Laughter is primarily social. We laugh to connect and share our feelings far more than we laugh at jokes or the silly or surprising.
The thing that makes babies laugh the most is a human connection. All over the world, peekaboo is the most successful way to make a baby laugh. It is pure social connection. Surprise plays a role but the universal popularity is all because of the shared eye-contact and turn-taking. As you play the game, the baby is learning from you.
This may be the most important thing about laughter in young babies who are still too young to communicate in other ways. Their laughter captures our attention and when they have our attention they can learn from us.
And so ,bizarrely, the best way to make a baby laugh is to take her seriously. Give the baby your full attention and really concentrate on the baby. She will be delighted and laughter will probably follow 🙂
1. Be prepared to give the baby your full attention – Put down your phone, you’ve probably got enough pictures already.
2. Let the baby lead the interaction – You are having a conversation but you must listen to her.
3. Don’t try to make the baby laugh – Work out what she’s interested in and help her learn a little bit more.