It turns out being breastfed or bottle fed can determine whether your baby will be right or left handed.
The debate over breastfeeding vs bottle feeding never seems to end, and frankly we think it’s a completely personal decision, but the choice you make could have an interesting consequence. A recent University of Washington study discovered a link between the way a baby is fed and whether they turn out to be right or left handed.
Nature vs Nuture
Even though the hand you write with is largely affected by genetics, there is also an element of nurture in determining the final outcome. The study found that being left handed was more common amongst children who were not breastfed. “We think breastfeeding optimises the process the brain undergoes when solidifying handedness,” the study’s author Phillippe Hujoel said. “The critical age window for establishing hemispheric dominance in handedness includes the first nine months of infancy and is in part determined by nurture.” We have to say we’re a little sceptical.
Does It Matter?
The study acknowledges that the method of feeding may only have a minimal impact on the hand that a child eventually ends up writing with, with initial hand preference not always indicative of the final outcome. It also suggested that the length of time that a child is breastfed for is an important factor. “It provides an independent line of evidence that breastfeeding may need to last six to nine months,” Professor Hujoel said.
So does it really matter what hand your child writes with? And does the way you feed them really have any ability to alter their preference? Who knows, but we think most mums have other concerns when it comes to choosing the best option!
Do the findings of the study hold up in your family? Tell us in the comments!