making your Baby laugh : here’s what you need to know

One of the most joyful moments as parents is when our baby’s laugh. It has the power to snatch away all the stresses and sadness and provoke joy almost instantaneously. As parents, whenever we discover that our babies have now started to laugh, we will do anything to cause that laughter. Laughter is good for our babies as it makes them feel lighter and boosts up their mood. But this laughter has much more benefits than we realize. In this blog, our developmental expert, Dr. Clara Guru will inform about the benefits and tell us how to make our baby laugh?

Baby Laugh

When do babies start laughing?

Laughter is an amazing milestone that our little one’s achieve at around 3 to 4 months of age. Before that babies tend to give a beautiful silent smile in the first 2 months. Laughter takes place when our baby combines vocalization with a beautiful social smile. Baby’s laughter begins with a soft chuckle or an incomplete or silent laugh, or giggles and slowly progresses to a full laughter at around 5 months. But this is just an average timeline. Some babies laugh earlier than others while some laugh a little later. Each baby is unique and they develop on their own pace. By the end of 7 months, most children can giggle and laugh.

Reference from When Do Babies Start Laughing?

Benefits of making your baby laugh

Laughter does more than enhance the mood of our little ones. It is extremely important for many reasons. Let’s know about the benefits:

  1. Laughter helps develop better self-esteem and confidence.
  2. When a baby laughs, it indicates that the baby feels safe, happy, and connected to their carers. This emotional bond is essential for healthy development.
  3. Laughter is linked to brain development. When babies laugh, their brains release feel-good chemicals like endorphins, which promote relaxation and help in building positive neural pathways.
  4. Laughter supports social development by encouraging communication and interaction between babies and carers.
  5. Laughter helps our little ones make sense of their world and enjoy life.
  6. It promotes sociability, empathy, self-esteem, and problem solving. 
  7. Laughter balances the left and right sides of the brain, encouraging clarity, creativity and assisting the growth of intelligence.
  8. Laughter strengthens our baby’s immunity against illness.
  9. It helps with digestion.
  10. Babies have also been shown to sleep better as they go to bed happier and more at peace.

Brain regions Involved in baby’s laughter

When a baby laughs, several parts of their brain are activated:

  • Amygdala

This is an almond-shaped structure in the brain and is involved in processing emotions. When a baby laughs, the amygdala helps regulate positive emotions like happiness and joy.

  • Prefrontal Cortex

This part of the brain, located behind the forehead, is responsible for decision-making, problem-solving, and social interactions. When a baby laughs, the prefrontal cortex is engaged as they respond to social cues and interactions.

  • Temporal Lobe

Situated on the sides of the brain, the temporal lobe processes sensory information, including sound. When a baby hears something funny or amusing, this part of the brain helps interpret the sound and trigger a laughter response.

Reference from The Science of Baby Laughter

How do make your baby laugh ?

Parents can trigger their little one’s laughter with various things and behaviours. Let’s know more about them.

  • Silly Faces and Sounds

Babies love funny faces and silly noises. You can make silly and funny faces, weird noises like “boop” or “whoosh”, and exaggerated facial expressions to get a giggle. Your baby will definitely laugh looking at your weird facial expression or some kissing squeaky noises that you make along with it.

  • Playful Interactions

Parents, you can engage in games like peek-a-boo, where you hide your face and then suddenly reveal it, or hide a toy under a blanket and make it “magically” appear. You can play peek-a-boo with your baby at any age, but they may not respond by laughing until they are four to six months old. At this age, babies begin learning about “object permanence,” or the understanding that something exists even when you don’t see it.

You can try acting like you are “stealing” their nose or fingers by pretending to grab them. This simple trick often leads to delighted giggles.

  • Light tickles and gentle touches

Light tickling or gently blowing on your baby’s skin is a fun and unique sensation for them. You can also rub your nose on or kiss their tummy, hands, or feet, or “blow a raspberry” on their tummy to make your baby laugh. you can also try “walking” your fingers up their belly while you look into their eyes. 

  • Baby Talk

Use high-pitched, exaggerated voices and simple, repetitive words. Babies are drawn to this type of communication and find it amusing.

  • Mirror Play

Babies love looking at themselves in the mirror. You can show them their reflection in a mirror and make funny faces together. Babies enjoy seeing their own expressions and mimicking yours.

  • Toys and Props

You can use different toys or props with surprising features or textures. For example, a toy that makes funny sounds or a soft puppet can provoke laughter.

  • Gently bounce them on your knees

Sit them on your lap facing you and gently bounce them on your knees while making playful sounds or singing a silly song. The rhythmic motion and interaction often result in laughter.

  • Bathtub Fun

During bath time, splash them gently with toys or make funny noises with bath toys. The combination of water play and playful sounds can produce laughter and create a positive association with bath time.

  • Laugh along with them

Laugh loudly along with your baby at a loud noise or simple things that make them laugh, like a spoon falling on the ground.

Reference from When Do Babies Start Laughing? and How Do Make Your Baby Laugh?

Final thoughts by Dr. Clara Guru

Baby laughter is like a universal hug—it makes everyone feel warm and fuzzy inside. Dr. Clara Guru says that when you make your baby laugh, you’re not just bringing joy to their little world; you’re also stimulating different parts of their brain that are vital for their development and well-being. So, next time you hear your baby laugh, take a moment to appreciate the happiness it brings. Because in their laughter lies the secret to true joy, and that’s something worth celebrating every day.

Reference from Why I Study Laughing Babies and The Science of Baby Laughter

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  1. How is it beneficial for them?
  2. How can I make my baby laugh?
  3. What happens inside a baby’s brain when they laugh?
  4. When will my baby start laughing?

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