Those newborn days can be rough with diaper changes, feedings, and more. It doesn’t get any easier when the baby gets older, especially when it comes to communication. When children are first learning how to communicate with you, their words aren’t put together like ours. They break them up, say them incorrectly and may even say a completely different word. Having an alternative communication system can make the whole exchange go much more smoothly. This is just one of the many benefits of baby sign language.
What is baby signing?
Teaching your kids sign language can help tremendously when it comes to those communication barriers. This is especially true when they start to speak and learn. Ideally, they should typically begin around 5-6 months of age.
Some of the basic signs they can learn include: “play”, “please”, “thank you”, and “milk”. These signs are derived from American Sign Language. Tip: Start with a few signs and use them over and over again until you can remember them, then move on to the next few, and so on.
Although baby signing is somewhat of a new event, here are some benefits of baby sign language:
1. Strengthens parent-child bonding
The time it takes to practice and teach your child sign language will be quality time you get to spend with your child engaging and stimulate his or her mind.
When you are using signing to speak to each other, it also is a form of bonding.
2. Benefits vocabulary development and early reading
It has been shown that learning baby sign language can help with later academics in vocabulary and reading. Learning multiple languages at a young age is always a good idea!
3. Helps social-emotional development
Because they are able to communicate more effectively at an earlier age, children are often more self-aware and are able to pick up on social-emotional cues of others more easily.
4. Lessen frustration with communication
Baby sign language will not only help the baby communicate with the parent. It can also help the parent to better understand the needs of the baby before they are able to express themselves verbally. Using this system can de-escalate or prevent tantrums because communication is happening on both ends with parent and child.
Children who learn baby sign language are able to communicate more clearly and with less frustration when they are just learning how to speak. They are able to either supplement with signs or use the signs to express themselves to the parent so that the parent knows what they are saying.
Baby Sign Language resources
Here are a couple of resources on baby signing. The first one is what I personally have used with both of my kids.
1. Baby Sign Language Made Easy: 101 Signs to Start Communicating with Your Child Now by Lane Rebelo
This is a valuable resource. Written in a very easy-to-follow format and created by the founder of Tiny Signs® baby sign language program Lane Rebelo, this book is a great way to bond with your child.
It comes with illustrations of 101 signs, and the best part is that it includes signs for everyday words we communicate with the little ones.
2. The Baby Signing Bible: Baby Sign Language Made Easy by Laura Berg
This book is more extensive. It has 320 pages and covers 400 signs, containing a detailed walkthrough for parents and caregivers.
Communication is so important to the development of young children, so using baby sign language is such a helpful tool.
Baby signing will ease your communication with your child and boost their development immediately and later on in life.
There are many benefits of baby sign language, so hopefully, they can help you and your child!
*This post may contain affiliate links, but this comes at no extra cost to you. For more information, please read full disclosure here.