Almost everybody has found themselves in these tickle fights and games at some point in time, and someone ends up laughing their guts out. Other people have wondered if tickling is cool for babies and how to bond them. Tickling has always been thought to be a good sign as the person tickled ends up laughing without control. However, studies have shown that the feeling adults and older kids feel does not resemble or in conjunction with what babies feel. And now to the big question, can you tickle babies? Let’s dig to find out!
When you tickle kids, this will make them laugh, and the same cannot be the case for babies. Other babies will end up giving you a fake smile, but many of them will not adhere to the sensation brought about by the tickling, unlike older kids and adults.
Young babies find it hard to communicate what they feel. If they don’t like the sensation you are trying to bring, they probably don’t have an alternative way of communicating what they feel and what you should stop doing. They can only try to communicate when crying, and this will happen when you have gone the extra mile of making the action so intense.
Sometimes touching them lightly on the heel and belly is better off to invoke the sensation, but tickling should be reserved until grown-ups to the age of communicating well.
The problem as a result of tickling
Most parents cannot fully recognize what problems are caused by tickling, and some of these acts may cause problems for your kids. Other people think that tickling your child is one way of bonding with them, but actually, that is not always the case.
Tickling brings about an automated response programmed in the brain, which the common word is laughter. When you get tickled, the brain receives signals that will cause them to react to laughter. Children found complaining about it and terming it as a painful experience even as they laugh.
Since the response is automatic, older kids will find it hard to stop the laughter, and you will hear them requesting the tickler to stop tickling them. The tickler will not understand that the child is in pain and will continue tickling since they feel that the kid is enjoying laughing.
There are several myths connected to tickling, and we are going to look at them.
Myths about tickling and baby’s development
Many people think that tickling makes a baby grow faster as it involves emotions such as laughing, crying, and making sounds. Below are some myths you should know before you continue tickling your child daily.
- Tickling helps the baby talk.
Some people have come out to say that tickling helps the baby to start talking. The physical contact involved in tickling will result in uncontrolled laughter. Therefore, it will not necessarily help your baby talk. Nonetheless, little sensations in the body cause one to feel the tickle, and since toddlers have a strong sense of touch in their infancy, these light sensations will eventually be of importance to their skill development.
Helping your little ones to form little tiny words will serve a great deal as the words will be effective as you engage them to little touches on their palms, feet, and tummy as you repeat simple words. Repeating simple words like “aaa” will make the child pronounce it with time so long as you touch his chin and keep doing it for a while. Tickling can also do it in various ways.
- Tickling can cause stuttering in a child.
It is not yet a verified fact that it can cause stuttering in a child when you tickle. Stuttering may start being visible in the early ages of childhood development. The initial cause for this is yet to be discovered fully.
- Tickling is a good exercise for babies.
As we mentioned, tickling will lead to laughter, and laughter is a programmed response. However, it does not mean that the baby is enjoying it. If you tickle excessively, it may cause chest and belly pain. As a result of tickling, babies will take short breaths and end up gasping for air. It will, in turn, lead to hiccups for the baby. I, therefore, don’t find it a good exercise for the tickled babies.
As we have derived points that certify that tickling is not a healthy activity for your baby, here are other ways you can bond with your little one.
Alternative ways to bond with your baby
If you aim at bonding with your child, there are other ways to bond with them rather than just tickling them.
- Parents can meet body contact if you massage their baby with baby oil regularly.
- Kiss your young one on the nose or play as you cross your fingers in a walking manner across his body.
- As your baby grows, you can have time to read books to them, and you can build a foundation level of the parent-child bond.
- Gently touch your baby’s hands, palms, and feet. It is also another healthy way to stimulate movement in his limbs and end up building the bond.
- Hug your child. Ensure that they feel that you are there for them. Kiss them on the forehead. These are some of the ways you can strengthen your bond with your baby.
- As the child grows, you can end up playing games like Patty Cake, Miss Mary Mack, Tic-Tac-Toe, Rockin Robins, etc.
Other ways to get a child laugh
We tickle babies intending to make them laugh or cheer them up. Sometimes we do that to distract them from something that would make them feel bored. At that time, laughter is all that can bring the child back to her previous normal state.
There are ways to trigger some comic relief into a situation than ambushing them or tickling. Below are ways to bring them to that sensational moment:
- Silly faces: it looks funny seeing a grown-up parent frowning their face to please the young one. This expression will excite the toddler, and you will see them smile with excitement.
- Slapstick: a study has shown the skill-building effects of humorous situations. Researchers made exaggerated expressions of feeling frustrated. When you toss an unhelpful tool down in mock is exasperation.
- Corny, age-appropriate jokes: make stunning jokes such as “What do you call a sad strawberry? A blueberry!”
Tickling is normally associated with good times, laughter, and the parent-child bond. It’s yet another time to think about the impact brought by this act. Having looked at the painful part of it whereby these young ones will be undergoing some pain yet, they have no physical ability to talk and express themselves.
Nevertheless, this should not mean that parents should not be physically close with their young ones but let it be done decently. Let the parents embrace hugs, gentle horseplay, and even playful, gentle tickling as long as the child responds to it well.
Enabling kids to choose what they want, be it touch or anything else, is the most loving way. Keep the best touches and credible body anatomy that will serve your babies well. The question is if you can tickle babies won’t create a headache because you will have several activities to make your kid happy.