The Best Sound On Earth
Let us all admit it. There is no other laugh so cute and precious as that of our own child. Sure another child’s laughter makes us smile, but on the inside we’re thinking, “Nice try, kid.” But when your own baby laughs, the world stops, the mountains grow another hundred feet, and the sky opens up! Well, it’s just the best sound ever.
So when was the last time you heard your baby laugh? More importantly, what was it that made the child’s belly shake and subsequently your heart to melt? The answer to these questions may lie in the developmental stage in which your child is. A child’s sense of humor changes as she begins to understand the world around her. The developmental stage of your child and who or what is in front of her can help you find that prize winning giggle.
Anywhere from around 6-12 months, your child’s focus is you. They depend on you emotionally and physically, so it’s only natural that they depend on you for some laughs. For six or more months, they have watched your face, noticed little details and even a wrinkle or two. They know your walk and begin to understand how you move. So what makes them laugh? Change who you are or what you do. When walking to the kitchen, walk like a monkey. Over exaggerate the taste of applesauce and go bonkers over the sourness of a pickle. All of this should be out of your normal behavior, and the baby finds this change pleasing.
Around a year to 15 months, your child’s world begins to expand beyond you and even reality. They begin to use pretend to dig out some laughs. This stage of development and learning can carry them through age two to three providing laughs for child and parent alike. You may see them begin to smile while placing a bowl on your head as a hat. The child may find it hilarious when you try to put your shirt on as pants. You may wiggle out a giggle while trying to wag a sock you’ve stuck in the back of your pants like the tail of your dog. Most rewarding, you may find yourself laughing with pride as they begin to understand these techniques and try to make you laugh.
Finally, at the ages from 2-4, you can find your child’s humor expanding using language skills. While their world so far has been predominantly concrete and predictable, they begin to find out that they can change things simply by using their words. This is fun, and funny. Your child has known for some time now that his nose is above his mouth. Now when you ask where it is, it’s by his ear. “Where’s Grandpa?”, you inquire. With his grin growing wider and wider, he points to Grandma. Make sure to turn it around for him as well. He may point to a picture of a cow and you say elephant. He laughs, and you laugh knowing that you made a funny and he understands it.
Don’t be afraid to be goofy. They won’t tell anybody.