Why Toddlers Laugh

Need a Good Laugh? So Does Your Toddler.  In general, toddlers and infants love to be silly, and they absolutely love to laugh.  According to Dr. Gina C Mireault, understanding “why toddlers laugh” provides insight into toddler thought process around the world.  Regardless of culture or language, children learn to laugh in the first four months of life.  Yet, unlike a child’s cry, a toddler’s laughter is often treated more as a diversion than an essential emotional development.

Laughter Across The Animal Kingdom

You’ll find laughter in lots of different animals.  Dr. Jaak Panksepp “heard” the high frequency chirping laughter of rats when tickled.  He has also verified similar behavior in other multiple mammal species.  If Laughter is in so many species, It follows that it might be more important that once thought.  Even Aristotle thought the first laugh marked a baby’s transition to humanness.  He saw it as evidence of a child’s soul.

Researching Why Toddlers Laugh

Researchers want to know, “What makes babies laugh, even before speech?”  There are discoveries scientists have made.  For instance, babies don’t usually laugh when someone else falls over, but often laugh at their own tumbles.  Tickling a baby or toddler is a sure way to produce a hearty belly laugh.  Makng silly and unexpected faces is another chuckle starter.  Researcher Caspar Addyman, Birkbeck University of London is collecting data.  He hopes his data will show why babies and why toddlers laugh.  He believes that laughter is a reflection of their developing understanding of the world around them.

why toddlers laugh
Why toddlers laugh

The Element of Surprise

Psychologists Renee Baillargeon, University of Illinois and Elizabeth Spelke, Harvard University found even infants have innate expectations of object behavior.  Changes from those expectations earn the rapt attention of research subject babies. Those anomalies are the basis of why toddlers laugh.

Physical Silliness

Laughter comes before speech is fully developed.  Besides funny faces and surprise tickles, other physical silliness prompts toddler humor.  Exaggerated movements is one of the chuckle triggers.  Whether you’re acting out a silly storybook or explaining an event that day, excessive jumping around or arm flailing generally bring out toddler’s laughter.

Falling Down

Overly exaggerating falling down when playing with your toddler is another laugh event, as long as your face shows you’re laughing too.  You are showing that you aren’t hurt and that you are just teasing when you laugh with your child.

Why Toddlers Laugh When You’re Wearing Silly Stuff

Throwing a tablecloth over your head as a cape or putting a plastic bowl on your head is another behavior that often brings a laugh. It is unexpected behavior since those items belong on a table, not your head.  The element of surprise triggers laughter, and a bowl on your head is not a normal hat.

Why Toddlers Laugh at Funny Filters Too

An adorable new moment of laughter comes across Snap Chat often as another parent and child exhibit silly noses and ears.  It can be fun to play together, but put filters on your face first, before putting them on your child’s.  When your toddler sees you live, it’s easier to understand an animal nose suddenly on your face is a game.  Separating the fantasy game from reality is a key step to take.

Meanwhile, smile and laugh with your toddler.  The sound of a toddler’s laughter is a sign their understanding of the world around them is developing.  And don’t forget the Sammy’s Milk formula to help keep their bodies brains healthy.  If you have any formula nutrition questions, visit our ingredients page or Ask Sammy.

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