When Do Newborns Start Laughing?

So yes, this Website is about funny baby Onesies and other cool and useful things that make Babies or their parents laugh, right?
And so I constantly ask myself many related questions. Some of them just about funny things and what you can do to enjoy your time with the little ones more. But one of the more – well, let’s say –  scientific questions was:
‘When do newborns start laughing and smiling?’.

So I did some research on how old are babies when they start laughing and found out some interesting things.
To sum it up shortly:

Typically, newborns start laughing around month 3 or 4. Just like it will try to stand up on both feet and take the first step a little bit later in its life, at some point it will naturally have its first giggle or even loud laughter around said time.

It All Starts With A Smile

Some newborns smile already on their first days after they were born. At least it seems like that to the proud parents.
But actually, Babies just start around the second month of their life to use a smile as a sign of social interaction. Because at this stage, they start to recognize family members or other people that spend a lot of time with them, mimic their facial expressions and realize and analyze their behavior.
But nothing is set in stone here. As I will explain later on in this article, the time for specific milestones can differ quite a bit when you compare babies to each other.

It Will Probably Come Naturally…

So when do newborns laugh? What does it need? Even though it is something that every parent is waiting for, there is no need to try hard to make the first laughter happen. And as we know, it can be hard sometimes to sense what a baby really thinks is funny anyway…As you can see in the following video, it can practically be anything:

I remember myself giving the best funny faces I could possibly make – plus the ‘funny’ sounds that make babies laugh (at least I thought they would) of course – but nothing. After a few minutes and a muscle cramp around my mouths region, I walked off and hit my food on the doorway. And there it was…the baby laughter I was trying so hard to get out of my little nephew before.

…But What If You Can’t Wait For It?

Well. maybe you will be more successful than me with ‘the standard program’ of funny faces and stupid sounds that make babies laugh (if so, you might just look funnier than I do, hehe). So go for it, give it a try! It surely won’t harm your baby when it sees you trying hard to get his attention and reaction.

But the best advice I (and others) could probably give you here is: spend a lot of time with the baby, be patient and pay attention.

Often Babies easily reveal what they like and what they don’t like. They can’t tell you yet, but their expressions and their eyes give it away sometimes.

Do you need to worry?

During my research, I found posts of concerned mothers on forums, that say they haven’t seen or heard their 6 months old baby laughing yet. Topics that are titled ‘when should my baby start laughing?’ and parents, that seem to worry because their baby seems to have no humor. So what if you share their experience? Should you worry?

The answer to this is, that every baby can have its own pace. Of course, there are late starters with everything, also with laughter. Some kids jump around everywhere all the time and others can sit quietly on a couch for an hour and be fine with it. Everone – and every baby – is different. And there is no big secret to it, on how to make a baby laugh.

Just when there are several milestones that your newborn doesn’t reach in time or not at all, you might want to talk about it with your baby’s doctor. Other than that, just give it some time and be patient and loving.

Did You Know? #1

Once a baby has learned to laugh and feels comfortable with it, it will laugh about 300 times a day. This stands in comparison to only about 60 times that we adults laugh on a daily basis. Other studies even report numbers as low as 15 to 30 times.

Mirroring Gestures And Actions

Another thing can play a role if you want your baby to be happy and laugh as soon and as often as possible: your own behavior.

Newborns learn a lot of things by just inspecting their environment. If they see you do something, they want to try and do it too. When you touch something and react to it, they get curious and might try it too. So, long story short: laugh a lot!

Show your little one how good it feels to laugh and send those positive emotions to the little one. Chances are high that it wants to mirror you too and feels those positive emotions. And one good way to get everyone around your baby to laugh and smile are for example our funny baby Onesies, that will make you and others laugh for sure.

Physical triggers

A little later in an infants life, he or she will also become reactive to physical actions like tickling their feet or blowing on their stomach (apparently, this is called ‘blowing raspberries’). With a lot of babies, you will get some laughter as an answer to things like that. Just try it from time to time after you hear the first giggle or laughter. But yes…who didn’t love it to be a superhero and fly through the air back then?

