A baby’s firsts are some of the most rewarding times in a parent’s life, no matter if it’s your first or your fifth baby. One of the most exciting firsts is when your baby laughs for the first time. There’s no sound quite like a baby’s joyful, bubbly, and bright laughter.
If you’re a first-time parent, you might be wondering when you’ll hear that first peal of laughter. If this isn’t your first baby, but your newest addition hasn’t started laughing just yet, you might be feeling a little worried.
When do babies start laughing? Once your baby reaches the right age, hits a few important milestones, and, of course, finds something to laugh about, you should be hearing little giggles brightening up your home in no time.
When Will My Baby Start Laughing?
At Mommy Care Kit, we care about you and your little one, and we want to help you learn more about how your baby learns and develops. Every baby learns at their own pace, but many babies hit milestones roughly around the same time.
Most babies start laughing around the time that they are four months. Some babies might be able to laugh by the time they are three months, but others might wait until they’re around five months.
The first baby laugh you hear will usually be a small laugh, more like a giggle. It will take a little while before you hear a belly laugh, usually about six months.
What Comes First? Baby Milestones
Laughing is part of your baby’s development. They’re beginning to observe, learn about, and respond to their surroundings. When they see something silly or feel happy, they can’t help but laugh.
However, before your baby learns to laugh, there are other signs of their social development you should look out for like:
- Eye contact
- Following you with their eyes
- Cooing and gurgling
Smiling and eye contact are part of their social development. They’re able to see you and read your facial expressions and learn to respond.
Before your little one can laugh, they have to learn how to use their vocal cords to make some sounds. They won’t be making letter sounds quite yet, but they’ll still be able to “talk” to you.
What Makes a Baby Laugh?
When trying to get your baby to laugh, you’ve probably noticed that they won’t find a knock-knock joke very funny. That’s because their understanding of language hasn’t developed yet.
Babies usually laugh when they feel happy and comfortable. They may not be as inclined to laugh if they don’t know their surroundings very well. When they are comfortable enough, they might laugh at you, themselves, or something else that they find funny.
Babies are more likely to find the things you do hilarious rather than the things you say. They can understand when you use a funny voice, even if they can’t yet understand the words. Babies enjoy things that are overexaggerated: big movements and big expressions.
They like physical comedy because it’s something they can see and understand. They’re developing socially and learning to relate to the people around them. You’ll probably notice that your little one will usually laugh with you.
Sometimes they might laugh at a funny noise you make, like a sneeze, but they’ll also respond to your facial expressions and actions. They like it when mom and dad interact and play with them. It’s one of the many ways that you can bond with your baby.
Your baby may not always react to you since they can be easily distracted. Babies love to observe the world around them, so their focus is on everything new. Babies will also start to laugh at things in their surroundings as they get older, especially if they discover something new.
How Can I Get My Little One To Laugh?
Figuring out what makes your baby laugh can be a long process. Every baby has different reasons for laughing. Some may find an exaggerated sneeze hilarious, while others might enjoy silly facial expressions more.
Eye contact is important for your little one, especially if you’re trying to get them to laugh. Laughing is a social activity, especially for babies, and eye contact is a way to let them know that you’re actively engaging with them.
What makes your baby laugh might change as they age and they learn to do new things. For example, older babies might respond better to something like mimicry, while younger babies might enjoy seeing your face as you interact with them.
Cuddles, Tickles, and Kisses
One of the things that makes babies laugh the most is physical contact. Giving your little one a big hug or a kiss can cause a giggling fit. Another good trick is kissing them quickly all over their faces or arms.
Tickling your little one is a great way to get them to laugh, but they may not respond until they are a little older. Finding your baby’s ticklish spot might also take some time. Like adults, every baby has different areas where they’re ticklish, although feet and tummies are common locations.
Some babies absolutely love it when their parents blow raspberries on their stomachs. This might also be a great way to distract your little one while getting them dressed or finishing up a diaper change.
Hand Them a Toy
Older babies can find new and old toys amusing, especially if you interact with them using the toy. If your baby is crawling or mobile, you can make a game out of chasing the toy. Use the toy to do silly dances or play peek-a-boo with it.
Your baby might enjoy seeking out and playing with toys on their own for a little bit, but when you hand them to your baby, they have something to laugh with you about.
Since the main reason that babies laugh is social interactions, making exaggerated faces at your little one can make them laugh and giggle. Many babies love it when parents act surprised, or they may just like to see you smile and laugh with them.
Around the time that babies start to laugh, they’ve learned to recognize the important people in their lives. They can tell the difference between strangers and their parents, and they are more likely to laugh at their parents rather than strangers.
Peek-a-boo is a popular game among parents and their babies. Peek-a-boo games are a fun option once a baby is around seven months old.
Peek-a-boo games work because babies understand object permanence around seven months. They can see that you “disappear,” but they are starting to realize that you’re only hiding, and ta-da, there you are.
Peek-a-boo is easy since all you need to do is cover your face with your hands and then uncover them again while saying “peek-a-boo.” Or, use a blanket to cover your head. Babies enjoy repeated games but feel free to try other games.
The easiest way to get your baby to laugh is to do something silly while maintaining eye contact with your little one. Along with exaggerated expressions, babies might also enjoy big movements too. Try swinging your arms or taking big steps.
Your baby also might enjoy watching you shake your head at them, especially if they do it first. Older babies are more likely to enjoy it when you mimic them.
Babies also like silly voices. A higher-pitched voice can be fun for anyone, including little babies.
Although it’s important to talk to babies normally since it can help babies develop their understanding of language, you can also use baby talk when trying to get your baby to laugh. Baby talk is a silly way to talk to your little one and one that babies enjoy.
Another silly thing you can try is smelling your little one’s feet and pretending they’re stinky. Some babies get a kick out of it.
Some babies might enjoy playing games like “This Little Piggy” or “Patty Cake.” They might not always cause your baby to laugh, but you’ll definitely get a smile.
Although babies at four months old may not be able to run or crawl around yet, there are other games you can play once they can. One of the more popular games is pretending to chase your baby around and then catching and tickling them.
It is a fun game and can help your baby develop and strengthen their motor skills.
Bringing Joy and Laughter Into Your Home
A baby’s first laugh is one of the many adorable things your little one will accomplish in their first year of life. You can’t force them to laugh until they’re ready, but once they are, they’ll gradually start laughing more and more.
Every parent looks forward to their baby’s first laugh. It’s a sweet moment and one of the most rewarding.