The science of a baby’s smile

Sandra Kiume over at ChannelN has a nice video of new research that uses babies smiles to track their development. Here’s what they say about it:

Babies smiling at their mothers, and vice versa, were studied for signs of healthy development using a video facial tracking system.

In one finding, at around six months of age a baby will start to look away from its mother if she’s not smiling at it, which indicates interest in its environment, a normal stage of development. A failure to respond in typical ways may be indicative of developmental disorders like autism, and early detection can lead to early intervention and better outcomes.

In “Baby Smiles Provide Clues to Healthy Development,” a brief video from the National Science Foundation‘s fascinating Science Nation series, meet psychologist Daniel Messinger and some of the moms who participated in the study with their adorable smiling babies.

Click here to see the video Babies are Smiling for Science (Channel N)

 

Richard Bacon interview

Richard Bacon gets help presenting his show from his son Arthur.
Richard Bacon gets help presenting his show from his son Arthur  last October (Photo copyright – Richard Bacon).

Welcome to listener’s to Radio Five Live. Caspar was on Richard Bacon’s show this afternoon (click to listen).

It was great fun and hopefully it went well.  It went so fast I didn’t really have time to tell. But fortunately this also didn’t give me any time to panic about what I could do wrong on live radio.

Unfortunately, Richard was in Salford while I was in London so I didn’t get to meet him or his mango loving son Arthur. On the plus side, I did get to see inside the BBC’s shiny New Broadcasting House. It is space age.

Thank you to Richard and to all his listeners who have contributed to the project.

Caspar on Radio Five Live (Tues 9th Jan, 2013)

 

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Baby scientists

As a baby scientist I often get asked ‘What is a baby scientist?’. One answer is that I am a scientist who studies what it is like to be a baby. And what is it like to be a baby? Funnily enough it’s a lot like being a scientist: You start with no idea what is going on but two ways you can find out are by seeing what other people think and by performing your own experiments.

babies are like little scientists

This might seem a little too cute to be true*. But a lot of baby scientists are taking it seriously.  Laura Schultz and Alison Gopnik are both studying how young children’s play is a vital form of experimentation that helps them learn about the world and how it involves them weighing up different possibilities and probabilites. And the really great news about this is that it means rather than trying to teach things to tiny children we should put them in rich and stimulating environments where they can play around and discover things for themselves.

* That’s an occupational hazard when working with babies.

UPDATE(6 June 2013):
You can buy a print of this picture and other science-based baby goodies at NerdyBaby.net

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Your theories on baby’s laughter

In one of the questions in our survey we ask parents for their theories on what makes their babies laugh. Here are some of their answers. (My favourites highlighted in bold.)

