Your Baby’s First Laugh
Start practicing your best silly faces! Learn when to expect your baby’s first laugh and how to keep the giggles coming.
It’s one of the great parenting moments you’ve been waiting for — and once you hear your baby’s first laugh, you won’t be able to get enough of the sound, whether it’s a chortle, a chuckle or a full-belly laugh. Your baby has been experimenting with making sounds from her first month, from coos to gurgles to throaty sighs. Laughter is her next (hilarious) step in learning to communicate.
When to expect it: Many babies laugh out loud for the first time when they’re 3 or 4 months old, although the first laugh may come later for many other babies. Baby’s first laugh might be inspired by something as simple as seeing a favorite toy, pet or person (that would be you, Mom and Dad). While these early laughs and coos are delightful to watch, they’re rewarding for baby, too — she loves hearing her own voice and seeing others’ reactions. Once baby has discovered how to laugh, she may laugh “just because” — laughing feels good, after all, and it’s such a fun new sound to make. Plus, with each coo and goo she’s learning and practicing how to move her mouth and tongue to produce different sound effects.
How to help your baby discover it: There are as many ways to make a baby laugh as there are funny faces, goofy dance moves and silly sounds. Have fun discovering what makes your little one light up with laughter. But before you launch your Vegas stand-up routine, make sure your sweetie is prepared to be a good audience. Babies who are fed, rested and alert are most likely to be ready for comedy hour.
Continue to encourage giggles and coos by talking with your baby often. Provide a stream of commentary: “Here’s a clean diaper so you’ll feel nice and dry. All done! Now I’m snapping your shirt — one, two, three snaps! — and pulling up your cozy red pants. Should we read a book next? How about this one with the bears taking a walk?” It may feel silly to chatter away to someone whose conversational skills are limited to a few vowel sounds and gurgles, but this is how she begins to learn language and laughter. And by pausing in your patter, you not only give her a chance to chime in and test own voice, you’re also teaching her the social skills she’ll need to be a polite preschooler and a gracious adult.
What not to worry about: Don’t be surprised if your little one remains straight-faced at first — newborns can be a tough crowd, especially close to feeding time or bedtime. Some of your early efforts at baby humor may produce more tears than chuckles if the timing’s not right or if all the stimulation gets temporarily overwhelming. Remember: The first laugh is just one part of your baby’s ongoing exploration of sound and vocalization, and if your 3-month-old makes a lot of joyful noise — squealing, chirping, cooing, gurgling — without necessarily laughing, there’s no need for concern (even though you might be understandably impatient to hear that first giggle).
Some babies, too, are serious right from the start — you may have met a little “old soul” or been one yourself — and are no less charming for it. Just as some adults are quicker to laugh than others, some babies are as well. You’ll learn over time how to spark smiles, giggles and chuckles in your little one.
What’s next: Laughing is one of the first and most fun steps to socialization and communication. And with a little time (and plenty of stimulation!), your baby will be waving, babbling and playing peekaboo with you before you know it. Source: whattoexpect.com