Nina Buday/ShutterstockMoms, take a minute to think about how you carry your kids. Do you automatically hoist them onto your left hip, without a second thought? Weirdly enough, you’re not alone; most moms do the same thing.
Seventy to 85 percent of women carry their children on their left side, according to a study published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution. But it’s not a simple coincidence, nor just a convenient way to use your dominant right hand to make dinner or slap sunscreen on another child. Turns out, humans are actually “hard-wired to do so in order to keep their babies safe,” PopSugar reports. (By the way, the best moms in the world have this one trait in common.)
Researchers at Saint Petersburg State University in Russia call this phenomenon a “left-side bias,” and there’s a very important reason why it exists. Apparently, carrying a child on the left side of your body helps you foster a closer connection with your baby. Here’s why: The right side of your brain processes information related to emotions and facial cues. With your baby on your left hip, you can more accurately read your baby’s expressions, determining and responding to what they need.
Plus, this phenomenon doesn’t just happen in humans; a range of animals, from walruses to orcas to kangaroos, do it, too.
Long story short: The next time you think about switching your baby to your right side for comfort’s sake, you might want to reconsider. Your emotional bond with your kiddo will be much stronger if you don’t. (And if you’re an older mom, there’s even better news: Science says you’re a better parent!)