Learning and teaching baby sign language might seem like a tough process, but it is interesting for both parents and children.
There can be many reasons for your baby to learn baby sign language. But, it’s also good to know it nonetheless.
So, in today’s article, we’ll introduce you to the essentials of baby sing language your little one should know.
What is Baby Sign Language?
Baby sign language is the most efficient nonverbal way of communicating with your baby. It is a set of signs or simple hand and body gestures you use to express different emotions and actions.
There are different sign languages as well(for example British and American), but they share many similarities.
What are the Benefits of Using Baby Sign Language?
Baby sign language is a perfect way for your baby to express its feelings, needs, and attention. Signing can also develop strong communication and bonding between babies and parents/caregivers.
It also allows parents and babies to understand each other even before the babies start talking.
At What Age Should You Start Baby Sign Language?
You’re probably wondering when is the right time to start teaching your baby to sign.
Although your baby starts non-verbal communication at just a few months, experts advise to start teaching baby sign language at the age of 6 months.
And by the age of 9 months, your little one should be able to use those words in sign language sentences.
Baby Sign Language Chart
I can’t explain the feeling when your little one addresses you as mom or dad. It’s priceless! But are you seeking the right source for learning how to teach your baby to sign those words?
Well, we decided to develop a baby sign language chart featuring the most crucial words your baby should know.
· Addressing Family Members
Firstly, we have the words, mom and dad. To sign mom, your baby should extend its palm and point the thumb on the chin.
The hand position is the same for dad, but instead of the chin, your baby should point the thumb on its forehead.
Furthermore, we have the word grandma. It’s the same process as for the word mom, except your baby’s hand should bounce off once more.
The same thing goes with the word grandpa. It’s the same maneuver as the word dad, but the hand bounces out.
Let’s move on to siblings. To sign sister, your baby should extend its index finger on both hands first. After that, it should touch its chin with one hand and then lower it on the other hand
Your baby should use the same hand position to sign brother, too, except it has to touch its forehead instead of the chin.
· Addressing Needs
Along with the family members, your baby should also learn how to address its urges and needs.
So, let’s start with the word eat. Your baby should place their fingers like it’s giving a chef’s kiss and bring its hand close to their mouth.
Next up is the word drink. To sign the word drink, your baby should position its fingers like it’s holding a cup and then make a drinking motion.
What about the word more? Your baby should pinch together the fingers on each hand and touch the tips of both hands with one another.
Now it’s time for the word milk. To sign this word, your baby should squeeze the air with its hand.
What follows is the word water. To sign it, your baby should extend the index, middle, and ring finger and touch the index finger on its chin.
Another important one is the word bed. To sign it, your baby should bring both hands together and put them near one cheek, simulating a sleeping position.
How to Say “Please”, “Sorry”, and “Thank You” With Baby Sign Language?
We all love for our children to become well-mannered individuals. So, they’ll need to know how to express their manners.
For example, your baby can sign the word please by doing circular motions over the chest with an open palm.
Another word your baby should know is sorry. It can sign it by doing circular motions with its hand in a fist over the chest.
Moreover, a well-mannered child should also know how to express gratitude by saying: “Thank you!” To do that, your baby should extend its finger, touch their chin, and then move their fingers forward.
Do Babies Naturally Do Sign Language?
It’s natural for babies to use signs for communication at first. When we were babies, we also used gestures to respond to our parents.
For example, if your baby starts making aggressive gestures and throws tantrums, it’s not comfortable and needs parental care.
Babies also don’t have the capabilities to speak. So, they can really only rely on signs to tell us what they want.
Is Baby Sign Language Effective?
Baby sign language is a quite effective interaction tool in the period when babies can’t express themselves verbally.
Sign language also strengthens your bond with your little one and develops a baby’s cognitive and motor skills from an early age.
We must also mention that although sign language is effective, you must also teach your baby to understand speech as a tool to communicate.
Does Sign Language Increase IQ?
Learning sign language from an early age increases your baby’s learning abilities through practicing gestures.
With brain-hand coordination, your little ones develop their focus, concentration, and memory abilities.
Research shows that babies who are learning sign language from an early age, prove themselves as faster learners and have higher IQs.
Moreover, they have a better memory, can understand more languages, and develop thinking skills.
Does Signing Delay Speech?
Contrary to common belief, medical results have shown that signing will not harm your baby’s development or cause speech delays.
It might just be the opposite! Learning sign language develops a baby’s cognitive skills, focus, and memory because of the repetitive learning method.
It is mentioned above that whenever you teach your baby signing, you use your voice to describe the word and combine it with a simple gesture.
So babies process the word through the ears, but also process it through their eyes, making their brains more active.