How to Make a Baby Laugh

Beaming at a baby while they're laughing is one of the simplest experiences, but boy does it makes us feel good! In this article, we tell you how you can make a baby laugh.
How to Make a Baby Laugh
Marcela Caffulli

Written and verified by the pediatrician Marcela Caffulli.

Last update: 12 May, 2022

Very few people can resist smiling when they make a baby laugh. This is why we all try to make babies laugh. According to studies, children can laugh 300 times a day on average until they’re 6 years old.

Why do kids do this?

Why do babies smile?

a baby smiling

An article from Consensus magazine states that “Laughter is the manifestation of a baby’s state of bliss, produced by games such as tickling.” However, although babies smile since they’re inside their mother’s wombs, this doesn’t mean they have developed their sense of humor or laughter.

In fact, little is known about how babies appraise a stimulus as humorous. For example, research has found that babies of all ages smile, regardless of the affection their parents show them.

However, after 5 months of age, the parental stimulus influences the babies’ affection, and this emotion intensifies at 7 months of age. This means that when parents try to make their babies laugh, they have a higher chance of achieving it.

The development of infant humor and laughter

In her book Program to Improve Sense of Humor, Begoña García talks about the development of infant humor. Here are a few of her key findings:

First month

Babies smile in their sleep. Likewise, they smile in response to stimuli such as touch and soft sounds while being lulled.

Second month

baby smiling up at his mother

The baby responds to external stimuli and smiles when they see human faces.

Third and fourth month

At this stage, the baby has mastered the art of “speaking with smiles” and starts to laugh in response to stimuli or when people play with them.

Sixth month

Babies become more selective. The baby will smile depending on how much trust they have with each person.

According to some experts, we must delve deeper into the subject of laughter in babies. However, what we do know is that laughter is a part of a baby’s social development as an important means of communication and an indication of well-being.

Now that we know more about the development of infant humor and laughter, it’s much easier to find ways to make babies laugh.

Your child may not smile that much because they’re sick. You should read: 7 Signs That Indicate You Should Take Your Baby to the Doctor

How to make a baby laugh

If you want to make your son or daughter laugh, don’t worry. Children usually dedicate their first smile to their parents.

However, if you need more advanced techniques to make them smile or laugh, we offer some tips below:

1. Tickle them

baby being tickled

Tickling a baby is one of the best ways to make them laugh.


Well, because touch is the baby’s first sensory perception. This effect is natural because certain nerve points are activated through physical contact.
Also, the baby’s  skin is very soft and responsive. This is why tickling them makes them laugh so easily.

2. A good bath

Babies relax in a comfortable environment. You should take advantage of these moments to make them laugh because they’re more likely to smile or laugh when they’re at peace.

A good example of this is bathtime. If you have small children, then you probably know that they love the water so much they never want to get out of the tub! After all, they’re used to the watery environment since they were conceived.

This is why you should remember to play with them during their bath. You’ll both have so much fun!
Learn more about: How to Bathe a Newborn Baby

3. Toys and stuffed animals

baby with his stuffed animal

Everything is new and amazing for babies. This is why moving stuffed animals like they were real amuses  them a lot. It doesn’t matter if you say nonsense because babies just love it!

Therefore, doing crazy things and joking around with toys and stuffed animals is a great way to make your baby laugh.

4. Peekaboo!

Peekaboo is a very simple game that not only amuses babies but also helps them in their intellectual development. Generally, 8-month-old babies can play this game. All you need to do is hide your face behind your hands and let them find you.

After a few seconds, show your face, make a funny face, and say “Peekaboo!” This will surprise your baby and they’ll start to laugh. Although it may seem stupid, it helps the baby learn about object permanence.

In addition, it allows the baby to distinguish different emotional expressions, develop motor skills, among other benefits. You can also hide objects behind pillows.

5. Funny looks

baby with dad

Babies learn to read their mother and father’s faces from birth. They also copy everything they do, as if they were a mime. For this reason, another basic trick to make your baby laugh is making funny faces or gestures.

You may have a bit of trouble at the beginning. But don’t give up! Try getting really close to their face and start smiling. This exercise will help your baby recognize the meaning of different gestures and is also a way to express body language.

In conclusion, smiles and laughter really aid a baby’s social and emotional development. We hope these tips translate into hours of fun and laughter with your baby and thus make your relationship stronger!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.