Wouldn’t it be great if you could communicate with your baby before they knew how to speak? Babies are amazing, teachable beings who absorb more information than we give them credit for. There is a way to understand basic needs that your baby has by teaching them baby sign language. It sounds more daunting than it is! Here are some benefits to baby sign language that will help shed some light on why this is a worthwhile task for you and your baby.
Teaching baby signs:
- Builds language skills
- Increases IQ
- Increases literacy in later years
- Lessens crying and whining from frustration about not being able to communicate
- Enhances interactions with your baby and for your baby
- Cuts down on aggressive behavior associated with frustration
- Empowers baby to communicate early in life
- Increases self-esteem
- Provides you with a window into your child’s mind
- Allows you to see how cleaver your baby really is
In the book, baby sign language basics by Monta Briant, the author describes how her daughter was able to communicate her fear about a sound she was hearing. If Briant hadn’t taught her daughter signs, she would have never known that the noises coming from her window sounded like scary elephants to her daughter! To tell you the truth, when I read about this in the book I was a little skeptical. But I had seen simple baby signs work with other kids and knew that it was possible and wanted to teach my daughter this skill. It took a few weeks but, after her first sign I was blown away! She absorbed so many aspects of the day that pass me by as common occurrences! I once thought she was randomly waving while we were talking a walk but, I soon heard that she heard a siren and she was signing ‘siren!’ Silly me!
There’s never a ‘right time’ or a ‘teaching’ time with signing. Start with common words and it will become easy and effortless for you. Your baby is in a constant state of learning therefore, adding signs won’t be any added stress for them! It does take time so, keep with it! Don’t get discouraged if after a couple of weeks your baby isn’t signing yet. Start with a few simple signs, for example dog, drink, food, and ‘more’ to begin. You don’t need to sign every word in your sentences but, pick a few key words to help communicate. It will be a huge pay off when you see your child make their first sign! I can guarantee that you will want to learn and teach them more!
Here are simple videos to get your started with signing!
The long-term benefits for your child are encouraging but, if anything it will amaze you on a daily basis as to how much your baby can tell you with a few simple signs! Happy signing!
Photo credit: Susan Stevenson