Did you know? #2

Once you start trying to get some laughs out of your baby by tickling it on a daily basis, you might think of the question, why you can not make yourself laugh when you tickle yourself.
This is because the brain will already predict the sensation on that exact spot that you will cause with your fingers. It won’t be a surprise and that alone makes the spot less sensitive and so it won’t make you laugh.

Developing A Sense Of Humour

It will most likely happen within the first year after being born, that Babies actually develop an own sense of humor and the cognitive ability to find an idea funny. In this phase, it can differ quite a bit from baby to baby, what they personally think is funny. But an article that I found on the web (link), defines three different types of infant humor, that I found very plausible and that I recognized as well from my experience. I will talk about them in the next chapter.

Examples For The First Types Of Humor

So these are some examples of humor, that we as humans most likely develop first in our life. You probably have witnessed yourself before, that this works for most infants that just started to develop a sense of humor and a more specific understanding of what is funny to them and what is not.

  • Violation of rules, which simply means that your baby has learned enough to understand the accepted behavior around him and therefore certain rules to live by. Don’t do this, you should not touch that and so on. So if you play around and use this element, your kid might laugh out loud at you.
    Examples: throwing with food, doing the opposite of what you are told to do
  • Incongruity humor, or in other words: the element of surprise. This will occur when a baby has done or seen something for a few times now and developed an expectation and knowledge of what is about to happen.
    But then – tadaa! – something different happens that the baby does not expect. And there might be your laughter.
    Examples: things make a different sound than they should
  • The element of suspense, like when you play peekaboo with your baby. It has now learned that things continue to exist, even when they are out of sight. So your little one already knows that something funny is about to happen and from past experiences. The excitement about it and the expectation of the ‘pointe’ already builds up in your baby, so that it is likely to laugh throughout the whole process.
    Examples: Jack-in-the-boxI would complement this list with another thing that I experienced:
  • Your exaggerated failure. Do something simple and fail purposely in front of your baby. Act crazy. Do it again and again. And fail even worse.
    Your baby sees you as someone who knows everything and can handle every situation. Whenever it needs something you are there and help. It seems like you always know how to do everything and your child can learn many things from you.
    But what if you – in a ridiculous and exaggerated way – totally fail? Or if you (hopefully just as an act) even hurt yourself? Like I did in my earlier story when I hit my food on the doorway and my nephew finally laughed…
    Examples: smell on a fake flower that can shoot water and get more and more fake-angry every time you get wet

Did You Know? #3

Laughing causes a hormone called HGH to be released. This hormone boosts your immune system and helps you fight germs. So basically, people who laugh a lot, are less likely to get sick.

What To Expect Later On

As also pointed out in the article that is linked above, once your new family member understands language and says his or her own words, humor can hit a totally new level. Imitations, exaggerations and also things like the already explained incongruity humor will get a lot more possibilities and options.
Also, the so-called rudimentary conceptual humor opens up to them, for example when you pretend not to know your child’s name and call them by another name.

Also at this stage, kids tend to start that they want to make their parents purposely laugh and try to be funny with weird word combinations, his or her own imitations and so on. Enjoy that stage! Even though little kids make their parents laugh without intending it by just saying something weird or by just being very cute and adorable.

Closing Words

I hope you found the answer to the question ‘when do newborns start laughing’.
As you can see, you can make a whole lot of science about something simple like a laughing baby. Hopefully, you enjoyed this article and found some things as interesting as I did when I did my research. But in the end…don’t think too much, be patient and just have some fun together with your baby. Most things will come naturally and you, as a parent, will do a lot of things right naturally as well.

Yes, you can put deeper thought into it and analyze the different types of humor that your baby will develop and how you can get one or two laughter more efficiently out of your little one. It is good to know the basics and science behind things. But as said before, don’t think too much about it and don’t stress.
Laughter often happens naturally.

We hope you enjoyed this article! Please feel free to explore our website, rascalsinonesies.com, and make sure to check out our online store for some super funny Onesies and other useful baby items, that will make you, your family members, your little one itself, your friends…well, practically everyone around giggle, laugh and feel good.

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