Baby’s early laughs contain a lot of meanings about your baby’s development. This laugh is a sign that your babies can see and recognize your face and also the surrounding. Your baby’s brain and nervous system have also grown to minimize the number of reflexive smiles and replace them with real smiles.
And it is essential to nurture the child’s sense of happiness. Once they smile, it means that they are happy and enjoying something around them. But tickling children can lead to many severe consequences that parents should not do.
Baby’s Early Laughs
When your baby laughs?
Before two-month-olds, your baby’s laugh is reflexive. And this laugh will disappear when the baby is from two months old. You can distinguish between a reflexive smile and a real smile based on the amount of time that your baby smiles.
In general, reflex smiles often occur very shortly when your baby sleep. The real smiles only appear when your baby responds to something, such as seeing your face or hearing the voice that she loves. So if you ask “was tickling babies, the first form of comedy,” the answer is no.
Initially, your baby will use their smile to respond to both visual and sound stimuli. Therefore, they often laugh when they hear you sing or talk to them. Once they know how to smile, they will laugh frequently. And if you are still waiting to see your baby’s smile, encourage him/her by talking to him, interacting with his eyes, and smiling at him.
Is It a Problem If Your Baby Doesn’t Laugh?
You should not worry if your baby doesn’t laugh because it doesn’t mean that your baby is unhappy or that something wrong. Each baby will reach this critical milestone at different periods. Some can happen earlier, but some will need more few weeks.
At three months old, your baby needs to communicate with you or other caregivers and even strangers with their eyes and sound cues. However, if your baby doesn’t show these symptoms for three months, you should take him to the doctor.
Should We Tickle Babies?
Although the laugh shows that your baby is happy and enjoying, laughing because tickling is not the same. According to a study, only 32% of the respondents said they liked tickling, 32% answered neutral, and 36% said they did not like it.
Tickling children not only has no benefits but also leads to any harm. And below are the reasons why you should not tickle your baby.
It Makes Children Breathless
A child giggling when tickled does not mean that he likes it. Children who are prone to tickling can laugh non-stop when tickled, even if they hate it. Reflective laughter makes it easy for adults to think that a child likes that.
Tickling does not bring real pleasure. Children with tickling sometimes only laugh reflexively, and this illusion deceives us, adults, making us not even a little suspicious of the harm when tickling children. Children will have to face extreme physiological reactions like breathing difficulties, vomiting if being tickled.
Tickling Can Injure Children
This situation can occur once you lost control of your power. Since your baby is susceptible and vulnerable, the strong force can leave many scratches on the skin.
Besides, tickling can injure children when they wave their hands, limbs. They can even fall or bang their heads or bump against the edge of tables and chairs when being tickled.
Tickling Leads to Psychological Problems
As stated above, a tickled person will be almost losing control. Many adults have not thought about the harms of stimulating children without their consent. Children will feel ashamed to see themselves waving their arms and legs and giggling while struggling to control the reaction of the body.
When tickling children, adults-only see it as a joke, but this joke does not harmless. Tickling makes children feel bullied and even tortured. The University of Kentucky studied 150 people who were abused by their siblings in childhood. And the study reported that tickling is a kind of physical abuse for them.
Tickling Leads to Lifelong Belief Problems
You may think that we are exaggerating the problem, but tickling can lead to severe mental issues. It is the main reason for emotional barriers, which make your children feel insecure whenever others approach nearby.
And the harm of tickling children is more severe and last longer than we think. Unconsciously, these babies will always alert whenever there are “above normal” touches between them and others, even with families or relatives.
Was Tickling Babies the First Form of Comedy?
The answer to this question is no. As a mom, you can do and must do more than tickling your baby to see baby’s early laughs. At each stage, your baby’s first laughs will have different meanings. And what you should do is to understand and encourage them.
At Two Months Old
Your baby can use laugh as a way to react with the surrounding things and sounds. So, if you want to see your baby smile, you should talk and interact more with him.
At Three Months Old
You will see that your baby starts looking directly into your face when smiling. During this period, your baby will increase face-to-face interaction with the people around him. Remember to make a funny face a lot to stimulate your baby to laugh.
From Four Months to Six Months Old
Babies can laugh while looking away. And it means that your baby is learning to control emotions and don’t know how to express it adequately. Just let your baby look away and remember to respond enthusiastically to him when he turns and smiles at you.
At Eight Months Old
Your baby can use the laugh as a means of communication with other people. So, parents do not forget to respond to them excitedly, happily, and also smile a lot to encourage them to speak.
Behind your baby’s early laughs have 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 emotion, thinking, and can babble.
However, please note that you should never tickle your baby to see a laugh because it can lead to lifelong physical and mental problems.