  • He loves to join in with a shared joke, this is part of a much wider love of participating in shared experiences (eating, activities) so it doesn’t have to be related to laughter. Also one thing I think you forgot is laughter when playing with friends, he and his friends sometimes find each other hysterically funny.
  • He usually laughs when he sees older children playing,such as when I pick his sister up from nursery, or if he sees a child skipping along in front of him when he’s in the buggy. I’m not sure why, but I find it fascinating!
  • I think that sometimes he keeps laughing because he is tired…
  • She only laughs when she is being held not when sitting or lying alone. She laughs in response to playing or tickling
  • Nothing you forgot but my son seems to be a very social laugher – loves laughing with others and will try to continue laughing even when the real fun or mirth has gone sometimes to continue the moment.
  • Bonding with siblings
  • when she achieves something difficult
  • I think when she understands something, and also because especially at her age, she is getting frustrated that I don’t always understand what she wants – & laughter is such an easy way form of ‘ understandable’ communication. If you know what I mean!
  • My son laughs whenever I am about to give him a treat (like a cookie). (this might be covered by the “excited” category)
  • Sometimes laughs as he enjoys having the attention.
  • She laughs will joy when she is happy. She shows pleasure by laughing when she is in a safe and comfortable environment.
  • The reason behind why a baby expresses his/her feeling if joy and happiness through laughter is a learnt behaviour through social atmospheres and experiences.
  • Following his own ‘funny’ action; like closing a book with mum’s finger stuck in it; always worth a laughter
  • Our baby laughs when she becomes excited. The things that excite her includes being spun around, playing on swings and slides, and being thrown on the bed. Basically, anything that involves the sensation of speed. The prospect of pizza gets her going too.
  • He laughs a lot – I reckon he just find the whole world very amusing and silly. All these odd things that big people do!
  • Bouncing games. Rough and tumble play. Blowing raspberries and making funny noises/faces.
  • social communication; seeing people;
  • Response to movement, e.g. bouncing
  • To express genuine comic silliness
  • She generally laughs when she has accidentally hurt me and I am in pain. To me, that is inappropriate and it makes me feel unfairly treated, but I suppose she is probably laughing at my reaction without properly understanding the context.
  • He also laughs when his brother does silly things
  • Because something is out of the ordinary and looks silly to him, like when Daddy dances or the cats accidentally fall over.
  • She laughs in response to different stimuli and circumstances. Some laughter seems to be more based around communication and bonding – shared silliness. Others seem more physical and related to sensation and surprise (and sometimes nervous tension – eg pretending to drop her)
  • He loves to copy us all and has an exaggerated laugh for when we laugh at something
  • She seems to find her sister the most funny.
  • I think he laughs when he is happy. It is a form of communication.
  • she also laughs when she’s pleased with herself because she’s mastered a new skill, especially if someone important to her is watching – it’s like she’s overjoyed at how brilliant the world is and how clever she is.
  • It is often social – in response to other people laughing
  • I think our baby likes to join in with things, so if we are playing a game that is supposed to be ‘funny’, I think our baby likes to show he understands by reacting in the way that pleases/delights us! But also I think it’s a mixture of excitement at what might happen next in a game mixed with that element of ‘danger’ – his favourite thing is for his Dad to surprise him with a growl when he’s least expecting it.
  • its easier to laugh than it is to talk , i’ve seen it happen in adults when thay are talking to someone from another country but they don’t really understand what they are saying, so they politely chuckle
  • Already aware of how to hurt her sister and finds this very funny whn she pulls her hair. A bit like the Charlie video.
  • The funniest thing to our baby is when someone falls down. She will always laugh at that.
  • I get the feeling sometimes that he doesn’t laugh as much as other babies–when he is extra happy or excited, for example, he bounces. When he is naughty, he just smiles.
  • Difficult to say. Seems to be when she’s happy and something just strikes her fancy like the dog. Sometimes Daddy’s kisses on the cheek which would likely be person/sensation, but not much of any other tickling/sensation seems to do it…
  • when she thinks that we’re playing
  • I think the two main reasons are to communicate (as when he often laughs when we are sharing a game or in response to an exaggerated stimulus) and as a response to physical pleasure (physical sensation is very important to his laughter – perhaps because he is very physically active and loves to be thrown in the air, etc). He almost never laughs in order to make us laugh, but as a small baby he joined in with our laughter when he did not know what we were laughing about – which is why I think social communication is the key factor.
  • Spare energy helps. And if she is feeling proud of achieving something and senses approval from us.
  • Repeating games seem to have a place. She is more likely to laugh if she already knows the game which is about to come.
  • It pretty much always seems to be pure joy- he’s just so happy! Also, being well rested is VERY important- when he’s not well rested, there’s NO laughter.
  • When baby laughs along with you he seems pleased and reassured.
  • In anticipation of a pleasant/funny event, in part because of the joy of knowing what is about to happen
  • Right now he seems to only laugh at people when they’re paying attention to him and doing something silly or surprising.
  • This may fall Under a category already, my baby definitely laughs more the more her parents laugh.
  • she laughs when the unexpected happens. when she does something she knows she’s not supposed to do, or when something surprising happens like boo as mentioned above.
  • Because she is being engaged with in a fun and exciting way
  • movement, swinging, dipping moves regular games repeated with songs peekaboo/ “Wheres Emmy?”
  • My baby laughs because my oher children laugh and he like to be like them
  • she also seems to know when someone else is being silly and laughs….she’s always laughing and smiling!!
  • to communicate
  • when she ‘gets’ the joke. when we diaper and jump out at her. when the dog licks her
  • Things other people do. And voice intonation!
  • Because he’s a hedonist.
  • To communicate and bond
