and once the baby is born, you’ll find yourself spending ample amount of time trying to make it laugh. And that’s great, because happy babies are the healthiest babies. As babies grow, their sense of humour evolves, and at each stage a whole new thing will crack them up. As parents, it’s helpful to learn all about the baby’s evolving humour so you can never seize to make them giggle!
Stage 1: 3-months old
Laughter trick: Gestures and physical actions
The first level of humour in babies includes motor stimuli and physical actions. Babies’ brains are also hardwired to learn actions by imitating them at this stage. This means if you want to successfully entertain your three-month old baby, you need to laugh a lot yourself, and your baby will join right in. Play time should include a lot of hand gestures such as playing peek-a-boo or wiggling your fingers close to your baby’s face.
Stage 2: 6 months old
Laughter trick: Funny/crazy actions
Babies are still looking at you to take cues on how to act, react and emote. This means that your baby is analysing closely whether you’re having a good time or are stressed, and will respond the same way. Do something that makes you and the adults in the room laugh, express physically that you’re having a great time, and your baby will end up bubbling with giggles. So, don’t be afraid to break out into a funny dance or act like a monkey in front of your baby! The sillier you act, the harder your baby will laugh.
Stage 3: 9 months old
Laughter trick: Unusual uses of usual objects
By the time your baby is 9 months old, they have had plenty of time to observe the adults and the things they do. So, although they may not know why adults do a certain thing, they do know how adults do it. They have begun to comprehend that shoes go on the feet, hats go on the head and spectacles or sunglasses go on the eyes! The moment you take these mundane objects and put it in a completely new spot, your baby will start cackling. So, at 9 months, the best way to make your baby laugh? Put a bowl over your head, use plastic balls as googly eyes, talk to your baby via a sock puppet – it’s going to be an instant hit!
Stage 4: 1-year old
Laughter trick: Funny noises
At this point, your baby is forming her own ideas of what’s funny and downright absurd. And in this regard, sounds seem to work the best. Out of nowhere, your baby will find the cat’s meowing to be absolutely hilarious. Silly high-pitched noises, the sound of a balloon popping, or even absurd sounding words will entertain her immensely.
Stage 5: 1 year 3 months
Laughter trick: The student is the master
You no longer need to go out of your way to make your baby laugh. Your baby has developed a few ideas of her own. For instance, she accidentally does something that cracks you up. She’s likely to do it again and again. She’s learnt all the tricks her parents have been using to make her laugh and now in turn uses it on you. Expect a lot of randomly funny behaviour such as absurd dressing, crazy dancing, tickling and so on. Basically, anything they do that makes you laugh will, in turn, make them laugh.
Stage 5: 1 year 6 months
Laughter trick: A conscious blunder
Ever noticed how your tiny tot refers to mommy as daddy or puts the shoe in the wrong foot, looks at you and then falls into fits of laughter? At this age, their brain is demonstrating something called cognitive incongruity. What this means is that by now your baby fully understands the true order of things and therefore, the real punchline of the joke is doing the exact opposite of what they should actually be doing. Watching you do the same will entertain your child just as effectively!
At the end of the day, there’s no hard and fast rule to when babies should be laughing at what. What’s more important is for you to maintain an atmosphere where everyone’s free to laugh out loud together and be silly whenever they feel like. It’s even easier if you’ve already spent your days building that special bond with the baby while it’s still growing inside you!