Salt Lake City, Utah-We’ve seen an incredible increase in popularity with teaching sign language to babies in recent years. ‘Baby sign language’ is supposed to help infants express their needs and wishes in a way that their parents can understand. Baby signing experts even believe that this type of effective communication can lessen frustration and tantrums.
Beginning at six months of age, infants can learn basic signs such as ‘thirsty,’ ‘milk’ and ‘hungry.’ The experts believe that signing these basic words on a regular basis may help in verbal and written forms of communication in the future. In addition, babies that learn to sign see an improvement in their confidence and self-esteem because they are able to be understood.
At Learning Tree Schools in Millcreek, our staff makes it a point to teach sign language in all of our classrooms.
“It’s been shown to improve language skills and help the development of fine motor skills,” says Bethany Hosking, co-owner of the childcare center. “And since we stress the importance of communication, sign language can be a great tool for parents to use with their infants.”
It’s also been proven that engaging in baby sign language can yield many benefits for parents as well. This kind of communicating enables mom and dad to gain a bit of insight into what their baby is thinking. As the parents and baby sign consistently, two-way conversations are created.
Not only can this save time and reduce guesswork, but parents can gradually see the personality in their child develop.
For those parents ready to take the next step in baby sign language, we recommend the following tips.
- Start out using three to five signs that are easily linked to objects such as ‘ball’ and ‘dog.’ Be sure to use eye contact and say the words out loud.
- Keep using the signs before introducing another set of words. Encourage visitors and family members to sign with your baby as well.
- After about two months or so, the infant should start to mimic the sign to some degree. Parents can start adding additional words at this point.
We know that baby sign language can be a bit frustrating at times. Just remember that this should be a fun experience for everyone involved! Try making a game out of signing to help create a playful interaction with your infant.
Feel free to ask any of our staff members about additional information and resources regarding baby sign language. We are more than happy to help your infant learn and develop with you!
© 2014 Millionairium and Learning Tree Schools. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Learning Tree Schools are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.