  • She laughs in response to anyone who engages her over the last few weeks. She loves people talking to her and smiling
  • To express pleasure, eg. When he sees a familiar face or someone he likes
  • He responds to others facial expressions. Even if a stranger smiles at him, he will laugh (although he prefers familiar faces) He also prefers and laughs at voices that are higher in tone.
  • he laughs when he wakes up early in the morning and his energy levels are very high, mostly when older people give him attention
  • She likes the feeling of making us laugh (her laughing makes us laugh). Because she has an innate sense of humour – she knew how to tease us without us ever teaching her to our knowledge – eg offering us something and taking it away last minute.
  • most of the cases above make her smile (especially when something is surprising), rather than laugh as such.. laughs are not that common.. and they are mostly on one to one games, when everyone is in a playful mood, and there were many giggles and smiles before, or she often joins in us laughing about something she does.. having said that she keeps surprising us about what makes her laugh..
  • Because he independently finds particular things funny
  • He laughs at anything unexpected, eg me sneezing, dog barking, funny noises, funny faces. He laughs in anticipation of something funny such as being tickled, bounced about, played with etc, and he laughs whilst being physically engaged with, rolled around, tickled, turned upside down, held high in the air etc
  • Sometimes he laughs for no apparent reason at all. His granny thinks he laughs because he recognises what is a game between him and the caregiver, e.g. repetition of tearing paper or repeating a particular noise.
  • He seems to find things that are out of place or unusual particularly funny.
  • She really seems to enjoy it and it gets her lots of attention. We make quite alot of effort to be silly etc to make her laugh. There is alot of laughter around her.
  • I remember my husband saying that our son laughs when he knows something is socially inappropriate, which sounds incredibly pretentious, but I do think is actually true. He also now roars laughing when he hears us laughing, even if he doesn’t really know what we’re laughing about.
  • She laughs a lot, and is a very happy baby. I love laughing too and I’m sure its contagious. At least once a day she makes me laugh so much I can’t do anything else, so I think she’s becoming the same.
  • She often laughs because she wants us to laugh too. Because laughing is fun!
  • Because he is in a happy environment with parents who love each other and him and his brother
  • In anticipation of being tickled in this little piggy
  • When he watches his favourite TV programmes
  • Mostly because of her older sister
  • Sometimes he laughs and does funny things such as putting something on his head or pulling a funny face to get a response from others
  • He laughs because someone is being very animated or excited around him.
  • Another one: she often laughs when our dog is scared and jumps/runs/barks at a toy. It seems like she thinks he’s doing it to entertain her…
  • When she can predict that something is going to happen
  • Our baby seems to laugh when the happiness overwhelms her and just comes bursting out.
  • N/A
  • Usually there is a high pitched noise like silly singing or funny talking voices, or the dog is being playful with them.
  • Because she is sleep deprived. (Laughs at everything) Because she is imitating other people who are laughing. (Forced laughter that doesn’t fit context)
  • Because she is ticklish, or she finds something funny e.g. A funny face or action
  • He laughs when he is happy. What makes him happy is playing with me and with his father, because playing is spending time together having fun, but also bonding with one another. Playing and laughing are another way to love each other.
  • he is very secure and confident that he is the centre of the universe and every he does is of great interest and fun
  • I think my daughter especially likes it when I do something out of character, like use a deeper voice, or put something on my head, or put my glasses on upside down.
  • it is fun – it is somehow giving him excitment and pleasure
  • Just to clarify something, I think that my baby’s laughter does communicate to me that he is enjoying himself and that bonds us, but I don’t think that he has that intention as such; I think of that as a beneficial unintentional byproduct
  • I think she is starting to understand the social part of laughing – especially the “being naughty” part that you listed above.
  • Strongest response seems to be too siblings.
  • When baby knows what will happen next- she will laugh before the tickling when doing ’round and round the garden like a teddy bear’ for example. When baby is making the adult do something like jump when playing peepo or make repeat a word by pointing to the same picture repeatedly.
  • She laughs when she thinks something is funny and when she has accomplished something that makes her feel happy.
  • His father trained him to laugh at certain things by always laughing himself when they happened. Sneezing, for example – his father always laughed ostentatiously at sneezes (even fake ones), so now that’s hilarious.
  • K generally laughs when others are laughing, being tickled, or surprised. When she’s happy she babbles to herself and smiles a lot, but doesn’t necessarily laugh.
  • I think he laughs because he is genuinely happy. I think too he loves to be entertained especially by his daddy. He may not fully understand what is happening, but he knows it is out of the ordinary when Dad starts racing around the room doing MC Hammer dance. It’s funny to me, so I imagine it is equally funny to our baby.
  • -baby recognize the person face -baby successfully wake the parents up (after a good sleep and morning wake)
  • when he shows what ejercise can do it
  • Loves to interact with his siblings, like singing to him or playing games on the floor & just giving him lots of hugs & kisses.
  • Funny noises
  • she laugh when listen to the sounds of a music box, scale of 8. When we play with her, the bigger action we do the more excited she gets & laugh hysterical.
  • I think he tries to communicate with us
  • when they look at each other they laugh at each other
  • Our baby laughs when she sees human faces, familiar ones especially. she smiles and laughs the most for mom and dad. She also laughs at her mobile on her crib and other toys that she enjoys looking at especially ones with bright color, lights and music.
  • se like being tickled
  • I think it has a lot to do with if the parents (or caregiver) are happy when they’re around their baby. We always have so much fun with her and she seems to be a very happy baby most of the time. And because she’s happy, I think she responds better to the above causes of laughter. I don’t know if she would laugh as much otherwise (but I don’t have any experience to the contrary).
  • happy and excited
