When Do Babies Laugh? [Possibility of A Developmental Delay]

when do babies laugh

With the addition of a new family member parents have to navigate a lot of concerns, in addition to this parents are very curious about the growth of their little one and notice their child’s every move. As a result, they spend most of their time searching online for the exact stages of the baby’s mental and emotional growth and worry about the healthy development of their babies for the first year. We are here to help you by providing the answers to your questions, which include concerns like when babies adopt different acts and when do babies laugh etc.

Still wondering when do babies laugh? It’s Generally, a baby’s first laugh is around the age of 2 months. A study from The national institutes of health website says that infants giggles (3-4 months) early in the first year. But do not be concerned if your baby’s first laugh is not at the exact age of two months, every child has their own pace. Many babies tend to laugh at an early age while some laugh for the first time at the late age of four months. To make your baby laugh out loud you can try different techniques, for example, making funny noises, silly sounds, funny faces, playing peek-a-boo, silly sounds, blowing raspberries, etc. Though your babies laugh, it does not mean they truly understand humor.

How to Make Your Babies Start Laughing?

Parents love watching their little ones laugh and are always on the look for ways they can use to make their babies start laughing. There are plenty of ways you can help you in achieving sweet giggles from your baby, some of them are listed below:

Funny Faces:

There is no doubt that babies start laughing when they see their mother and father making funny facial expressions. You can make a funny face by sticking your tough out or by making bunny teeth. These silly faces that one might expect a clown to make are enough to make your babies start laughing.

Blowing Raspberries:

This is one of the old tricks that never fail to make a baby laugh. Even a gentle blow to your baby’s skin will cause them to laugh. So if you want your baby laughing, give them a hand full of raspberries all over their bodies.


Hide yourself behind your hands or a piece of cloth, and then suddenly appear while shouting peek-a-boo and watch your baby start laughing with joy. It’s the element of surprise that makes the child laugh. Around the age of 12 months, when your baby has grasped the idea of object permanence then fun games like peek-a-boo will make them laugh hysterically. In addition to this, you can also try to hide stuff like your child’s favorite toys or a bright object which will help in stimulating your baby in this game of suspense and surprise.

Nose Kisses:

Give your baby a few nose kisses or Eskimo kisses and watch as they start laughing hysterically. The ticklish feeling caused due to the sweet nose kiss is enough to make a baby start laughing.


Older siblings tend to goof around to make the little one giggle or have a full belly laugh. Babies laugh most at their older siblings. You should make your children spend more quality time together. A little comedy hour will not only make your baby smile but also increase the sibling bond.

Belly Rubs:

Belly rubs are one of the easiest ways to make a baby giggle. Most babies end up laughing with the biggest grin when you rub their bellies.

Playful biting:

Pretend to bite your baby, they will enjoy that sensation and most likely laugh out loud.


Babies love to hear soothing songs. Though you may not have the most perfect voice, singing a little song for your baby may result in a giggle from your little one.

Silly noises that Lead to the Baby Laughing:

Sound effects like popping, kissing, squishing sounds or any other funny noise are more interesting to babies than your own voice. So you should try to make a silly voice to see that gummy grin.


Use toys to make fun characters, and make funny voices to make your baby laugh. This will not only make your baby giggle but will also help your baby develop imagination and increase creativity.

Horse Riding:

Place your baby on your keen and then bounce them up and down like a horse. This bouncing will be very fun and will surely make your baby laugh out loud.

Bouncing on the Bed:

Place your baby in a safe position on the bed and then shake the bed lightly. Your baby will feel like they are on a rollercoaster ride. Bouncing on the bed always makes babies laugh hysterically.

Pretend that You are Hurt:

Pretend that you are hurt and walk awkwardly while making funny noises. Babies love watching their guardians doing funny things and acting in a silly manner.

Gentle Touches:

The sensation of a light tickle makes babies laugh. Tickles on your baby’s belly will help you in getting those belly laughs. You can expect your baby to roll over while laughing.

Laugh Yourself:

laughter is the most infectious thing. If you start laughing yourself your baby begins to laugh along with you. This can be very fun for the baby and the guardian.

Sing a Rhyme to Make the Baby Laugh:

Babies love to hear funny rhymes. Singing a rhyme like “Pat a Cake” while clapping your hands will cause your baby to respond with a giggle or two.

How to Encourage Baby’s First Chuckle?

How to Encourage Baby's First Chuckle

A baby’s first chuckle is reserved for the mother and father. Though the first few smiles are a result of involuntary reflexes, the guardian can try to make the babies laugh with the help of all the different methods mentioned above. To encourage the first laugh the parents should work on building a beautiful relationship with their little one and make sure that they are mentally and physically well. You can expect to hear your baby’s laughter around the span of 2-4 months.

Sings of Developmental Delay:

Every child develops at their own pace, even siblings may have different growth rates. A minor delay in a child’s development is not a big deal but an ongoing delay in development may be an alarming sign. These development delays can be a result of many factors, such as:

  1. Hereditary or genetic disorders, such as Angelman syndrome, Williams syndrome, Rett syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, etc.
  1. Trauma to the brain, for example, shaken baby syndrome or vacuum delivery.
  2. Contact with toxic substances like lead or alcohol.
  3. A very serious infection, such as Malaria, meningitis, measles, etc.
  4. Environmental deprivation.
  5. Post-traumatic stress disorder or any other severe psychological trauma.
  6. Phenylketonuria or any other metabolic disorder.

