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Baby Sign Language430 Views
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Description: Babies who start using baby sign language can communicate their needs and may even develop speech skills at an early age. Learn more about baby signing.
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Does your baby wave bye-bye or blow kisses? Then your little one is already well on the way to expressing thoughts with signs! Sign language isn’t only for the hearing impaired, in fact, almost all infants love to learn and use sign language too. A baby’s motor skills and the ability to understand words, BOTH develop faster than the ability to actually speak. As a step to speaking language, babies are often able to learn some simple sign language as they progress towards speaking. The idea of teaching simple sign language to infants was put forth in the late 1970s by John Garcia, a childhood development expert. Garcia realized that HEARING babies of DEAF parents learned sign language very easily—and the benefits were huge! Signing babies appeared calmer because they could express their wants and needs more clearly than before. And best of all, children who knew how to sign spoke better by age two, and they even seemed to have higher IQs! That’s because signing is used ALONGSIDE normal speech, enhancing the development of language. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that baby signing books and classes are now so popular in the United States. And while these classes can be beneficial, you can also teach your child to sign right at home. Start when your little one seems eager to babble and play with you, usually around her eighth to tenth month. When the time is right, pick a sign! Most experts recommend focusing on a concept your baby is interested in, whether it’s “food,” or “dog.” Some common popular signs include “food” or “eat,” where you put your fingers to your lips…”book,” where both hands are extended, palms up…”bear,” where the arms are crossed across the chest…and “more,” where the tips of all fingers touch in front of the chest. Note that some parents prefer to use American Sign Language, as Garcia did, while others choose a simpler version made for babies. Whatever you decide, use the sign EVERY time you say its corresponding word. Always use the same sign, and repeat it often in several sentences. It may take your baby several days or even several weeks to sign back to you, but your infant WILL if you’re consistent-and you’ll enjoy a closer, more fulfilling, even deeper bond as a result!