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A baby doesn't usually laugh out loud until they are around 4 months old. If you find something that makes your baby laugh - funny noises you make for instance - repeat it and enjoy the fun together. Laughter is a great way to communicate and bond with your baby. There are some sure ways of making your baby laugh like a game of peek-a-boo - see our link here. Or watch the laughing baby on the video on this link.
From around 4 months, your baby or toddler might enjoy tickles as part of physical play. Always be gentle and know when to stop. There is a fine line between tickling that's fun and tickling that is unpleasant and intrusive - know the difference. Like any activity, keep an eye on older siblings to make sure they understand what is appropriate. Keep the tickles short and sweet - laughing can be exhausting. Babies love tickling games like "Round and round the garden" and "This little piggy went to market".
Talking is one of the most important skills your child will learn. It seems to happen naturally, but in fact you have a very important role to play. Your baby will learn to talk by hearing other people talk. The more you talk with your baby and respond to their noises and babbles, the more you help them learn to communicate. This will help them in every aspect of their life.
Songs and rhymes are especially good for children as the rhythms and repetitive language make it easier for babies to learn language skills. Babies love songs and rhymes, especially hearing the sound of your voice. This is a great way to help your child to talk and listen. Rhymes with actions explain what words mean - "pour me out" in "I'm a little teapot". You can also create sound effects when you are singing songs and saying rhymes. Use your hands to clap, your fingers to click and your mouth to make playful sounds and whistles.
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