What Is Baby Sign Language?
Baby sign language is a way of teaching your baby to communicate with you and others by using hand gestures. Baby Sign Language is a simplified version of ASL (American Sign Language). Signing with your baby is fun, free, and best of all, it really works! Read on to find out more about baby sign language, including when to start, how to do it, and what the benefits are…
When To Start
The sooner you start signing to your baby the sooner she will begin to communicate back. You can start at any time – even from birth. If your baby seems too young to understand the signs she will still be getting something from you signing to her. Starting with baby sign language early helps to ‘normalize’ signing, making it an accepted part of your routine.
How To Do It
When starting with baby sign language, it’s best to pick a few simple signs to begin with. These should be signs that represent something sure to grab the interest of your baby! Mommy and Daddy are great starter signs, as are Milk and More.
- MOMMY: To make the sign for Mommy, extend and spread your fingers apart on your right hand. With your little finger facing forwards, tap your thumb on your chin.
- DADDY: To make the sign for Daddy, extend and spread out the fingers on your right hand, then tap your hand on your forehead with your thumb. This is similar to the sign for Mommy but done higher up the head.
Signing With Your Baby Helps Bonding
Baby signing is a two-way activity, encouraging communication from parent to baby and back again. Mothers who sign with their babies often report that they feel closer to them, noticing and appreciating their efforts at communication earlier than non-signing moms.
Children Who Learn To Sign As Babies Often Learn To Speak Earlier
If you are worried about baby sign language slowing down verbal speech, don’t be. Baby Signing can act as a ‘stepping stone’ to verbal speech, supporting a young child’s efforts to learn words and put together sentences. Research has shown that babies who have early exposure to signing often have bigger speaking vocabularies later on.
Signing Reduces Tantrums
Baby signing has been proved to reduce frustration (for babies and for parents), and in this way it can help children through the toddler-tantrum years. Most tantrums are caused by communication frustration. When your child can express what he wants he is happier and calmer – and so are you!
Baby Signing Can Help With Post-Partum Depression
Post-partum depression can begin at any time, even during the second year. Many early-years programs for post-partum depression teach baby sign language to moms and babies to help build communication and trust. The findings are that Baby Signing builds an important bond, helping moms re-connect with everything they love about being a parent.
This guest post is brought to you by Baby Sign Language.
Image source of toddler signing please: earlytolearn.com