Resources for Families

How early do infants understand humour?

22 Feb 2024


Key points

  • Laughter serves as a powerful tool that builds allegiance and affinity in babies
  • Pre-verbal infants are keen observers and giggle at absurd events
  • Soon after, they try out many different ways to get those around them to laugh.

Studies have shown that babies begin to understand humour and absurd events at as early as three to five months of age. When researchers rolled up foam balls and placed them on their noses, infants laughed. Researchers made silly faces, and infants giggled. They laughed at absurd events even when others around them maintained neutral faces—that is, they were not simply imitating the facial expressions of others.

Read the full article on the Psychology Today website.


By Maithri Sivaraman, Ph.D., and Tricia Striano Skoler Ph.D.
Smart Families

Related Resource

Ready for school

Help for Parents

New fact sheet for parents

8 tips to help your child manage back-to-school anxiety

View resource
View all content for Families