  • When she is close to something she knows already by books or films, eg. a bird or spider
  • If you have a care giver that is active the baby responds and learns better. If you have a lazey parent I think the child then becomes lazey minded. And results in delayed reactions. My daughter is a happy child. We have bad days but I notice this is linkd only when we are home all day ( rainy day. Stay in and play but she likes to be out doors. Mainly happier out doors and exploring.
  • Since he was 2 or 3 months there is a specific term if i say it he start laughing and smiling.
  • Sometimes my little one laughs when she is tired…. It’s more of a laugh one second, cry/whinge the next
  • Because they are with mom!
  • Porque parece una beba muy feliz y sociable
  • whenever my other kids act silly, or when we play with him, and sometimes he just starts laughing at nothing!
  • I believe they respond to what they see in their environment. Sometimes she laughs to fit in, like when her mother and I share a laugh.
  • he enjoys bonding
  • Because baby knows she’s achieved something – e.g. managed to stand up (while in the process of acquiring this skill)
  • He seems to be amused by unusual visuals (weird faces, rapid motion) and by new experiences.
  • My baby laughs specially when he sees someone very close to him. He also laughs a lot when he is being played, e.g peek-a-boo, shoot the ball.
  • When baby is well rested (in the morning)
  • my baby at 2mos smiles and gasps when ever he sees his mobile… the toy does not necesarily have to move but when he see it overhead, he smiles and sometimes gets excited. He also smiles when you talk (high-pitched)to him face to face.
  • sometimes he starts grumping but not crying but sometimes this is fake and he laughs because he knows what he is doing.
  • when imitating her.
  • Because life is good, he knows he’s loved and he has no reason not to be extemely happy.
  • He has already learnt that excited laughs get positive reactions from strangers who stop to say hello to him.
  • she feels comfortable with the caring that we give her and the love we shows her
  • From 3 to 8 months it was mainly responding to physical touch and now from 12 to 14 months its much more social, in response to the dog or boo etc
  • When he realizes we are talking about him. When he sees a toy he likes. Sometimes when we are showing affection–i.e. kisses. When everyone is together (parents, grandparents, dog)
  • He laughs when he is doing something that he enjoys. Like having his bath. He loves the bath.
  • For attention
  • Often something new and an element of surprise eg. things she laughed at a few months ago are now not as funny to her because she is used to them. She smiles at the old ladies on the Wonga advert but does not laugh any more.
  • To cause a reaction and get attention
  • Sometimes he laughs and I’ve no idea why! I guess he’s just comfortable and happy
  • My baby laughs as a means to express a feeling of ‘joie de vivre’ and excitement about the world – people, toys, animals, new things etc
  • tickling- feels good, shared joy – he laughs more if I laugh when I blow a raspberry for instance. I think some things strike him as ridiculous, there is also perhaps an element of naughtiness – e.g. he knows he isn’t meant to be taking his hat off, but pulls it off anyway.
  • Its a positve noise she can give. Crying is usually to get our attention if she feels she doesn’t have it, but laughter appears to come from sheer joy of having our undived attention
  • She is a very funny happy baby with a good sense of humour
  • Silly noises that you make and also mimicking what I am doing
  • Because she is happy, and her mum and dad laugh alot so she likes to
  • “danger” and anticipation… 1, 2, 3 and whoosh in the air- on count of 2 he knows what to expect and starts giggling
  • Been happy and trying to communitcate that she’s happy and likes me talking to her.
  • Because she is getting attention. She likes to have the same action repeated over and over; for example I tap her nose with my finger and say “nosenosenosenose” and it kills her. Then I’ll do it again, but after a little pause. She likes to know something is coming, but not to know quite when.
  • She is happy. She says to us often “I am happy”
  • surprise
  • pleasure of the intensity of attention (especially one to one) pleasure of anticipation – knowing what might come next pleasure of something fun that is repeated in a build up of feelings encouraged by her feedback until it reaches a peak of enjoyment. pleasure of feeling safe and protected yet being thrilled – e.g. holding her in my arms, pretending to shake then drop her down towards the floor. pleasure of discovering they are now able to do some kind of movement such as bouncing on a trampoline. love of participation – seeing and joining in with someone else laughing and having fun – particularly with her sister as she can relate to her being a “small person” and also her sister is so expressive when she is having fun.
  • I think it feels good, and is a pleasant physical response to a mental trigger.
  • almost never cries, gets up laughing, the sight of a picture on the wall or a black spot especially if it causes laughter, laughs at any comment as long as we show a smile
  • To make family members laugh.
  • My baby appears to laugh when she is happy or joking around
  • Some of the above might apply more if he was older.
  • His prompts for laughter seems change over time. At 2+ months he thought it was hilarious when I would wiggle his arms. Later the same trick worked with his feet. By 3 months shaking my hair was the trick. Now at 3 and 1/2 he seems to enjoy light tickling with a laugh.
  • Because he cannot conceal his joy/excitement yet, so laughs because he is about to do something that he will enjoy. Sometimes we can guess what he is about to do from the situation and the fact that he has begum to laugh spontaneously.
  • there is a physicality to her laughter. She laughs a lot when my husband pretends to drop her. You could say it is a reaction to fear but she doesn’t seem frightened at all, it is more an exhilaration than anything else.
  • she laughs from fear/surprise and it turns out not to be – chasing her or boo.
  • i still cant work him out. I try to make him laugh – sometimes I can and some times despite him being really happy and playful…no. he though another baby sneezing the other day was hysterical but not since!
  • special satisfied comforted and funny moments
  • Pretty much all of the above, loves silly noises and faces too, especially when his sister is doing it
  • When their father gets home they see him they laugh a lot, also when they both want to do mischiefs they will laugh together, call each other and do it, if we tell them not to do it they will repeat “no,no,no” smile and do it again even though we could have a serious face. They always do that say “no no” when they a Ready know they should not do it but will try to smiling or laughing and do it again

