How do you hold your baby? According to new research from Ruhr-University Bochum, it’s likely you cradle your kiddo on the left.

The study, which was published in the journal Neuroscience and Behavioral Reviews, reviewed past research—looking at which side parents prefer to hold their infant with and what that might mean. Armed with 40 studies starting in 1960, the researchers found a connection between handedness, emotions and baby cradling.

photo: Fancycrave1 via Pixabay

So which side do parents prefer? As it turns out, most of us are lefties when it comes to cradling preference. Between 66 and 72 percent of parent use their left hand to hold their infant, and it’s not just left-handed parents who favor their left side. Right-handed adults tend to use their opposite hand when cradling more often. The stats in this study show a 74 percent rate of left-sided cradling for right-handed parents. But the rate drops to 61 percent for left-handed parents.

While the study didn’t find a conclusive connection between handedness and baby holding, the researchers did propose a possible link to emotions. The right side of the brain, which is linked to the left side of the body, is primarily responsible for processing emotions. The researchers believe this right side of the brain to the left side of the body connection may have something to do with how parents, especially mothers, hold their babies.

—Erica Loop

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