Saturday, August 21, 2010

What Exactly Is Baby Sign Language?

Baby sign language is a way of teaching your baby to communicate her needs by way of hand gestures. It is based on ASL (American Sign Language) and is a simplified version for babies and children. Baby sign language is fun, it’s free and, best of all, it really works! Read on to find out more about Baby Sign Language ...

You can start to sign from birth
The sooner you start signing to your baby, the sooner he will begin to communicate his needs back to you. You can start at any time, even from birth.

Signing to your baby helps with bonding
Baby signing is a two-way activity, encouraging communication from baby to parent and back again. Mothers who sign with their babies often feel closer to them, noticing and appreciating their efforts at communication earlier than non-signing moms.

Children who learn to sign as babies often learn to speak earlier
Baby signing can act as a ‘stepping stone’ to full speech, supporting a young child’s efforts to express themselves. Research has shown that babies who have early exposure to signing often have bigger speaking vocabularies later on.

It’s easy!
You can start signing with your baby by learning a handful of signs, such as Mommy, Daddy, Milk and Diaper. Find more useful starter signs here.

Dads can do it too
Often dads feel left out when bringing up a young baby, especially if Mom is breastfeeding. Signing is something baby and daddy can do together, creating a special bond.

Signing is fun!
So many things these days are just plain hard work! Baby signing is fun – and that’s one of the reasons it works so well. At first your baby will just look at you making signs and may even smile or laugh. You may feel silly too. This is good for you and for baby. Parenthood should have as many light moments as possible.

Signing reduces tantrums
Baby signing has been proved to reduce frustration (for babies and for parents), and help children through those toddler-tantrum years. Most tantrums are caused by communication frustration, and if your child can express what he wants he is happier and calmer – and so are you!

Your friends will be envious
When you and baby are out for coffee, imagine how envious your friends will be when baby tells you she’s tired, or hungry, or too hot – just by making hand gestures? Amazing! While other moms struggle through the baby years, you and your baby will be communicating happily with each other. Be sure to share your knowledge with them!

It helps with post-partum depression
The bonding aspects of baby signing cannot be underestimated. But post-partum depression can begin at any time, even during the second year. Many early-years programs teach Baby Sign Language to moms and babies to help build communication and trust.

This article is a guest post from Misty Weaver, Chief Editor of Baby Sign Language. Check out their website at also, like their facebook page at 

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