What is the most memorable example of your baby laughing?

Here are some of your answers to our survey question about the most memorable laugh.(Some of my favourites are highlighted in bold).

  • He has a particularly deep belly laugh when his tummy is kissed or tickled.
  • Dabbing around his mouth with a muslin caused lots of laughter c6 months
  • laughing together with older brother while jumping on the sofa
  • recently we went to the swimming pool and after we took a shower, he was standing under the shower, laughing with pure happiness. it was so sweet.
  • When her dad came home from work and I stood her up to see him and she looked at him and laughed a lot.
  • He laughs so much, I don’t really know but he has a wonderful laugh and has been in hysterics on the bus causing much attention from other commuters!
  • He had hiccups after laughing
  • When being chased by her brothers when crawling, and she is caught and captured!
  • Being carried up the stairs with other parent following and pretending to be a scary monster
  • laughing while playing peekaboo, she was so excited that she laughed long before she could see me
  • Singing twinkle twinkle little star but blowing on her face, simultaneously, we both laughed so much we were crying!
  • He chuckles when upside down and under chin is tickled
  • Laughing hysterically at me pretend sneezing. very cute.
  • when running away when asked to come to you
  • He generally goes into hysterics when either daddy or mummy pretend to sneeze.
  • When he laughs at his older sister often when mummy is carrying him up the stairs for bedtime and his sister is walking upstairs in front.
  • when adults are laughing
  • a orange giraffe, shaking him and he had a bell inside him would make her really giggle.
  • Laughing at socks being thrown at him
  • Climbing up onto a toy chest, when I came into the room he grinned and giggled.
  • Laughing spontaneously as he understood something funny on tv aged about 15 months
  • Listening to his sister chant his name over and over again! (It still makes him chuckle with glee!)
  • laughing at his brother being crazy
  • Laughing at me jumping around with her toy rabbit
  • trying to crawl (when he was just getting the hang of it) and falling onto his face on the sofa.
  • being tickled
  • Playing peek-a-boo at around the age of 7 months.
  • at diaper change when opening the diaper to see what happened, we usually accompany this with cheers when he is sitting on my legs and i or his father sings his favorite day time song in the mornings waking up
  • when he laughs at something small, I laugh at him, he laughs at me and we end up howling with laughter at each other.
  • When he’s a bit over excited just before bed!
  • His Nanny jumping up and down in front of him and making him giggle
  • carrying him out of bed while still asleep; he wakes up, bit confused, and sees mother. smiles.
  • Repeated playing of “peep-bo” leading to increasing gurgly laughter
  • His spontaneously laughing at me hiding his spoon around his high chair
  • She hates having her face washed. one day in the bath, she took the flanel off my husband and washed his face and burst into peels of giggles.
  • When I was pointing at the animals on a pop up toy (horse, cow, sheep and pig) saying “neigh, moo, baa, oink!” and apparently that was the funniest thing ever.
  • Laughing hysterically at teddy reading a book and turning pages.
  • The first thing that consistently made him laugh: saying ‘big socks’. Had him in hysterics at five months!
  • laughing at us!
  • when a two year old was throwing a ball up and down and laughing
  • He would laugh at anything and everything
  • Being bumped up and down on a see-saw by his brother
  • The first time I (her mum) saw her laugh, when her older sister was dancing for her.
  • She is blowing raspberries at me, and I am jumping back in shock/suprise.. She thought that was hilarious!
  • Laughing so hard while playing hide and seek he fell off the sofa
  • Playing ‘peek-a-boo’.
  • The first time she laughed hysterically was when a friend pretended she had smelly feet. My little girl kept putting her feet to everyone’s noses, laughing so much, this went on for about 20mins.
  • first time she enjoyed being on the swings
  • When she first had hysterical laughing apparently for no reason
  • That would have to be his very first laugh as described above – it was on the morning of my 30th birthday – best present!
  • when her sister and her we poking each other on our bed they both though it was very funny , it was the first time they had had that type of interaction without me or my partner being involved
  • Crunching crisps!
  • Him descending into hysterics at a rainmaker being suddenly produced from a hiding place and then hidden again, over and over again.
  • Her first hysterics-We were watching a movie and I yelled at our dog to stop barking. Me saying his name made her laugh so I kept saying it and she went into hysterics.
  • At night he is usually breastfed to sleep. Some nights he randomly starts laughing while feeding although the room is dark and quiet. I wish I knew what was making him laugh!
  • Being tickled
  • Laughing at our dog. One night she laughed every few seconds for more than 5 minutes as the dog came by. She still laughs at her, but not as much. Definitely seems to be dogs face looking at hers that gets the laugh if anything.
  • at 5.5 months he was giggling and eating pureed carrots and laughed so much he sprayed carrots all over
  • My husband blowing on my baby’s stomach and rubbing his head on her feet. Causes deep chuckles.
  • we were walking on the street and her father was carrying her in a carrier. I saw a cat that made a noise and I made a noise to imitate it and she laughed and I realized it was the same noise I make when I’m pretending to eat her hands or her belly which always makes her laugh. I kept making the noise and she kept laughing. I think it was the first time that she laughed without me tickling her.
  • At tickles or “boo” games Spontiously laughing at newsreaders at around 5 months
  • Playing with his great grandmother
  • she was blowing raspberries and making new laugh and in turn making herself laugh
  • When we discOvered that hanging him upside down get a huge laugh
  • Giggling when being tickled or chased
  • Playing peek-a-boo while she was in her high chair.
  • My husband tickling our babies feet on his beard
  • He likes to be ‘stalked’; he instantly starts laughing and begins to crawl (or now, walk) toward you.
  • She goes hysterical when she sees me back from work (melts my heart)
  • Jogging with Flora in the Baby Bjorn sling, moving her legs up and down as if she was running, caused great giggles from all of us. Aged 6 months. We remarked we had never seen her laugh like that.
  • Lying on a bed, turned over to smile at his brother. Brother smiled back, baby started laughing, all three of us were in fits of laughter in no time.
  • when my son dances in front of her
  • When the baby first noticed our dog.
  • Her brother was jumping and dancing around, and she answered every new jump with bursts of laughter, couldn’t stop, so he kept jumping and she laughed until in tears.
  • I was singing and dancing a silly song, and Drew couldn’t stop laughing.
  • Spontaneous (unprompted) laughter in concert with her brother; not sure if she is laughing AT anything, but she wants to be a part of the action.
  • Making his own body move esp. by kicking off the floor in his jumperoo. Caused lots of giggles and excitement every time.
  • He and big sister often get into mutual hysterics for no apparent reason, and she’s learned to start it up by laughing “at” him.
  • She smiles and laughs whenever she sees my husband. She really laughs when he smiles and talks to her.
  • Dancing to drum music on my hip
