All About Baby Sign Language

When to start and how to teach baby sign language?

It is challenging for all new parents to determine what their baby requires and how to respond. Communication will be limited until the baby starts to speak or shares certain words. It is best to learn baby sign language. It is the method of teaching easy gestures for certain things they require and it opens a new world for parents and babies.

What is meant by baby sign language?

Sign language for kids is the method of peeking into the child’s mind and a chance to connect before the child develops speech. Founder and Instructor of baby sign language- Lane Rebelo comments that the baby’s aptitude to speak develops when his/her ability to understand spoken language, resulting in a pause between expressive language (what they can connect) and receptive language (what they understand).

Signing serves as a refined tool for babies. It is more than directing to showcase what they are thinking. Parents using sign language can easily make their little ones learn and understand several things than they have imagined before getting started.

What is the right time to begin baby language?

It is best to start between 8 and 12 months as most babies start to sign at these months. Interested parents can start as early as 6 or 8 months. Do not worry if you think the child is older. Surely, one day or another, they will show interest in learning and follow the sign language. It can be taught to babies whenever you want. Some parents start to teach immediately and some wait till their first birthday to help the toddler.

Just like other milestones such as crawling, talking, and rolling over, it is hard to estimate the exact time when the baby would begin sign language. It differs from one baby to another. Rebello says that the youngest stage is five months. Some babies will not sign until their first birthday. However, they will start to learn and use rapidly.

How to teach sign language to babies? 

While teaching sign language, you have to say a word and also make a gesture immediately after saying the word. If you are giving milk, you should say milk and a sign language like a milking gesture or open or closed fist to make them understand. You have to match the sign and words every time you are using it. Remember, repetition is very important.

If your child does not show gestures for milk, there is no need to worry. They may take some time to learn and master it. Once your baby does, surely, the communication between you and the baby will expand.

Majority of the families begin teaching sign language for basic needs like eating, milk, water, finished, etc. for babies. It is recommended for parents to include certain playful signs such as ball, cat, dog, light, etc. since these signs are motivating and fun for babies. They love to communicate what looks interesting to them and several families find sign language very successful for communicating with their babies.  

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