Once your baby bursts into their first uncontrollable giggle, you will do anything to laugh. Check out our age guide for exactly how to tickle his funny bone. Getting giggles is an important part of your child’s development. Indeed, a sense of humor plays an important role in boosting self-esteem, learning to solve problems, and honing social skills, explains Louis Franzini, Ph.D., author of Kids Who Laugh: How to Develop Your Child’s Sense of Humor.
“It’s one of the most desirable personality traits,” he says. “And parents, no doubt, can contribute to this.” Fortunately, this is one of the skills that you will enjoy strengthening. Here’s how to make a child laugh as he grows up. Babies usually release their first laugh at 3 or 4 months of age. But since children at this age do not understand humor, they giggle due to physical stimulation or textural experiences. They may also laugh as a form of imitation. Your baby is copying you.
Special brain cells called mirror neurons are programmed to make your newborn mimic your actions, so he will unconsciously smile back at you and imitate your outbursts of laughter a few weeks later. “It’s like going to a comedy club,” explains Gina Miro, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Johnson State University in Vermont. “You laugh because everyone else is laughing.”