  • She was about eight months old, and sitting on the bed with her dad. He was tickling her, and she would laugh so hard she would fall over. Then, after a few rounds of this, she started to laugh and fall over before his fingers reached her neck– the anticipation was enough.
  • Baby laughing when her older sister plays peekaboo with her
  • My husband was holding him and I was making faces at him. He was cracking up.
  • Blowing bubbles on his tummy after the bath.
  • I took a video example of daddy making faces and sounds it was pretty memorable.
  • playing peekaboo
  • When she was watching her older sister just going about her business. She wasn’t doing anything to make the baby laugh and I found that note worthy.
  • swinging her from upright to upside down
  • a big belly laugh from the back seat when sitting next to a friend’s 8 year old – over and over
  • When he was playing with his brotger and they were both laughing at each other with no obvious reason then that they were both laughing
  • her laughing at her brothers and sister
  • he chuckles and his whole body moves
  • when she couldn’t stop laughing when me and clemmy her sister were peeking out from behind a door at her – her laughter was quite uncontrollable and she has quite a throaty chuckle. we were all laughing, lovely moment
  • Playing with a bird puppet, silly noises
  • He laughs when he is inhis door bouncer, even when noone is watching.
  • She laughs heartily when bein chased around the house, especially if she tries to hide.
  • His sister pretending to be on the phone and saying-‘sorry wrong number,oopsy!’ Jago finds this hysterical everytime!
  • Giggling when being chased as she crawls
  • When she is thrown in the air by daddy and caught or tickled.
  • At about 7 months, he had hysterics when his Grandad hit himself over the head with a length of foam. His grandparents remember this and try to recreate it!
  • Her first gighle
  • Full blown giggling when facing Daddy including throwing her head back when Daddy made funny faces at 6 months old
  • That first laugh because it was so hysterical. He went red in the face and just seemed to have uncontrollable giggles.
  • Having a soft ball drop on his head had him in hysterics very early as well as any time his sister played with him (tickling or making funny noises)
  • Doing silly dancing with Mum & Dad when first learning to dance to music
  • Laughing at playing pulling a watch out of her dads mouth
  • He wakes up laughing every morning, clasping his hands and giggling with glee.
  • Laughing while his older brother is tickling him.
  • i was choking on a carrot and she thought it was hilarious and couldn’t stop laughing for about ten minutes!
  • Being chased
  • me snorring
  • ON my bad, waiting for the bath to run and I was blowing raspberries on his feet,then putting a surprised/shocked look on my face and asking ‘Who did that?’ and then laughing and he joined in too
  • Ongoing laughter lasting a long time – 20 mins?) while playing Peepo
  • Waking up in the morning to find her holding up her head and laughing at me or daddy.
  • I do hula hooping and once practicing on the green in front of my baby, and showing her various tricks, I suddenly lost control momentarily and my hoop started slipping down and struggled to keep it up, I laughed at my clumsiness and my baby laughed at me while the hoop was falling and i was laughing. That really surprised us, as before she would mostly laugh at things being done to her, rather than laugh with us or at things we do not specifically intended to entertain her. She was about 6 months then.
  • laughing when we were laughing watching a tv comedy programme (around 12 months)
  • She screams out too and covers her face
  • Him in his high chair and me wobbling a piece of cougette in front of his face. He was hysterical and kept wanting me to do it again.
  • The first time he laughed
  • She went through a phase og laughing and coughing at the same time, we called it cloughing
  • He laughs at strange faces, beards, glasses etv
  • She laughs hysterically at herself in the mirror or at her teddy.
  • When my cousin came over with her two children and he just kept laughing at everything the 2 year old was doing, her hopping, her jumping, just running past.
  • When his mother fake laughs in a silly way to cause hysterical laughter
  • He was about 4 months old and I (father) was pulling him up from a sitting position. He was keeping his head level with his body. However, on one occasion he let his head drop back and then burst out laughing. It was as though he realised that this was not expected behaviour. He then kept doing it, and laughing each time.
  • Really so manyits hard to say. I was recommended to do this survey by 3 seperate people as my baby is known for smiling and laughing. I have many great pictures of her laughing. I posted one on Facebook at 3 weeks old and was inundated with comments saying it had cheered everyone up – including from friends of friends whom i don’t even know.
  • At 6 months, her aunt (a professional childminder) was able to make her laugh very hard with a simple game of peek-a-boo.
  • I can’t think of one example that is more memorable than the others, except maybe the first time, but that was just because it was the first laugh.
  • She has a fantastic laugh and just goes with it. It’s developed over time but the video still makes me laugh. She has always pulled faces too (unintentionally) and I love to laugh myself so she seemed to pick that up pretty quickly.
  • The most recent time
  • When he was watching his brother dance, and he was lying on the floor watching, laughing, and waving his feet trying to join in. He stopped every time Charlie stopped so it was obvious he wanted to do what his brother was doing
  • Absolute hysterical delight while watching a toy car being wheeled back and forth.
  • Laughing at her mother whilst standing in her lap after feeding.
  • Laughing because his brother was laughing
  • Tickling her
  • when lifted over our heads – flying baby. Always makes her laugh
  • When their twin starts laughing at the first baby and then they just laugh at each other
  • Laughing at his brother who was just being himself but our baby found him so funny
  • Whenever she sees her Granny in glasses.
  • When kissing her neck or tickling her.
  • Always laughs at his dad to get his attention
  • Outside in his high chair having his tea.
  • As above at the moment.
  • Blowing raspberries on her tummy
  • Doing silly head movements whilst eating to copy us
  • giggling whilst sliding down legs
  • During peekaboo
  • Tickling her tummy
  • we were playing peek a boo with him and making funny noises. He laughed hysterically which made us laugh too, which in turn made him laugh more.
  • Blowing air on his stomach.
  • At 6.5 mos, she laughed uncontrollably–super cackles–when I made a pile of blocks and then knocked them down, and laughed again each time I piled them up and knocked them down. She laughed hysterically at the same thing later that night when her dad came home.
  • Chasing her 9 year old cousin like she’s an airplane
  • If you lie her down on her back and get on all fours above her, she would laugh a whole lot. If you brought a phone to record laughter, she would stop.
  • Tickling my baby and her laughing so hard she couldnt stop, even after I stopped tickling.
  • I droped a Glas, it shattered and she startend laughing
  • kissing his toes
  • he laughs hardest during games of peek-a-boo where we cover/uncover his entire body
  • I was “roaring” like a lion to scare away a random cat in the yard and he thought it was hilarious.i was trying to be scary.
  • He always laughs when he sees himsewlf in the mirror.
  • When we kiss his belly.
  • N/A
  • At 21 weeks they have just started giggling at the dog giving them kisses on the nose
