Among the most awaited moments in your child`s life is to catch a glimpse of his smile. Although this rather tiny gesture of your little one might look as the most emotional and magical thing there is, it`s also a true sign of development in his life.
A laughter or smile represents a sign that he has been also developing from the emotional point of view, as well as socially or visually. While the little one`s smile keeps entertain the attention of your friends and relatives, his laugh also means he`s happy and that he enjoys the company of the ones around him.
A smile from your infant is always a rewarding experience, and this is only the beginning of a beautiful journey.
Table of Contents
- 1 When Do Babies Laugh for the First Time?
- 2 What Causes an Infant`s First Laugh?
- 3 8 Ways to Make the Little One Laugh
- 4 Why Does My Baby Smile in His Sleep?
- 5 When to Concern?
- 6 Talk to the Pediatrician
When Do Babies Laugh for the First Time?
The first laugh of a baby is generally reserved for the persons who first brought a smile on his face: mom and dad. According to Doris Bergen, a professor at Miami University in Oxford, it starts with them making funny noises and faces in order to get the little one interested or excited.
The relationship of the little one with the adult doing funny faces matters just as much as funny noises or physical feelings; he will play and laugh just if he will feel safe.
A bit later, what makes the baby giggle is first of all physical and feels enjoyable: tickling his feet, flying him gently through the air or blowing raspberries on his tummy.
At around 4 months, a baby starts to laugh due to things he may see or hear. He will in non-sense humor – some sort of an exaggeration of things he normally experiences, like ridiculous sounds like trills or toots, and faces with big eyes and large open mouths.
The giggles of your baby mean he is enjoying the time he spends; however, he does not yet have a real sense of humor. He will start developing this sense within the next 6 months, when his cognitive ability to find something funny will develop.
Also read: How Do You Know If Your Baby Is Head Down?
What Causes an Infant`s First Laugh?
Although newborns aren`t yet able to laugh at Jimmy Fallon sketches, they are able to giggle when hearing a foolish voice or seeing amusing face.
Specialists claim that early laughter is a reflex gesture. This could also mean the first laugh might come from nowhere. However, as little ones get older, laughter could appear more as a physical reaction to something enjoyable, pumping air to their bellies with your mouth or tickle them.
And another important aspect: As mentioned above, babies don`t just laugh when they are awake. If you put him down for a quick nap, do not be too surprised if you may hear a couple of laughs coming from his monitor.
8 Ways to Make the Little One Laugh
The first laugh of your baby might appear when you make funny noises, bounce him up or down, or kiss their tummy.
Other Babies Together
Babies enjoy the faces of other babies. If there aren`t other babies around, you could show him images with other infants` faces to make them smile.
Pretend to consume raspberries off the face and body of your little one by kissing him all over his body and making fart sounds or belly bubbles. These rather playful gestures generally make infants laugh.
A funny face will always make a baby chuckle. You could try showing him the tongue and make like you are sneezing. This will most definitely make him laugh pretty loud.
You could play peek-a-boo with the little one by simply popping the face from a specific object. Such gestures make most babies laugh, and will often ask you to do this again.
Strange noises or sounds are frequently used by mothers to make their little ones giggle. You could attempt making distinct noises or voices; this never fails from making babies laugh.
Puppies & Cats
Family pets, like cats or little dogs, will always make little ones laugh. Still, you should maintain their legs and arms safe from possible scratches and monitor his playtime with these friendly pets.
You could tickle the feet, inner thighs, under chin or armpits of your baby, and you`ll generally be rewarded with uncontrollable laughter. Most babies are sensitive to tickles, so they might laugh when you bathe them or change their clothing items.
When the little one is crawling on the bedroom`s floor, it`s fun to chase him around. He might have a wild laugh once you catch him! – Check this out!
Why Does My Baby Smile in His Sleep?
You have probably been seen your little one smile soon after birth. They often do this in their sleep.
At times, a smile happening in the first few weeks of a newborn`s life is just a simple sign that the baby is passing gas. However, since weeks 6 to 8, infants start developing a so-to-speak “social smile,” which is a gesture of warmth most of the time made without intention.
This is one of the essential milestones. The doctor will probably ask you if you seen your little one grin or not, so it`s best to start paying attention to such small details from now on.
When to Concern?
There were so many milestone markers that we can now safely say that babies normally start laughing between months 3 and 4. If the 4th month comes and goes and the little one isn`t still laughing, you shouldn`t concern just yet. It is very easy to get caught up in some sort of a timeline.
Some babies are much more serious and do not really cackle or laugh as others. This may very well be just fine, especially if any of the other growth milestones happen as they should. You should concentrate on the whole set of milestones appropriate to his age, not only one of them.
Still, if they might seem to be missing a few milestones in their particular development, it may be worth speaking to a doctor.
Talk to the Pediatrician
If you`re worried to the child isn`t laughing or reaching other different milestones, you should bring this up at your next doctor`s visit. As part of the doctor`s appointment, he`ll most certainly ask you about all the milestones of your baby, so make sure you`ll include all the necessary details into your discussion. – More info!
From there, you can both make the decision whether you would like to wait and watch for any other future development which should occur or if you would like to be advised to a therapist who might be able to aid your little one grow more in pace with other kids of his age.
Simply keep in mind that babies grow at a specific pace which is kind of unique to each of them. Comparing your infant to another baby will only bring confusion and make more upset from which you have nothing to gain.