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.
Reasons Baby’s Laugh
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.
Take Mental Notes!
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.
Whether you’re new to parenting or you’ve already had your fifth child with another on the way, each new infant can treat you differently. Some of your children may be well-behaved, while other children of your’s may give you a harder time. Regardless of your situation, one of the most common problems that parents have with their children is getting them to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Laughter Helps Babies Sleep
But little do most parents know, laughter can help your baby sleep. It may seem out of the ordinary and unhelpful to try and make your baby laugh with funny toys or fun music when you’re trying to get them to sleep. But it’s been proven by countless parents in the past and today that laughter can help your baby sleep.
But what will make your baby laugh? Some babies have the most difficult time even smiling when you’re playing with them. Because of that, here is some helpful information about why your child most likely cannot sleep as well as some of the best ways to make your baby laugh, and to hopefully fall asleep and stay asleep.
Given the multiple different reasons on how laughter can help your baby sleep, you are recommended to try and make your baby laugh before they go to bed at night. But it can be difficult to try and make them laugh, since some children don’t seem to even smile when others play with them. Because of that, here are eight ways to make your baby laugh in addition to five additional ways to make older children laugh before bedtime.
How to Make a Baby Laugh
1. Tickle them
Babies love being tickled, so find their tickle spot and go to town on their little bellies and under their armpits. But you shouldn’t tickle too hard or for too long because they may become irritated with it, especially if they feel like they’re being forced to laugh or they can’t stop laughing. Stop tickling them if they start to squirm too much.
2. Belly raspberries
Babies also love belly raspberries because of the funny sound of your lips against their tummy. Not only that, but belly raspberries also tickle them, and you look funny while doing it, so they’ll be sure to laugh for belly raspberries.
3. Sing to them
Either singing funny songs to babies or singing in funny voices to your baby can make them laugh up a storm, especially if it’s able something that they already know about, like their food or a certain stuffed animal.
4. Make funny faces
Making funny faces at your baby can also make them laugh, and it’s the best known way to build a connection with your child, since they always see your familiar face. Making funny sounds to go along with funny faces is also a good way to make them laugh (6).
5. Play with toys
Babies love toys, especially if they light up and make sounds. Because of that, you should play light up and singing toys with your baby before it’s bedtime.
6. Crawl chase
If your baby is old enough, sometimes either chasing them or having them chase you while crawling is a great way to make them laugh.
7. Act like animals
If you have any pets, like a dog or a cat, then your pet might be able to make your baby laugh more than anything else in the world. But if you don’t, then you can act like animals and make funny animal sounds to make your baby laugh.
Either dancing for your baby or dancing with them is also an extremely effective tactic in getting your baby to laugh. Not only that, but making them dance to funny music while you’re holding them is a great way to get both of you laughing.
How to Make a Toddler Laugh:
1. Play tag
Toddlers are older than babies, so they’re more able to chase you faster. Toddlers always seem to laugh during a good game of chase tag.
2. Play dress-up
Playing dress-up is one of the oldest and most effective ways to get your young child to laugh, since they can see themselves in ways that they aren’t used to seeing.
3. Read silly stories
Your toddler is older than your babies, resulting in them having the ability to understand more stories in different ways. Consequently, either making up your own stories or reading books with your toddler can make them laugh enough to fall asleep quickly.
4. Avoid tickling
Toddlers feel over-powered when they’re tickled, since it messes with the power-dynamic that you have with your child. They often feel like they’re forced to laugh, resulting in them getting fussy rather than laughing for the benefit.
5. Let them play with siblings
Sometimes letting all of your children play together before bed can be beneficial because they’re familiar with each other, and they can play with other kids their own size (7).
Overall, it can be difficult to get your child to sleep at night, but making sure that your baby receives enough sleep at night is one of the most vital factors tied to their health. Since laughter can help your baby sleep at night, you’re recommended to make your child laugh before it’s bedtime. This will help them fall asleep quicker and for longer periods of time.
How Laughter Can Help Your Baby Sleep
Contrary to popular belief and intuition, laughter can help your baby sleep not only faster, but also for longer. Making your child giggle is able to help them release any stress and tension that they have experienced in that particular day, so it helps them to let everything go and relax before bed.
Not only that, but laughter can help your baby sleep because it helps you build a connection with your child. Laughter focuses on one of the major causes of sleep problems that babies most popularly have before they go to bed, since laughing combats the emotional problems that your child has from having to sleep alone.
More specifically, right before bed at night and during the nighttime are the most common times of the day that your child experiences stress or upset feelings. This stress and emotional state makes it difficult for your child to sleep. Laughter can help your baby sleep and helps to combat these negative emotions because your child feels a connection between you two when you’re laughing and playing together.
In addition to all of this, laughter can help your baby sleep because it induces melatonin, which is a sleep hormone. By making your child laugh, you’re building up the amount of melatonin that their bodies are building up, resulting in them receiving higher quality sleep. In addition to that, laughter can help your baby sleep because it produces happy hormones known as endorphins, which reduces the amount of stress that they feel before bedtime.
Furthermore, laughter can help your baby sleep because it requires a large amount of energy, resulting in your child using more of it and having limited energy left to run off of. Because of this, they’ll fall asleep faster and for a longer time (5).
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.