Our colleague Dr. Caspar Addyman has the enviable job of studying what makes babies laugh. Goes to work, makes babies laugh, comes home. Not bad! Well, there’s probably a bit more to it than that, but still, there’s nothing quite like the sound of a baby laughing to bring a smile to everyone’s faces.
Babies actually vary quite a bit in when they first start laughing, with some humorous types laughing away in the first month after being born, and some saving their best laughs until close to the end of their first year. Has your baby laughed yet? If so, can you remember when it first happened?
Caspar has studied the most effective ways to make babies laugh, from babies all over the world, and the winner was – you might have guessed – peekaboo. So much of what makes babies laugh is social – it’s people. Throw in some expectation (“round and round the garden like a teddy bear, one step, two step…) and surprise (‘…. tickly under there!”) and you’ll have them rolling in the isles.
Caspar has put his research into practice, working with the musician Imogen Heap, to make a science-based happy song for babies. You can check it out here and see if it works for your baby. If you’d like to read more about Caspar’s research on baby laughter, check out this great article.
Finally, if you ever feel in need of a pick me up, Caspar has collected a whole load of videos of babies laughing. Pretty joyous.