During his or her first year of life, your baby will make enormous progress. Those 12 months will be filled with an enormous array of memorable moments, from the first time they eat solid food to their first wobbly steps. Every first your little one experiences is a key milestone, and every milestone is also a chance to ensure your baby is developing and growing as they should.
One of the milestones that every parent looks forward to is hearing their little one laugh for the first time. Laughter is a wonderful way for your baby to communicate with you, and it’s also a good sign that he or she is intrigued, alert, and happy.
You can guarantee that your baby’s first-ever laugh will be a life-changing event. You’ll never tire of hearing their chuckles, chortles, and belly laughs. You’ll find that your baby experiments with sounds from their first month of life, cooing, sighing, and gurgling. However, it’ll take a little longer before you hear that precious first giggle. Here, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about when to expect your little one to laugh for the first time and what you should do if you have any concerns.
- When Will My Baby Laugh for the First Time?
- Why Is Laughter Important for Babies?
- Can I Encourage My Baby to Laugh?
- What Can I Try to Persuade My Little One to Giggle?
- Will My Baby’s Laugh Change Over Time?
- Should I Be Worried That My Baby Hasn’t Started Giggling or Laughing?
- My Baby Can Laugh – What Happens Next?
When Will My Baby Laugh for the First Time?
Usually, babies will laugh for the first time at around three or four months of age. For some babies, however, their first laugh will come later. There are many things that may inspire that first chuckle. It’s usually something simple, like seeing a favorite person or pet. Not only are those early coos and laughs wonderful for parents to watch, but they’re also very rewarding for your little one too.
Why Is Laughter Important for Babies?
Listening to your baby laugh is a joyful experience. However, it’s also important for your baby’s development. Laughter means that your baby is beginning to gather information about their surroundings and is starting to react to that environment. Studies have revealed that babies laugh at and with others, and this indicates that they are social even before they’re able to talk or walk.
Babies love to hear their own voice and they enjoy watching others react to them. Once your baby has learned how to laugh, they may begin to laugh for no reason, just because laughing is an enjoyable activity and is a fun sound for them to make.
Laughter also has an important function for your baby. With every noise that he learns to make, he is discovering and practicing moving his tongue and mouth to make a range of different sounds. This is very important when it comes to learning how to form words and to talk for the first time.
Can I Encourage My Baby to Laugh?
Lots of parents wonder if there is anything that they can do themselves to encourage their baby to laugh out loud for the first time. While there is no guaranteed way of making a baby laugh, there are many things you can try that could persuade them to discover the joy of laughter. It’s important not to get too obsessed with trying to make your little one giggle. It should be a fun experience for both of you, so make sure that your baby is in the right frame of mind to be entertained. Babies who are alert, rested, and fed are more likely to be receptive to your comedy efforts than those who are tired and grumpy.
It’s also important to remember that early laughter is reflexive, so it may come from nowhere. Babies don’t even need to be awake to laugh. You may find that you put your baby down to sleep and hear giggling through their baby monitor. This can happen from around 6 months of age, although it tends to happen starting at about 9 months.
Talking to your baby frequently is a good way of encouraging coos and giggles. Whatever you’re doing, you should keep up a running commentary of everything that’s happening. You might feel a little silly chattering to somebody who can’t talk back to you yet. However, you need to remember that this is how your baby starts to learn about laughter and language. Occasionally, pause in your commentary to give your baby the opportunity to make noises of their own and to test their own voice. This is also a good grounding in the essential social skills of conversation that are so important later in life.
What Can I Try to Persuade My Little One to Giggle?
Here are a few expert tips to help you to encourage your baby to laugh for the first time:
- Making funny noises. Babies often respond with laughter to kissing or popping sounds, to squeaky voices or to raspberry blowing. These kinds of auditory cues have a lot more appeal than regular voices.
- Gentle touches. Gently blowing on or lightly tickling your baby’s skin is a different and fun sensation. Blowing raspberries on their stomach or kissing their feet or hands often elicits laughter too.
- Use noisemakers. Different objects within your little one’s environment like bells or zippers can make your baby laugh. Try experimenting with different ways of making noises to see if any appeal to your baby.
Playing games – when your baby is ready to begin laughing, peek-a-boo is one of the best games to play. Babies of all ages enjoy this game, but usually, they won’t respond with laughter until they reach 4-6 months. This is because it isn’t until this stage of development that babies begin to learn that something continues to exist even if it can’t be seen anymore.
Will My Baby’s Laugh Change Over Time?
As your baby grows and develops, his laugh will change. This is because their vocal tone will change as their larynx develops. Over time, it changes and drops in pitch, tone, and intensity. Once your little one reaches around 9-12 months their laughter also becomes more intentional when compared with that of a 4-month-old since they have a better understanding of the world around them. The more your baby can understand, the more chance there is that he will laugh. Surprise games such as stacking blocks and then knocking them down are likely to elicit a fit of giggles. However, that doesn’t mean that everybody will be able to persuade your baby to chuckle. As your baby approaches his first birthday, he will begin to differentiate between unfamiliar people and those he knows. He may start to develop anxiety around strangers. If you make your baby giggle uncontrollably, but your friendly neighbor only makes him burst into tears, you don’t need to worry – it’s completely normal!
Should I Be Worried That My Baby Hasn’t Started Giggling or Laughing?
There’s no need to worry if your baby isn’t laughing at first. After all, newborns are difficult to please, especially if it’s around bedtime or feeding time. Some early attempts at making your baby laugh may even make them more likely to cry than laugh if you’ve got the timing wrong or if your baby feels overwhelmed.
It’s important to bear in mind that your baby’s first laugh is only one part of their ongoing learning about vocalization and sound-making. If your baby is three or four months old and is making plenty of noises, such as coos, gurgles, chirps or squeals, there’s no need to worry even if they don’t laugh. Of course, that doesn’t mean you won’t be waiting impatiently to hear their first giggle.
Not all babies are equally light-hearted. Some are very serious, even from an early age. Remember, some adults will always laugh more easily than others, and the same holds true for babies. Over time, however, you’ll learn how you can spark chuckles, giggles, and smiles in your baby.
Although many milestone markers will state that your baby should begin laughing or giggling between their third and fourth month of life, you don’t need to be unduly worried if their fourth month passes without hearing any laughter. If your baby is meeting the other developmental milestones without any problems, it’s likely that everything is perfectly fine. You should focus on all of their developmental milestones instead of just one. If, however, your baby has failed to reach several developmental milestones, you should talk to your doctor to get some reassurance. Your pediatrician will be able to tell you if they have any concerns and if your baby needs any further evaluation. They may even recommend certain therapies to help your little one boost their development.
My Baby Can Laugh – What Happens Next?
Laughter is one of the earliest and most rewarding steps in your baby’s progress towards communication and socialization. The next step is to encourage waving and babbling. Very soon, you’ll find that your little one is finding new ways of communicating with you and is starting to form recognizable sounds and words. Before you know it, you’ll be hearing those all-important first words!