When will my baby start laughing?

Laughter is the spice of life for just about every human being. When people laugh, they enter an entirely different state of being. An adult laughing can sometimes even inspire another adult to start laughing as well. It’s contagious. Nothing in the world, though, is as heartwarming and comforting as an infant’s first chuckle out loud. It’s a milestone in a baby’s life that parents often try to capture on video because it’s just so darn cute. The laugh itself is the beginning of your child’s sense of humor, that all important facet of the personality that sets out what people find funny or unfunny.

Seeing a baby laugh for the first time is really going to tug on the old heartstrings of any parent, and it may even make you laugh out loud as well. Do! Sharing a good chuckle with your infant is never a bad idea for brightening an otherwise bland day. There’s a lot of science behind laughter itself, but you don’t have to concern yourself with that to understand that a baby’s laugh is precious. Babies don’t laugh in the first couple of months of life, so it will be awhile before your newborn’s laugh makes its way to the surface. When it does, it’s a moment to remember.

When Babies Start Laughing

Babies start laughing usually around 3 to 4 months old. Don’t panic if your child hasn’t let out a chuckle for a little after that, and some children may even laugh before that. Every baby is different, but on the whole, you can expect the first laughter between 3 and 4 months of age. And what a moment that is! What triggers laughter in a baby is something you’ll definitely want to learn about. Since you’re the one who can share a good laugh with your baby, it’s natural to want to know what makes the little ones bust out into that cute little baby chuckle.

Babies start laughing typically around 3-4 months, but don’t be surprised if it happens in month 4 or even 5 for some babies. Many parents worry if their baby hasn’t started busting out into laughter by 4 months, but there’s no reason to worry most of the time. Every human being is different. We all have a different sense of humor and so different things will make us laugh. Babies are just the same as we are, only in their initial forms. One day they’ll turn into folks just like us, but for now they’re learning the ropes of social interaction. The study of humor and laughter is called gelotology. It’s a subject a few parents might want to look up and read more about because those are the dynamics behind your baby’s first laughter.

A Baby’s Sense Of Humor

When babies start laughing, it’s natural for parents to want to know how to inspire more of that good stuff. The first laugh can be spontaneous with almost no external stimuli, or it can be in direct response to a parent’s touch, voice, or even an object that is placed in front of them. What makes babies start laughing is a fun mystery to try to solve, but the scientific body of work on infant laughter is just as lacking as the study of laughter in general. That’s a shame because laughter is really one of the things in life that brings people joy and that signify something positive in human society. Of course, laughter can also be a sign of nervousness and shyness for adults. For infant’s, though. laughter comes across as pure, unfettered joy.

All babies are different, so babies start laughing for different reasons, too. If you’re one of those parents who has already seen the first laugh and can’t get enough of it, you will be happy to know that a lot of things inspire laughter from babies. Here are a few of those things that can make babies start laughing.

  • A very young infant will sometimes laugh at funny faces made by people
  • Objects that make noises, such as squeaky toys, can make a baby laugh
  • Gentle tickling of that infinitely cute baby belly will sometimes get a chuckle out of a baby
  • As infants get older, they will laugh at being held up in the air and brought back down
  • Funny sounds and sensations, like raspberries on the baby’s belly, can get a huge chuckle out of them

A baby doesn’t have the cognitive capacity to have what is traditionally known as a “sense of humor,” but they do find many different things funny. Whether it’s raspberries on the belly or a certain tone of voice from mom and/or dad, babies start laughing at some of the most unusual things. Tickling feet can sometimes work wonders, too, in getting your 4-6 month old to break out into hysterical laughter. Belly tickling is a good strategy, too, but you’re certain to find out dozens of ways to make your baby start laughing for and with you over the many months that follow the first laugh.

Appreciating When Babies Start Laughing

Parents will likely laugh along with their adorable infants as both parent and baby explore new things to find funny. Young infants who just start laughing will laugh at very limited things because there is a limited understanding of language and the fascinating world around him. As a baby grows older – around the 9 month mark – you’ll find that your baby’s sense of humor truly begins to develop. Thanks to a greater grasp of language and understanding, lots of things will suddenly become funny. Objects thrown in the air might nab you a chuckle. Certain words or phrases might tickle their funny bone.

After babies start laughing, you can make a mental note of it and find what triggered the laugh. If it was a light belly tickle, you can repeat that action and find great satisfaction in the fact that it’s you who is making your baby laugh. Over time, your baby will learn to laugh at things by themselves. For example, you might notice your baby whirl a piece of food across a room, only to bust out into uproarious laughter. Sure, it’s a mess to clean up, but it’s natural for babies to start laughing at things such as this because they’re exploring a category of humor called “breaking the rules,” or Violation Of Rules. This type of humor is present in adults as well who think it’s uproariously funny when they break the rules and something unusual happens.


Different types of humor will become more apparent as your baby grows into the personality. Babies start laughing spontaneously sometimes when they’re just playing by themselves, and things really get fun when they start being able to say words and communicate through language. Funny words will abound as your baby gets older. Sharing a laugh with your baby is perhaps one of life’s greatest joys for parents. Just like you, they have things that they find funny or not funny. Exploring those many things will bring both of you closer together as the bond becomes stronger between parent and baby. Sometimes you both will just have to laugh through the adventure.