When do babies laugh for the first time?

Updated Jun 20, 2024
When do babies laugh for the first time? | Huckleberry

One of the most emotionally rewarding experiences of early parenthood is getting to hear those first baby giggles. They’re not only adorable but they also help your little one express their contentment and increase the infant-caregiver bond. 

In this article, we’ll help you set expectations around when you may expect your baby to giggle and laugh, give you tips for encouraging this skill, and let you know what comes next in terms of infant communication. 


When do babies start laughing?

Why do babies laugh?

Ways to encourage baby laughing?

Baby not laughing: What to do

Laughing unlocked: What's the next step?


Baby laughing: FAQs

Editor’s Note:

When we discuss babies and development at Huckleberry, we use their adjusted age (vs. actual age). Not all babies will reach physical milestones simultaneously — and that’s expected since there’s such a wide range of normal when it comes to how fast babies grow and develop. If you have any concerns or questions about your child’s development, reach out to their pediatrician.

There’s a wide range of normal when it comes to developmental milestones like laughing. Not all infants will begin to chuckle or laugh at the same age and that’s expected! The timelines below may help you set realistic expectations about when your baby may laugh, but keep in mind that it may happen sooner or later.  

By around 4 months [1] your little bundle of joy may begin to chuckle or give you some giggles when you try to make them laugh. Young babies usually don’t fully laugh at this age.  

Those first big laughs [1] may happen around 6 months

At around 9 months [2], babies may give you a smile or laugh in response to social games like peekaboo. You’ll likely capture this milestone on video and cherish it for years and years to come. 

When your little one laughs, you can’t help but smile and feel happy, right? It’s like the sweetest reward for all of the work you’re doing to take care of your little human around the clock. Studies have shown [3] that laughter can help strengthen infant-caregiver attachment and these playful interactions are highly rewarding for parents and babies as well. 

Babies learn to laugh long before they can say their first words. This early form of communication can help them express contentment, just like crying helps them express displeasure. It’s also one of the earliest forms of interactive communication and recognition of shared experiences. Babies often initiate laughter to get a positive response from their communication partner or laugh in response to something they enjoy. How cool is that? 

Babies tend to love silly sounds and facial expressions. Get as goofy as you can and see how your little one reacts! 

Babies may not react to social games like peekaboo until closer to 9 months old [2], but you can still give it a shot! Even if peekaboo doesn’t elicit a laugh, repetition and hearing new words [4] can help pave the way for future communication development. 

When you blow a raspberry on your little one’s tummy, the combination of light touch, a silly sound, and the sensation of air on their belly may be enough to elicit a laugh. You could also try blowing raspberries in the air to see if you get a reaction. 

Babies all grow and develop at different rates. If your baby isn’t chuckling by around 4 months or fully laughing by 6 months, they may just need a little extra time to meet these milestones. However, you know your baby best and if you have any concerns about their development, it’s best to consult their pediatrician. 

Not laughing out loud can be a sign of hearing problems [5], so you may consider bringing this up with your child’s doctor at around 6 months, especially if they are not responding to sounds or only responding to some sounds and/or they’re not smiling or making sounds when spoken to. 

Laughing is an early form of infant communication and helps pave the way for future speech and language milestones. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association [6], here’s what you may expect around the age your baby starts laughing around 4 - 6 months and then looking forward to 7 - 9 months. 

  • Responds to facial expressions 

  • Follows objects with their eyes

  • Vocalizes vowel sounds, sometimes combined with a consonant (“daaaaa” or “uuuuummm)  

  • Vocalizes during play or with objects in their mouth 

  • Looks when you call their name 

  • Babbles a string of sounds like “bababa” or “mamama” 

  • Raises arms to be picked up 

  • Recognizes the names of some people and objects 

  • Looks for caregivers when upset 

  • Can newborns laugh? Usually, this milestone happens closer to 4 months, when babies typically begin giggling (not fully laughing). Those sweet giggles often turn into big laughs at around 6 months old. At around 9 months, infants typically will laugh in response to a game like peekaboo. 

  • Baby’s laughter is often the best medicine for parents. It’s a form of baby-caregiver bonding and attachment and is also an early form of communication. Little ones can use laughter to express enjoyment just like they cry when they’re upset. 

  • Being silly and making funny noises (like blowing raspberries) can encourage your little one’s laughter.

  • Babies grow and develop at different rates, so don’t fret if they haven’t reached this milestone at exactly 6 months old! However, if your child isn’t laughing by around this age, consider bringing this up with their pediatrician. Sometimes not laughing out loud can be a sign of hearing problems.

Baby laughing: FAQs

Q: At what age do babies typically start laughing?


Babies usually laugh out loud at around 6 months. Before that, they may giggle or chuckle at around 4 months. At around 9 months babies tend to laugh in response to games like peekaoo.

Q: What are the developmental stages of a baby's laughing?


Laughing usually progresses from giggles and chuckles to laughing out loud. After that, infants typically learn to laugh in response to social games and things they deem “funny,” whether that’s a silly face from a caregiver or a noise, etc.

Q: How does laughing contribute to a baby's development?


Laughing can help strengthen infant-caregiver attachment and bonding. These sweet interactions are highly rewarding for parents and babies as well! Laughter is also an early form of communication that helps young babies express excitement and joy, much like crying helps them communicate discomfort and displeasure.

Q: Are there signs that indicate my baby is ready to start laughing?


Those first adorable chuckles and giggles that often happen at around 4 months of age tend to pave the way for laughing out loud a couple of months later, typically at around 6 months. However, keep in mind that all babies grow and develop at different rates and these timeframes are just a guideline.

Q: Are there differences in laughing development between boys and girls?


It’s normal for all babies to reach milestones at different times. There’s generally a wide range of normal for all types of infant skills, from laughing to sitting to babbling and everything in between. Studies have shown [7] that factors like low birth weight and prematurity can have an impact on when a child will reach milestones.

Note: The content on this site is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice from your doctor, pediatrician, or medical professional. If you have questions or concerns, you should contact a medical professional.

7 Sources


  1. CDC (2024). Important Milestones: Your Baby By Four Months. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/milestones-4mo.html

  2. E Riem, M. M.,et al. (2012). No Laughing Matter: Intranasal Oxytocin Administration Changes Functional Brain Connectivity during Exposure to Infant Laughter. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3306887/

  3. Pathways (2024). How Can I Help My Toddler Learn New Words? https://pathways.org/how-can-i-help-my-toddler-learn-new-words/

  4. Nemours Health (2024). Your Baby's Hearing, Vision, and Other Senses: 6 Months. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/senses-6mos.html

  5. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2024). Communication Milestones: Birth to 1 Year. https://www.asha.org/public/developmental-milestones/communication-milestones-birth-to-1-year/

  6. Boonzaaijer, M.,et al (2021). Factors associated with gross motor development from birth to independent walking: A systematic review of longitudinal research. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8252538/