  • Wife had baby sitting on her chest and lifted her head and said “no no no no no” in high pitched voice. Baby laughed at her doing this hysterically for 15 minutes
  • her laughing at funny sounds dad made We
  • my husband rubbing his beard on our baby’s face
  • I pulled on a retractable measuring tape that clicks when you pull it open and then retracts fast with the push of a button. She went crazy laughing over and over for as long as I played with the tape.
  • At just over a year, my daughter made what I think of as her 1st joke. My husband was eating potato chips. She turned to him and did this exaggerated chewing gesture (an imitation of the demonstrative chewing gesture my husband would do for her to encourage her to eat her dinner) and then burst out laughing. 
  • When her mother put a towel over her head, waited, and then pulled it off multiple times. (Each time resulting in a huge belly laugh) 3.5 months of age
  • Playing peek-a-boo with her and she laughed so hard she fell over.
  • Once she starts she keeps going quite a long time
  • Playing a classical song with children’s lyrics “Hayden’s Great Surprise” and the BOOM of the surprise.
  • First swing and second – he giggled continuously
  • The first time when I tickled his stomach.
  • Playing peek a boo.
  • Anytime we say “I’m…gonna…get…you!” and tickle his ribs he goes into hysterical laughing fits, even screaming he laughs so hard.
  • hide and seek with soft toys
  • Laughing uncontrollably when he blew a kiss to someone and accidentally made a fart sound instead of a blowing sound
  • her belly laugh
  • Watching Dastardly and Mutley on television with her brother and knowing it was funny and just copying him but not really knowing why she was laughing.
  • The second one when she saw her elder sister dance. She just burst out laughing which annoyed the dancer very much : )
  • When making a certain sound is the burst out laughing
  • She is always laughing. Laughing at us, her brother, the dog, etc. She goes into hysterics when we spin with her or dance
  • Him in hysterics when his mother was being silly
  • Squeling when being changed
  • At about 10 months old, my daughter was finishing up dinner in her high chair. Her grandma and grandpa (my mom and dad) were visiting and had given her a wet washcloth to wipe up her face and hands. She started flinging it over the edge and her grandma would slap it back on to the high chair tray and she would laugh and laugh hysterically. This went on for several minutes. We all couldn’t stop laughing ourselves because it was such a silly thing to find so funny.
  • When he was about 5 months old, I kept telling him he was “mischievious” and he kept a laughing! I think it was all the sounds in the word when you say it.
  • When her Dad sneaks up around a corner and jumps out at her or when she lightly slaps his face he jumps back and overreacts which she finds to be very funny.
  • When she thinks something specific is funny that would not be funny to adults like how the cap on a bottle goes on.
  • being tickled / running around with the dogs
  • Sticking my tongue out the first time which started a smile that developed into laughter for the first time.
  • Me blowing raspberries on his belly in the nursery and him laughing
  • We have a video of my husband tickling our daughter around 10 months – she is laughing uncontrollably!
  • i was tickling her and she scrunched her shoulders up and turned away from me laughing
  • When ever older brother does something silly knocking stacking toys over and then falling over. Gave himself hiccups.
  • Playing peepo hiding herself in a box and popping out saying, “Ba!” She laughs as I jump and then repeats laughing as she pops up each time.
  • When I returned home from work my mother informed me that she had been very serious all day and did not smile or laugh at all. I greeted her and started to touch her belly and make silly faces and sounds; she soon was in laughter.
  • I pulled a retractable measuring tape that clicks and then zips back with the push of a button. She laughed over and over.
  • When she was about 2 months old, I noticed her putting her bib over her face. She would lay there with the bib on her face and kick. When I would take the bib off of her face, she would laugh, then replace the bib on her face. She was initiating a game of peekaboo by herself.
  • One when he is laughing at some noises I made
  • When he was only about 4 months old he went crazy watching his father do a silly dance.
  • viendo a la mama
  • “Benchpressing” her above my head. By the third or forth lift she is in hysterics.
  • Daddy acting silly causing hysterics. Was reciting a children’s poem and that was hysterical to her.
  • When I (his mom)digs my face into his belly and and then kiss his face.
  • Tickling him
  • when my husband made her laugh hysterically by tickling her on her neck with his nose or mouth
  • Probably the memory mentioned above. It was the first time he closed his eyes, opened his mouth and chuckled. His whole little body shook with laughter. It was amazing!
  • When tickling or kissing his neck and tummy.
  • lots of memorable. cant choose. really!
  • when recognize person, i guess
  • @ 8 months old, he was in his high chair & his 5 yr. old sister was saying “uh- oh ” ( repeatedly )
  • At first I was shocked because it sounded so unusual.
  • When father look at her & said loudly & funny “Oh, you are so beautiful, co cute !”
  • when i raised him up
  • being tickled
  • His first laugh!!
  • when I tickle them or play with my mouth to their neck
  • Dad was singing her a good night song and she began to laugh very loudly.
  • everyone laughed when she did
  • I was holding her in my lap facing me, and I would put my head back, then slowly bring it forward to face her…I would make some sort of noise at the same time and she would laugh hysterically.
  • he kick and laugh out loud
  • When she giggles
  • When we make jokes with face expressions; Watching films on DVD or on You tube; Singing.
  • Her laugh was heart warming. Somthing il never forget. It was a genuine laugh in her sleep. 
  • She tripping over while laughing…dont remember what i was doing
  • when he was playing with his sister
  • In the supermarket when she had wind!
  • It was when I found out that with my movements and noises was enough to make him laugh, he was about 2 or 3 months old. I could be like that for minutes and he didn’t stop laughing.
  • las caras que le hace su hermano y su mama
  • Simulating an air plain with his bottle
  • when people dance or smile big at him.
  • laughing on que
  • She would pull blankets over her head, then take them off and laugh
  • playing with his brother
  • her dad played with her pretending his fingers are someones feet walking towards the baby and grabbing her hand
  • My husband started to sneeze because of an allergy fit and the sound of his repeated sneezing caused the baby to laugh so hysterically and unexpectedly it was just hilarious. However, this only happened one or twice, now she just smiles whenever she or someone else is sneezing.
  • when we hold in my arms and jump several times with him
  • He laughs really hard when he’s tired (before he gets cranky)
  • the first time she watched mickey mouse, she laugh really hard!
  • when he laughs with his big voice
  • beutiful one that i want to record it
  • He has laughed many times and most of them are memorable.
  • When we make funny faces
  • Son laughs when Dad crawled on all fours for his discarded toys
  • Dropping a cup of water into her bath and it splashing
  • The first time she and her dad shared a laugh – she was on my shoulder and he did something to make her laugh, which made him laugh more and they were both in hysterics. Gorgeous!
  • His arms swing and Loud laugh
  • his dad kept dropping something about four times but not delibartly and everytime my son laughed.
