being left handed than any scientific reason!!

    • Sammi B.

      That's funny cause I hold mine on the left cause I'm left handed :laughing:

    • Sammi B.

      It just doesn't feel natural having them on the right, I can't do it :laughing: x

    • Kirsty P.

      I'm left handed and carry my kids on the right. I like to keep my left hand free

    • Joanne J.

      Right for me too and I'm left handed although do most other things with my right hand! Think I'm confused!!

    • Debs M.

      Me too. Left handed and carry on the right

    • Nikita W.

      Same left handed and carry baby on right :blush:

    • Sammi B.

      Looks like I'm the odd one :joy:

    • Letitia C.

      I'm left hanged and carry my daughter on the right

    • Hazel T.

      I'm left handed and I hold mine on my right side x

    • Nicky S.

      Also left handed and carry mine on the right. Just feels more comfortable. Although I do a lot of things right handed too.

  • Laura V.

    Oh no am i the only eighty??!! :thinking::thinking::thinking:

  • Lyndsey R.

    Held mine on the right :thinking:

  • Lindsey L.

    Left hand side, only as I'm right handed so need that dominant hand for tea and biscuits too :joy:

  • Chelle S.

    I hold my son on my right. I think it's because my right arm is stronger coz I'm right handed

  • Laura D.

    Left side, I'm all about the multi tasking though :joy: can't hold stuff in my left hand safely which is pretty scary since I just said I hold babies that way :thinking::see_no_evil::joy:

  • Chantelle T.

    Left because I'm right handed. And as 90% of the population is right handed it's just common sense to assume the majority of us use the left.

  • Danielle C.

    Right mainly, what's that supposed to mean if anything? lol i don't hold cuppas whilst holding my baby.

  • Sarah J.

    I hold them on my right and right handed too. Can't hold them on my left side

  • Kayleigh C.

    Right side for me.. Can't hold them on my left!

  • Katie F.

    hold on the left and im left handed. doesnt feel right holding on the right

  • Julie W.

    Hold mine on the right, but I was doing 'tests' at my son's school and I'm one of the rare people who are right handed (writing) but left sided (do everything with my left hand except writing). I'm also right brained (most people are left brained and hence why they hold babies on their left)

    • Anne M.

      I think I 'm like that too. Write with right hand but do lots with left and hold baby always on right side.

    • Nicky S.

      I'm left handed but do lots with my right had. Usually hold my daughter on my right side.

    • Abby M.

      Right handed but hold baby on my right hip! But I eat left handed and generally stronger left side for doing things x

  • Laura C.

    Right if placed on hips...but if theyre newborn they have their head in my left arm! Feels odd if i try to do it the other way round

  • Leanne P.

    Left & I'm right handed - it feels odd to put her on my right hip. That said I do a lot of tasks with my left hand despite writing with my right hand x

  • Kathryn H.

    I'm right handed and I hold mine mainly on my right hand side unless I'm doing something then my left hand side

  • Kerry B.

    it was always the left side

  • Sharon T.

    Left side and I'm left handed :baby:

  • Natalie L.

    Left side and I'm right handed. Hubby holds them on his right but is also right handed

  • Michelle B.

    Left as im left handed...

  • Emily R.

    I hold my children on the left as I'm left handed and it feels more comfortable. When they were babies I also held them with their head resting on my left arm. Couldn't do it tells other way.

    • Elizabeth G.

      I'm left handed but hold lil ones on my right hip and babies restin on my right arm so my dominant hand is free lol x

    • Emily R.

      If I need to use my arm I just switch arms and then switch back when finished. Although I'm quite weird in certain instances my dominant hand is right, playing guitar, punching, holding a cricket bat but everything else like writing, holding a baseball bat and everything else I'm left handed in.

  • Joanne R.

    Left and I'm right handed x

  • Amie J.

    Left handed but hold baby on my right!

  • Samantha P.

    It depends why I'm holding them If it is to get them from A to B then the right handside. If it's for comforting, kisses & cuddles etc then the left hand side.

  • Melanie A.

    I hold my children on the right

  • Hannah C.

    If standing it's on the left, but when sitting I prefer them leaning on my right

  • Jacqueline M.

    Hold on left side and I'm right handed x

  • Holly H.

    Hold on the right. It's my stronger arm and my hip on that side always seems to have a perfect ledge where they curve to my body where the left does not (do I sound lopsided ;) )

  • Nikki F.

    On the right for me...and I'm right handed

  • Hayley R.

    I hold mine on the right and drink my cuppa with the left? But I'm not a lefty? Lol

  • Natalie L.

    Left until my arm dies then i swap x

  • Emma L.

    I hold my baby on the right and am right handed, it hasn't explained what that means?? I do a few things left handed which I never noticed until I went clay pigeon shooting and could only hold the gun on my left shoulder.

  • Anne M.

    If carrying a baby then on my right side but feeding would be baby's head on left arm.

  • Emma B.

    Right side on my hip but if they're laying down its always on my left side, I think I wouldnt be able to hold them as long if I held them on my left hip

  • Victoria J.

    I'm right handed and held my babies on my right side. I feel like they are more secure in my dominant, stronger arm.

  • Stacey M.

    Left side they fit perfect but I am right handed though

  • Katie M.

    I'm ambidextrous and I hold my baby on my left but my elder child has always gone on my right even when he was a baby (all my pictures he's on my right)

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