Why Should I Teach My Baby Sign Language?

Author: Johanna McAvoy
Published: October 27, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Baby Sign Language is the practice of using symbolic gestures to enhance your verbal interactions with your baby. Using symbolic gestures is something that all human beings do naturally. It helps your baby communicate with you before she has the verbal ability to do so. Some examples of sign language are when your baby raises her arms to you because she wants to be picked up or your baby would point at something because she wants to draw your attention. Not only is it completely natural to use symbolic gestures, it is nearly impossible to stop yourself from doing so. Imagine trying to give directions to people without using your hands. It can be really frustrating trying to make other people understand what you are trying to say without actually saying it. This is the same way for babies. Since babies can usually make simple sounds, they can get frustrated when they cannot express what their wants and needs. Frustration for babies usually leads to meltdowns which also increases the level of stress for the parents. Aggressive behavior is cut down by signing with infants or toddlers, including biting and hitting due to frustration.

Through Baby Sign Language, the baby isn’t just limited to simple sounds and meltdowns. If you use specific hand gestures to enhance certain words when you interact with your baby, your baby would also learn to do the same hand gestures that you do. Through this method, interacting with your baby would be much easier because your child will not only be able to tell you when he or is she cold, hungry, happy, tired, or sick, but also tell you that he or she needs to get a toy from the shelf. Signing can make your baby feel that they can come to you with their needs, wants, and ideas.

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