  • We were breaking down large cardboard boxes, which he found histerical.
  • laughing when seeing us first thing in morning after waking
  • When his older brother had a jiggle bell necklace and was throwing the bell so it would ring. My younger son could not stop laughing. He loved it.
  • When his big brother jumps around pretending to be a monkey
  • he laughed when one of my cousins started playing I am gonna get you
  • She just starts laughing for absolutely no reason, suddenly she is laughing.
  • when he giggles so much that he shows the entire upper and lower gums
  • My 8 yr old nephew repeatedly falling over to make him laugh
  • I startled her and she jumped and screamed, then laughed and laughed.
  • While he was sleeping
  • He started sucking on my chin, which made me laugh. My laughing made him laugh, which made me laugh harder. I loved the connection of that laughter feedback loop.
  • When my dog run and jump.
  • When mom jumo into the bed he laugh for serveral time
  • When he first recognised the cues for ’round and round the garden’ and began to laugh as soon as I touched his hand.
  • When my older son was moving his face close to hers, then away, then close, then away and making funny noises. This cause her first ‘hysterics’ at about 5 months.
  • peek-a-boo
  • when she was sleeping she start to laugh
  • See above
  • When I realised he was ticklish
  • Her laying on a blanket being pulled by her puppy laughing hysterically.
  • When we physically tickle or kiss him all over
  • We realized that he was laughing for a reason. We have a small dog and everytime the baby sees him he laughs and smiles.
  • Mathias was crawling off the end of the bed and his father was catching him. He thought it was hilarious.
  • The above.
  • His father playing catch with him
  • She can be crying up a storm, but if we give her a zerbert on her stomach she immediately goes from crying to laughing in mid cry. It’s pretty funny.
  • I was pushing rubber ducks into the bath with my nose, she thought this was hilarious!
  • At 5 months, I was flicking out wet washing to hand on a clothes airer and she found it hilarious. I even demonstrated to my husband when he got home from work and we filmed it.
  • Wonga advert. She laughed at the old ladies
  • Lifting him up and down, which caused about 20 minutes of laughter.
  • Watching brothers and sisters pull faces and make silly sounds
  • Playing ‘rough and tumble’ with daddy tickling him
  • Laughing constantly all the way home in the car to raspberry blowing and kisses
  • Uncle causing hysterics by repeatedly saying ‘baps’
  • Her laughing at my sister when she came to visit- just for saying hello.
  • He suddenly started to laugh when he was being tickled. Previously I would tickle him and he didn’t laugh at all, then suddenly at about 6 months he really laughed when tickled (and still does)
  • having fits of giggles when mum was cleaning the floor under her high chair while she was sitting in it. She seemed to find it funny that mum was below her.
  • Him deliberately pinging water out of a straw at his Uncle Derek who was over-reacting to the drops of water hitting him. He could not stop laughing, real deep belly laughs.
  • big sister being what i thought was too rough but she was giggling like mad
  • He laughed for a long time at mummy crossing and recrossing her feet. Then after about 10 minutes it stopped being funny.
  • Laughing at mum making noises by blowing through a cardboard tube at him
  • When his sister does funny things. Or when all of the family is laughing, he’ll join in.
  • Above re teddy, also at about 8.5months, watching tommy cooper doing his hat routing – which really made him laugh.
  • When playing peekaboo with his brother or daddy he laughs the hardest
  • Nappy changing with daddy
  • en she made my nephew cry by climbing on him at 6 months she was 9 months old at the time. About the same time my aunts pet Maltese tried to scare her by growling. She laughed and pulled his ear.
  • Above, the first time, she doesn’t fully laugh yet as she’s too little
  • Baby’s dad pulling faces and blowing raspberries on cheeks whole lifting baby.
  • Kirsten laughing more when I laugh at her laughing.
  • The first time he really giggled hysterically when tickled
  • a child wearing a red blouse
  • That 1st time i will never forget
  • him laying on the bed and us telling him hes cute/adorable/handsome and him flailing his arms and legs and giggling
  • At six months, uncle read Terry Pratchett’s Where’s My Cow? with animal noises.
  • giggling in his cot when “talking” to the caterpillar on his bumper
  • when I squish his chunky thigh fat
  • Her 5 year old cousin making a toy duck dance had her and her 1 year old cousin in stitches. They were all setting each other off.
  • From the beginning, she got most of her laughs from her brother. Dad is also a major source.
  • First time
  • My little boy blowing raspberries on her tummy
  • The above.
  • He saw a person walking on the tele which he was sneakily watching over dad’s shoulder
  • Picking her up from nursery one day; she took one look as I walked through the door and burst out laughing. Then she ran away.
  • playing with our puppy
  • when tearing up newspaper
  • the feeling the vibrator of one toy
  • blowing raspberries on her tummy and getting such a “non girly” laugh
  • She was sat on the floor watching her eldest sister clown around she laughed so much she fell backwards
  • Visiting an urban farm when she was 5 months, we showed the baby an aviary full of small birds (budgies, etc). They were flapping around and chirruping, and she burst into delighted giggles. That was the first time she laughed at something (a mental connection, I suppose) rather than as a result of a physical stimulation.
  • Tickling sessions!
  • see drawings or things meueven does not stop laughing
  • Watching a music video
  • Growling at baby and she wouldn’t stop laughing and trying to growl back, around 5 months.
  • cuando esta jugando
  • very loud with enigmatic smile
  • The above
  • Tickling her
  • When he laughed for no apparent reason, just staring at his mum from his bouncer and laughing non-stop for a minute or so, aged 5 months.
  • The first time he laughed will stick with me forever.
  • Her auntie saying the same word in a silly voice over and over.
  • she saw dora on tv and started laughing
  • playing with a bobby pin, i would pretend to swallow it n then spit it out…sending him into hysterics
  • Laughing when he does something he know he shouldnt, eg biting or pinching his siblings
  • i think when she genuinely found a situation funny. I.e. we weren’t trying to make her laugh or tickle her. She just laughed at something slightly absurd.
  • hysterics when chasing her around on the floor and she was trying to get away – bum shuffling.
  • Baby laughing so hard at bubbles being blown. She was hysterical.
  • The first time his Dad nibbled on his thighs made him laugh so hard.
  • When he discovered that sucking on his mother’s kneecap made her laugh.
  • so far – I shook a marraka near her and she laughed each time it was shaken – this was around 15 weeks old.
  • that first time he laughed
  • when a friend played her with an stuffed animal and let it drop for fun on her belly, she laughed much.
  • she just had her first smile the other day. I was looking at and talking to her. She was making gurgling and cooing noises and I was making them back, then she let out her first real laugh.
  • My baby’s 4-year-old cousin jumping off the sofa and landing on the floor in front of my baby had her in hysterics. (video attached)
  • Both were looking at me (mom) different dates but the same reason
  • Laughing at silly faces made her hysterical with laughter.
  • The first time he lost control laughing, his Daddy held an Elmo doll up to him and repeated ‘no’ in a silly voice.