Baby & Toddler
Baby Sign Language
Babies, like adults, are all unique and differ from one another not just in looks and character, but also in when they start walking and talking. Trying to communicate with a restless or crying baby could be quite stressful for the mum and the child alike. You want to soothe them, but you are not understanding what they want. With baby sign language, this issue could be tackled without tension.
“Baby sign” furthers communication before a child is able to communicate verbally with others and decrease the irritation involved in trying to decipher the pre-verbal infant’s demands. Signing develops from a natural stage in the child’s development called “gesture”. Such gestures are taught with speech to infants. Some studies have shown that baby sign can heighten parent-child bonding and also improve self-esteem for both parent and child.
There are further benefits to introducing your baby to sign language at an early age. The first and most important is communication. A lot of studies show that babies who sign have a higher IQ and a larger vocabulary than their peers who are not signing. Studies also show that babies who sign tend to speak earlier than those who do not. They have a vocabulary, they have motivation, and they have command of the language. But the most important thing is the interaction between the parent and the baby and the fact that you can communicate and understand each other.
Babies who are exposed to sign language from birth could potentially sign as early as six months, where they might not say their first word until well after their first birthday. But if you do not start signing so early, older babies who are exposed to sign around a year old or after, might start signing within a week or two. Understandably, this is a very exciting process.
So try and take the time and enjoy the process learning and sign with your baby. If you can incorporate a couple of signs in your daily routine, you have reached your first goal of communicating with your baby.