When Do Babies Start Laughing?

And How to Get Yours Giggling

Baby laughing

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Your baby is likely to start laughing at about 4 months old. Hearing your little one's laugh is one of the most remarkable moments during the first year. Whether it's a chuckle or a full belly laugh, once you hear that sound for the first time, you'll be doing all you can to hear it as often as possible.

Your baby has been experimenting with sounds since the beginning. Those coos, squeals, and gurgles have all been practice for that first eruption of laughter, which is a vital step in learning to communicate.

If you're impatiently waiting for your baby to hit this milestone, you're not alone. The sound of a baby's laughter is music to their parents' ears, and it's a sign of healthy development.

Learn when to expect your baby's first laugh, how you can help your child discover the sound, and what to do if they haven't reached this milestone when expected.

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Click Play to Learn How to Make a Baby Laugh

When Do Babies Start Laughing?

Many babies will produce that first chuckle at about 4 months of age. However, you may notice your baby burst into laughter before or slightly after. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the typical range for babies to first giggle or laugh is somewhere between 4 and 6 months old.

Like any new skill, laughter may take some time to perfect. But as your baby gets older, their laughter will become more abundant. Also, while it's no question your baby's giggle is music to your ears, the sound likely pleases your little one, too.

Laughter feels good for everyone, and it's an enjoyable new sound for your baby to make. Babies also enjoy seeing the reaction their laughter evokes from their parents, siblings, and other caregivers.

How to Make Your Baby Laugh

Fear not: You don't have to be a stand-up comedian to tickle your baby's funny bone. Your baby's first laugh may come from their favorite toy or a pet doing something silly. Or it may come just from looking at your smiling face.

Like adults, babies have their own moods and preferences. The best bet for producing a case of giggles is to try during a time when your baby is fed, rested, and alert. In other words, don't let comedy hour coincide with nap time.

Having fun with your baby is the best way to encourage laughter. Here are some ways you can get your baby giggling.

Funny Faces

Your baby knows your expressions now and often tries to mimic them. Making a silly face, like opening your mouth wide or sticking your tongue out, may be unexpected enough to make your little one chuckle.

Blowing Raspberries

Who can resist a sweet baby tummy? Blowing raspberries on your baby's belly is a great way to produce a belly laugh. All you need to do is to kiss your baby's tummy while also blowing out. The sound and feeling is sure to elicit a giggle from your little love.

It may seem intuitive to tickle your baby to get a laugh, but it's best to wait until the giggles become more frequent. While some babies enjoy tickling, it can make others feel uncomfortable. So, wait until your baby can better communicate and express emotions before introducing the tickle monster.

Singing

Don't worry if your vocals are a bit dicey—your baby adores your voice. Songs with fun hand motions (think "Itsy Bitsy Spider" or "The Wheels on the Bus") are big hits with little ones, and there's no better applause than laughter.

Nose Kisses

That little face is so kissable, but a regular smooch is what your baby expects. Switch it up by rubbing noses and see if your little one reacts with a gleeful chuckle.

Peekaboo

Hey, where did you go? Hiding your face in your hands then shouting "peekaboo!" may surprise and amuse your baby, perhaps to the point of laughter.

how to make a baby laugh

Verywell / Jiaqi Zhou

Baby Milestones

Babies change rapidly during their first year of life. The significant developmental stages they pass through are called milestones, and smiling and laughing are both exciting milestones to look forward to.

The exact age each child will hit their milestones varies, but they can serve as a benchmark. Knowing what's expected when can help reassure you that your baby's growth and development is on track.

Many milestones build on each other (think standing, to cruising, to walking). If your baby has begun flashing their signature smile, chances are that laughter will soon accompany their gummy grin.

Laughter is a way your baby can communicate with you. Each new sound your baby makes comes from learning how their mouth and tongue move, so like any new skill, laughing takes a bit of practice.

Signs of Developmental Delay

It's important to remember that babies reach their milestones at different times. While charts are a great reference tool, you may find your baby acquires some skills earlier or later than expected. Milestones are estimations, and there is a range of normal in terms of when a baby will reach significant achievements.

But if your baby seems to have missed the laughter milestone, it could signal a potential problem. If your baby isn't laughing by 6 months of age, it's a good idea to bring this up with a pediatric health care provider. If your child has a developmental delay, they can receive early intervention services to help them catch up.

Common red flags to watch out for during the first year of your child's development include:

  • Absence of cooing or babbling
  • Failure to make eye contact
  • Inability to gesture or wave
  • Jitteriness or shaky, uncontrolled movements
  • Lack of social smiling or laughing
  • Losing previously acquired skills
  • Poor muscle control

A Word From Verywell

It's easy to compare your child to others, especially in the age of parent groups and social media. You may be concerned if your friend's child who is the same age as your baby has developed a particular skill that your little one has yet to acquire.

However, as long as your baby is healthy and isn't exhibiting any red flags in terms of development, try to sit back and enjoy their unique timeline. Of course, should you have any questions or concerns about your baby's development, it's always best to reach out to a pediatrician for advice.

5 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Birth to one year.

  2. Heggie BA. The healing power of laughterJ Hosp Med. 2019;14(5):320. doi:10.12788/jhm.3205

  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC's developmental milestones.

  4. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Speech and language development milestones.

  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Milestone moments: Learn the signs, act early.

By Renee Plant
Renee Plant is a health and wellness freelance writer with a passion for delivering well-researched, factual content to readers.