Discover the Scientific Explanation for Why Mothers Tend to Hold Babies on Their Left Side

Why Do Moms Carry Babies On The Left Side? Learn The Science Behind It

Why Do Moms Carry Babies On The Left Side? Learn The Science Behind It

The Science Behind Why Babies are Often Held on the Left Side: Research suggests that parents naturally tend to hold infants on their left shoulder, not merely for convenience but due to neurological factors. According to findings published in the ‘Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Journal,’ this inclination is driven by the brain’s left hemisphere, which governs emotional connections.

What do the findings of the research indicate?


Since 1960, researchers in Germany have been investigating the phenomenon of why many individuals worldwide, despite being right-handed, tend to favor their left hand for certain tasks. It appears that, similar to the prevalence of right-handedness, there is a tendency for individuals to naturally cradle a child on their left shoulder. A study was conducted involving 40 such cases, revealing that 72% of individuals who are naturally right-handed tend to cradle children on their left shoulder. Further examination involved observing the brain activity of these individuals, which revealed that emotional processing predominantly occurs in the left hemisphere of the brain. Given that the right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for emotional processing, individuals seem to place their child in areas of their body where emotional connection is strongest. This phenomenon is particularly pronounced among mothers who establish a strong emotional bond with their baby during pregnancy.

What causes this phenomenon in males

Another investigation conducted in 1996 delved into this matter, focusing on male subjects. The findings revealed that when men experience slight discomfort or fear, they tend to favor the left side of their body. Consequently, they may find it challenging to hold a child comfortably due to heightened sensitivity towards the infant. This inclination often results in actions like holding the child gently to avoid causing any harm or disturbing their sleep. Additionally, it aligns with human psychology, where objects of affection are metaphorically associated with proximity to the heart. Given that the heart resides on the left side of the body, parents often cradle their child on their left shoulder as an instinctual gesture.

In addition to the reasons mentioned, there are further motivations for holding the child in the left hand, such as

  • The mother’s emotional brain directs her instincts and feelings towards the child’s left side, which contributes to the development of the child’s first language.
  • Other research suggests that infants are attuned to their mother’s heartbeat and emotions, prompting them to stay close to her pulse, typically on her left shoulder.
  • Placing the child on the left side often induces calmness, facilitating sleep on the shoulder.
  • Moreover, the right side of the mother’s brain, associated with delicate touch and emotional responses, communicates with the child’s left hand.
  • Given that the left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for language interpretation and emotional understanding in all individuals, it is particularly active in children, aiding in their cognitive development.