In some cases, doctors are unable to identify the cause of the development delay. Several signs indicate a developmental delay in a baby, some of which are listed below:

  1. Learning ability is slower than other children’s.
  2. Difficulty in socializing and communicating.
  3. Crawling or walking at a much later age.
  4. Having trouble in school.
  5. Unable to perform normal tasks like dressing up for school.
  6. IQ score is very low when compared to the average score.
  7. Inability to remember things.
  8. Trouble in connecting actions with consequences.
  9. Unable to adopt simple acts. For example, the baby isn’t laughing.

If you spot any of these signs in your infants, take them to a doctor who will help you take the necessary steps required for a brighter future for your baby.

When to Contact a Doctor?

Even though every child develops at their own pace, if your baby is not showing any signs of development after a certain age then it is worth speaking to a pediatrician who can help you with your worry. The pediatrician will most likely recommend early intervention services.

At the age of 4 months, your baby should start showing development through their behavior. Following are some milestones that expect from your baby by the age of four months:

  1. Spontaneous giggles.
  2. Recognizing familiar faces.
  3. Enjoying playtime.
  4. Making sounds like babbling or cooing.
  5. Attentively following moving things with their eyes.

Keep in mind that some babies are more serious than others, because of which they do not smile as often and this is completely okay. Remember that you need to be patient with your baby and should not push them to do things.

Do Babies with Autism Smile?

Babies with autism tend to smile much less than normal children. If your baby isn’t laughing or smiling by a certain age then there is a chance that your baby may be autistic as children with autism display a lack of smiling.

In addition to a lack of smiling or laughing, the following are signs of autism in little ones:

  1. Lack of imitations: if your baby is not responding to sound effects or facial expressions by imitations then there is a chance that your child may be autistic.
  2. Unresponsive to names: in the span of 6 to 12 months, if your baby does not respond to their name then they might be autistic
  3. Poor eye contact: children struggling with autism tend to have a hard time maintaining eye contact.
  4. Attention seeking: autistic children initiate cuddling or make different noises to have attention on themselves.
  5. Lack of gesturing: autistic children do not use gestures to communicate frequently
  6. Repetitive behavior: this is one of the most recognized signs in autistic children
  7. Delayed motor development: if your baby is experiencing a significant delay in motor development and is unable to perform acts like rolling over, crawling, or walking then your baby may have autism.

If you spot any of these signs in your baby that you should contact a concerned doctor who can help you in taking the best decisions for your baby.

What Makes Babies Sad Inside?

Babies tend to cry a lot during the first few months of life. Infants cannot talk, the crying serves as a way of communication for them. Hence, crying is not necessarily a bad thing for children. A baby may cry because of several reasons, some of these reasons are listed below:

  1. Hunger: the most common reason why babies cry is hunger. Your baby’s stomach is very small in size so it is unable to hold much, as a result, you may need to feed your baby often.
  2. Crying because of colic: colic is a term used for babies that are otherwise healthy but tend to cry a lot without any clear reason. If your baby cries a lot and refuses your efforts for soothing then they may have colic.
  3. Wanting to be held: babies often cry when they want physical contact like cuddling.
  4. Needing rest: little ones find it hard to sleep, especially if they are over-tired. Crying and fussing at little things are ways through which your infants tell you that they need some sleep.
  5. Nappy changing: babies do not seem to mind a dirty nappy until or unless it starts irritating their skin.
  6. Not feeling well: when babies feel unwell they cry in a different tone. Their voice may be weaker, continuous, and high-pitched, indicating their discomfort.
  7. New teeth: babies become restless and irritable for a week before a new tooth comes out. Though your baby may cry a lot this process is very natural and is nothing to worry about.

An important thing to note is that though babies do not have a lot that may cause them to be sad, studies show that babies can also experience depression. This extremely unpleasant feeling can be a result of several factors, such as:

  1. Genetics.
  2. Brain chemistry.
  3. Environmental factors.
  4. The mental health of the guardian.

Babies learn a lot from the people around them and tend to mimic them. If the guardian is dealing with mental health issues then the babies develop emotions easily. As a result, a parent suffering from depression can lead to the baby being depressed. The best solution to this problem is to consult a mental health professional who will help you navigate through this problem.

Take Away:

A baby’s laugh brightens the world around them. For a parent, nothing is more important than their baby’s happiness, even watching their baby laugh in their sleep is enough to brighten up their day. A baby’s laugh is enough to take away all the tiredness of the guardians.

To hear your babies laugh for the first time is a feeling that cannot be expressed in words. When do babies laugh? Normally, when babies reach about 2 to 4 months of age they start to laugh. If you do not hear your baby’s first giggles by the age of 5 months then you should consult a pediatrician.

Stephanie Edenburgh

I'm Steph, a mom to 3 beautiful children and lover all things having to do with my family and being a mom. I've learned a lot raising my own children and working in education and healthcare roles throughout my career. Living in beautiful Southern California I enjoy documenting and writing about all of the hard work us mom's do on a daily basis.

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