Baby’s Early Laughs: Should We Tickle Babies to See Laughs?

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Baby’s first laughs have a lot of meaning for your baby’s development. This laughter is a sign that your babies can see and recognize your face and also the environment. Your baby’s brain and nervous system have also developed to minimize the number of reflex smiles and replace them with real smiles.

And it is essential to nurture the feeling of happiness in the child. Once they smile, it means that they are happy and enjoying something around them. But tickling children can have many serious consequences that parents shouldn’t.

Baby’s first laughs

When is your baby laughing?

Before the age of two months, your baby’s laughter is reflective. And that laughter will go away when the baby is two months old. You can distinguish between a thoughtful smile and a real smile depending on how long your baby is smiling.

In general, reflex smiles often occur very shortly when your baby is sleeping. Real smiles only appear when your baby reacts to something, like seeing your face or hearing the voice he loves. So if you ask “tickling babies, the first form of comedy”, the answer is no.

Initially, your baby will use his smile to respond to visual and sound stimuli. Therefore, they often laugh when they hear you singing or talking to them. Once they know how to smile, they will laugh frequently. And if you’re still waiting to see your baby’s smile, encourage him by talking to him, interacting with his eyes, and smiling at him.

Is it a problem if your baby is not laughing?

Don’t worry if your baby isn’t laughing, as that doesn’t mean he’s unhappy or that something is wrong. Each baby will reach this critical milestone at different times. Some may arrive earlier, but some will need more than a few weeks.

At three months, your baby needs to communicate with you or other caregivers and even strangers with their eyes and sound signals. However, if your baby does not have these symptoms for three months, you should take her to the doctor.

Should we tickle babies?

Although laughter shows that your baby is happy and having fun, laughing because tickling is not the same thing. According to one study, only 32% of respondents said they liked tickling, 32% responded neutral and 36% said they did not like it.

Tickling children not only has no benefit, but also causes harm. And here are the reasons why you shouldn’t tickle your baby.

Is tickling good or bad for babies?

It makes the children breathless

A child who laughs when tickled doesn’t mean he likes it. Children who have a tendency to tickle can laugh non-stop when tickled, even if they hate it. Thoughtful laughter makes it easy for adults to think that a child likes it.

Tickling does not bring real pleasure. Tickling children sometimes only laugh reflexively, and this illusion deceives us adults, not even making us a little suspicious of the harm caused by tickling children. Children will have to deal with extreme physiological reactions like difficulty breathing, vomiting if they are tickled.

Tickling can hurt children

This situation can occur after you lose control of your power. Since your baby is sensitive and vulnerable, the powerful force can leave many scratches on the skin.

In addition, tickling can hurt children when they wave their hands, limbs. They may even fall or bang their heads or bump against the edges of tables and chairs when tickled.

Tickling leads to psychological problems

As noted above, a tickled person will almost lose control. Many adults have not thought about the harms of stimulating children without their consent. Children will be ashamed to see their arms and legs waggle and chuckle while struggling to control the body’s reaction.

When they tickle children, only adults see it as a joke, but this joke is not trivial. Tickling makes children feel intimidated and even tortured. The University of Kentucky studied 150 people who were abused by their siblings as children. And the study reported that tickling is some kind of physical abuse for them.

Tickling leads to lifelong belief problems

You might think we’re exaggerating the problem, but tickling can lead to serious mental issues. This is the main reason for emotional barriers, which make your children feel insecure whenever others approach you.

And the harm of tickling children is more serious and lasts longer than you might think. Subconsciously, these babies will always be alerted whenever there is “above normal” contact between them and others, even with families or loved ones.

Was Tickling Babies the first form of comedy?

The answer to this question is no. As a mom, you can and should do more than tickle your baby to see baby’s first laughs. At each stage, your baby’s first laughs will mean different things. And what you need to do is understand them and encourage them.

At two months

Your baby can use laughter to react to surrounding things and sounds. So if you want to see your baby smile, you should talk and interact with him more.

At three months

You will see that your baby starts to look directly in your face when he smiles. During this time, your baby will increase face-to-face interactions with those around him. Remember to make lots of faces to get your baby to laugh.

From four months to six months

Babies can laugh when they look away. And that means your baby is learning to control his emotions and doesn’t know how to express them properly. Just let your baby look away and don’t forget to respond enthusiastically when he turns around and smiles at you.

At eight months

Your baby can use laughter as a way of communicating with other people. Thus, parents do not forget to answer them with enthusiasm, joy, and also to smile a lot to encourage them to speak.


Behind your baby’s first laughter is a lot of exciting things. And parents should learn to understand and respond to your baby’s smile appropriately. If you do it right, your baby will develop emotions, thoughts, and babble.

However, please note that you should never tickle your baby to see him laugh, as this can lead to lifelong physical and mental problems.

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