Babies are born with the natural ability to learn language. Some parents choose to teach their baby sign language, with the belief that learning sign language will help their baby learn faster and communicate better. But is it worth your time and effort? And if so, how do you even go about teaching your baby sign language? Let's take a deeper dive into the world of baby sign language to find out.
What is Baby Sign Language?
Baby sign language is a way for babies to communicate using gestures instead of spoken words. It’s based on the idea that all children are born with the ability to communicate, even if they can’t physically speak yet. Parents can teach their babies sign language so they can communicate before they know how to speak.
Why Should I Teach My Baby Sign Language?
If you've been asking yourself, "Should I teach my baby sign language?," you're not alone. There are many reasons why parents might choose to teach their babies sign language. Some believe that it’ll help their baby learn spoken language faster. Others believe that it will help their baby communicate better before they can speak. And some parents simply enjoy the idea of being able to communicate with their baby in a non-verbal way.
When Should I Teach My Baby Sign Language?
You can start teaching your baby sign language as early as you want. Some parents start when their baby is just a few months old, while others wait until their baby is a bit older. There is no wrong answer here. In the end, it comes down to what works the best for you and your family.
In general though, some baby sign language experts suggest that baby sign language should be introduced between six to nine months, since that's when they should be showing an active interest in communication. Following this timeline, you can expect for your infant to start showing their first sign around six months of age.
How to Teach Baby Sign Language
If you're interested in teaching your baby sign language, there are a few things you'll need to do. First, you'll need to learn some basic signs yourself. You can find books, websites, and apps that will teach you the most common signs used in sign language. Once you have a good grasp of the basics, you'll be ready to start teaching your baby.
When teaching your baby sign language, it's important to use simple, clear gestures. It's also important to make sure that your baby is paying attention and not just copying your movements. Start by showing your baby a few simple signs, such as 'milk' or 'more'. Once your baby has learned these signs, you can start using them in everyday conversation.
Most Popular Signs to Teach Baby
The best signs to teach Baby are ones that are used frequently, and ones that express recurring commands or words. With that being said, here are the most common words to teach your baby.
- Thank you
Benefits of Teaching your Baby Sign Language
There is some evidence that suggests that babies who are exposed to sign language do indeed learn to speak faster than those who are not. In one study, infants who were taught sign language were found to produce their first words an average of six months sooner than those who were not taught sign language.
Another benefit of teaching your baby sign language is that it can help reduce frustration. Babies often have a hard time communicating their needs, and this can lead to frustration and tantrums. By teaching your baby sign language, you can help them communicate their needs more effectively and reduce the amount of frustration they feel.
Finally, teaching your baby sign language can be a fun and bonding experience for both of you. It's a great way to spend time together and to learn how to communicate in a non-verbal way. And who knows, you might even end up enjoying it more than you thought you would!
Top Tips for Teaching Baby Sign Language
If you're interested in teaching your baby sign language, here are a few tips to help you get started.
- Start Early: The sooner you start teaching your baby sign language, the better. Babies as young as six months old can learn simple signs, and they will only get better as they grow older.
- Keep It Simple: When starting out, it's important to keep things simple. Use clear, concise gestures for common words such as 'please' or 'thank you'. Once your baby has learned these basic signs, you can start adding more complex ones.
- Be Consistent: It's important to be consistent when teaching your baby sign language. Use the same gestures every time you say a certain word. This will help your baby learn the signs more quickly.
- Have Fun: Don't forget to have fun! Teaching your baby sign language should be a fun and bonding experience for both of you. So take your time, be patient, and enjoy the process.