Infant stimulation

Babies learn faster when they laugh, study finds


Scientists have long known that humor helps children improve some of their cognitive abilities, such as attention, perception, motivation and memory, all of which are involved in the learning process. And it is that there are so many benefits of laughter that a recent study has come to ensure that babies learn faster when they laugh.

A scientific study has shown that when babies laugh, they are able to learn much faster. The study, published in Cognition and Emotion by the Taylor & Francis group, was conducted with 53 18-month-old babies. The babies were divided into two groups, a humorous display group and a control group. In the experiment, an adult used a complex tool to retrieve the toy, but in the humorous group the adult threw it in a funny way to get the babies' laughter.

The result was definitive. The babies who laughed reproduced the learning actions much more frequently than the babies who did not laugh and those in the control group. Thanks to the humor, the babies learned in a simple way how to use the tool to reach the toy. For those children who did not laugh and the children in the control group, learning it was a slower and more difficult process.

This is the first study to address humor in babies and the results help to better understand the value of laughter. Fun is, therefore, a necessary pillar for children's learning, so it is very necessary to always keep humor in mind when dealing with the little ones.

Laughter brings us many benefits, both for adults and for children. And those benefits are both physical and psychological:

- Helps to release tension, thanks to the production of endorphins, hormones responsible for relieving pain in our body and at the same time provide a feeling of well-being.

- It is also considered that laughter helps improve the immune system, which strengthens the heart, reduces blood pressure, decreases insomnia and even improves breathing and relieves nasal congestion.

- Laughter improves social relationships and the ability to socialize. In fact, it has been researched that laughing children tend to be more sociable and willing to imitate the actions of those around them.

- Also, helps in a healthy way to better learning and promotes the memory and attention of the little ones thanks to the fact that it helps oxygenate the brain.

In short, everything is advantageous if we laugh, so making our children laugh is one of the most important acts we can do as parents.

It appears that babies are able to smile while in their mother's womb, but it is not until a few months later, around 3 or 4 months, that babies begin to smile more markedly while 'talking'. Between 4 and 5 months, babies begin to laugh out loud. As explained in the Practical Guide for parents from birth to three years, published by the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, at four months the child begins to smile at the parents and even smiles and talks to himself.

Yes, it is at that time when it is easier to make them laugh with the cuteness that their parents and people around them do. And it is known that laughter is a manifestation of social interaction, so it is very important for the development of babies.

Professor of psychology Caspar Addyman has investigated ways of make babies laugh. In one of his investigations, 1,400 parents from 25 different countries participated, who gave clues to those things that make a baby laugh. Do you want to know them?

1. Tickling
Tickling a baby is the easiest and primary way to make them laugh, as it has to do with our animal biology. According to Addyman, touch is therefore the most effective way to get your baby to laugh out loud.

2. During the bath
For many babies, bath time is the best of the day, not only because it relaxes them and keeps mom and / or dad's full attention, but because they can kick in the water, something that causes them endless laughs.

3. Playing cuckoo, after!
The famous game of covering your face with your hands and suddenly appearing before the baby's eyes is infallible. For babies it is a constant surprise, so you can spend hours and hours with the game without them stopping laughing for a moment.

4. Look in the mirror
Looking in the mirror causes many babies to laugh uncontrollably. Actually, it is not that they can recognize themselves in it, but that they see someone who perfectly imitates their gestures, which kills them with laughter!

5. Through sound toys
Rattles, bells, tambourines, and any toy that makes a repetitive noise is fun for babies. If you don't have one handy, you can improvise by clapping your hands, making noise with a bottle and a stick, or whatever comes to mind.

6. With stuffed animals
According to Addyman, anything that is absurd makes babies laugh (as it happens with adults). Therefore, stuffed animals of lifeless animals causes them a lot of laughter, since they do not make any sense. Much more if we accompany them with a funny little voice, as if the teddy were talking. For them, it is the most.

7. Using smilies
To the proposals of this study we want to add the faces. Yes, those funny faces that we adults make and that meet the baby's gaze usually cause them a lot of laughter. And if they are accompanied by different and funny sounds, much more!

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