Babies laughing at tearing paper

I’ve seen the video. In fact, I’ve now seen several different videos.

Is this really a common phenomenon? Do a lot of babies love to see someone tearing a piece of paper in half?

Some babies will laugh at just about anything. I don’t think most babies laugh at paper tearing, but I’m not surprised that some will.

It may not be the specific event per se, but the sound, the visual motion, the environment in which it is occurring, etc., and/or any all or parts thereof.

In other words, babies will do what they do because they do. That and it could be this kid’s personality.

If you catch the right baby in the right mood with the right sound they’ll go into hysterics. Try the same sound a few days (or even hours) later and they’ll look at you like you’re nuts.

Either that or start sobbing inconsolably. Most likely when you’re trying to show their mother the neat trick, so she can whisk the crying baby away from you and call you a monster.

It seems like small children are fascinated by very simple things that can change quickly, and that repeat themselves. They think the predictability is funny, and maybe that’s just them finally figuring out the world works in certain, predictable ways. But it can easily be turned into something scary if it’s too much or too loud, etc.

I once met a couple that late in the wife’s first pregnancy were fond of the following demonstration:

Wife would lie on her side, baring much of her (ample) belly. Husband would tear paper - or simply crumple it loudly. Baby would kick and struggle like crazy.

I moved away from the area shortly after seeing this, so unfortunately never got to hear how the infant reacted to similar sounds.

Isn’t there the laughing baby meme out there from a YouTube video? Some adult goes “doing” of camera, and the baby cracks up? It was part of a South Park episode. So yeah, babies laugh at everything. Practically every baby I’ve ever seen cracks up when I cross my eyes.

Most famous Youtube clip of baby laughing at tearing paper.For those who have somehow missed it. :slight_smile:

Yep. It is indeed a sign, like** John Mace** says, that they’ve caught on to cause and effect. It’s a milestone that hits around the same time as the beginning of object permanence, around 6 months (which is also when babies are simply at their cutest!)

They’re laughing as much because they’re making little baby predictions and seeing them bear out. It’s a heady rush of power, just like you get when you accomplish something new. If you tear paper for a while to giggles and then fake tear the paper (that is, make the motion, but the paper doesn’t tear and you don’t end up with two pieces) they get really confused and pissed off.

There’s also this one, this one, this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one. A piece of paper being torn seems to be comedy gold if you’ve got a young enough audience.

Just great. :):D:cool: . And I don’t even like toddlers.

One of my kids laughed like that when we opened a can with a pull tab. I have to admit it is quite amusing to me as well.

There are so many things that will make a baby laugh, depending on his age. At a certain point anytime I would whisper to my son he would laugh hysterically.

I remember, with my little brother (he’s nearly 25 now):

When he was a baby, I could take one his plastic blocks. Put it in my mouth, then pop it out.

Doesn’t make any sense, but as a baby he found this comedy gold. Rolling around on the ground, laughing until he was in tears. And there was no diminishing returns - I could do it 10 times in a row and he’d fall over in hysterics every time. I remember my mom putting me on the phone with grandma just to have her hear him laughing uncontrollably.

I guess maybe babies just find unexpected things hilarious.

Comedy for any ages always contains a nugget of truth, exaggerated truth especially.

As WhyNot said above this is a side effect of learning predictability and object permanence, both of which are also rooted in learning something true about the way our world works. “I see it, it goes away and it comes back. Every time!” is what object permanence is all about, and your block trick reinforced the concept.

For tearing paper, it is an unexpected sound, but the same unexpected sound every time. Predictability.

Yeah, my sister had a saying with regard to her daughter when she was about three years old: “If it’s funny once, it’s funny every single time!”