When babies are just born, it seems like all they do is cry, cry, cry. But babies are actually pretty funny – there’s no denying that. The reason your baby’s sense of humor develops the way it does has to do with the fact that their brains are constantly developing in complex ways. It’s fascinating to think about what goes on in their little minds as they figure out how to make you laugh and engage with you socially through humor. In this article, we’ll go over some of the main ways your baby’s sense of humor develops!
Funny faces and exaggerated antics are actually great ways for babies to practice their senses. When your little one starts teething, he or she will be exploring new sensations with his or her mouth, which can lead to funny moments, including smiles and laughs. In fact, there’s even a condition called gelastic epilepsy that causes babies to laugh uncontrollably when they’re teething—so if you’ve ever worried about a baby being sick because he or she was laughing too hard, relax! These outbursts are just a side effect of using the baby’s senses in new ways.
2) Watching TV
According to a new study from Washington University in St. Louis, babies learn what’s funny by watching TV! But as parents, we have an unfair advantage over our kids: When we watch comedies with them, we know what’s coming next. Babies don’t have that kind of foresight. They have to wait for their favorite cartoon characters to make another joke and react in real-time without any sort of context or explanation—and then try to repeat it later on. The researchers found that once babies are able to predict a character’s behavior, they start imitating that behavior themselves!
3) Time with older siblings
It’s been said that our sense of humor develops as we watch other people interact. Having older siblings certainly helps with that! Babies aren’t born with a great sense of humor; they have to develop it over time. And one of their best sources for picking up on how to make someone laugh is hanging out with older kids and learning what makes them giggle, which means plenty of interaction (even just watching them) is key. Babies also learn through repetition and being allowed to make mistakes and try again; repeat something over and over enough times, and even babies will get it. It may take years before your baby gets really funny, but they are developing their sense of humor every day—with your help!
4) Smelling food
This is a well-known parenting trick, but it’s true—babies are intrigued by smells before they even get to see things. In fact, smell often plays a bigger role in their world than sight. So keep food and snacks nearby if you want to make your baby laugh (and smile). Has an old banana lain around? Slice up a little bit and let your baby get a good whiff. If he laughs (and smiles), then he just might have inherited his mother’s sense of humor! It’s also worth noting that babies have less developed senses than older children or adults, which means they won’t be as likely to find dark humor funny.
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5) Being tickled
When a baby starts to develop a sense of humor, you can see it in their reaction to being tickled. This usually happens when they are between 7 and 14 months old. Some babies will giggle as soon as you tickle them. While others don’t find being tickled all that funny at first. It will probably take several weeks before they start laughing in response to your tickling, but keep trying—it’ll happen! And remember: It’s not always easy for babies to tell you what they think or feel. So observing their reactions is often a great way to figure out what makes them happy or what they enjoy doing.