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The smile and laughter in babies

The smile and laughter in babies


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Once the mother and baby have created an emotional bond, a new form of communication comes into play, smiling and laughing in babies. The baby's crying gets the parents' attention, and now the baby has to find a way to keep them close. Evolution has given him a special weapon, unique in our species: the smile. The baby uses it as a reward for his parents. Smiling and laughing in babies is a voluntary act that shows affection from the first months of life.

Humans are the only primate that smiles at their parents. Mothers innately respond to this facial expression. Satisfaction is inevitable when you see your baby smile. In a year, the baby will be able to talk to his mother and use a new communication system, still smiling. The smile is a human characteristic that lasts a lifetime.

Smiling is innate, the baby shows three types of smile:

1. The smilereflects. It appears around the third day and continues for the first month, it is a fleeting smile.

2. The smilegeneral. It is usually shown for four weeks, the face lights up and the eyes shine, this smile can be caused by any adult in general.

3. The specific smile. It happens around six months and is a selective smile; He no longer smiles at strangers, he has learned to distinguish familiar faces and reserves the smile exclusively for them.

Laughter releases endorphins into the bloodstream and acts as a natural pain reliever. In addition, some tests have shown that laughter lowers blood pressure, supports the immune system and reduces the number of stress hormones.

Babies laugh from newborn babies not as a satisfied laugh, but as a grimace that is considered an involuntary act.

The voluntary laughter that arises in babies when their parents play a lot with it, begins to be seen between the fourth and fifth month. When they do something that the baby likes, he smiles. They repeat the action and the baby smiles again. If they repeat it more times, this smile becomes a happy and babbling sound. It is a guttural sound, but it is clear that it is laughter and not just a reflex reaction to a stimulus.

The first action that usually causes the baby's first laugh is the sound of the “fart” on the baby's body. Later, the baby can also cause laughter to emit sounds accompanied by gestures ...

The baby also responds with a laugh when the father or mother hide behind their hands and quickly withdraw them (the game of peekaboo), or when they are rocked from side to side.

The common feature of all these actions is the element of surprise. It is like jokes in children and adults, almost all jokes are surprising, but the fact that it is told by a comedian or someone not hostile makes people not angry or scared.

The soft laugh of a baby develops into an almost outrageous laugh. These laughs are a series of repeated and rhythmic exhalations that would be represented as "ha-ha-ha."

The relief of knowing that this type of surprise is painless makes the baby want to repeat the action. He will soon learn how to make others laugh by manipulating their actions, vocalizations, or body language. This reinforces their sense of fun and develops their social skills. From now on, the baby wants to be part of all kinds of games.

You can read more articles similar to The smile and laughter in babies, in the category of on-site development stages.


Video: Why babies laugh. Caspar Addyman. TEDxBratislava (May 2022).