Why You Should Be Teaching Your Baby Sign Language
Before babies develop their ability to speak, their understanding of language and motor skills have already started developing since hearing your voice while still in the womb. By the time your baby is seven months old, he or she will be able to understand and respond to his/her own name and simple words like “no.” Though over the next few months your baby’s understanding of words and actions will continue to grow, it will not be until your child reaches at least two years old that he/she will have a vocabulary of 50 to 200 words.
This time can be difficult to communicate with your baby, especially for new parents or parents of multiples. It can be particularly frustrating for both you and your baby when he/she needs or wants something but cannot fully express it to you. To reduce frustration and (some tantrums), some parents are turning to sign language. According to babycenter.com, child development expert, Joseph Garcia, noticed how easily hearing babies of deaf parents learned to sign and appeared less demanding than babies who did not know how to sign – presumably because it was easier for them to express their thoughts and needs.
In addition, to giving your baby a means of communication before he/she is able to speak, there are a number of other benefits of teaching your baby sign language. Benefits of signing also include boosting your baby’s self-esteem and confidence, stimulating development, making learning to talk easier, and strengthening the bond between you and your baby, according to research by Baby Signs.
While teaching your baby sign language takes patience, it is not hard to do. In fact, because most babies love to mimic, it makes it easier to teach them simple signs. Some babies are able to understand basic signs as early as six months, however, it may be a few more months until your baby has the motor skills to sign back.
If you’re ready to try to start teaching your baby to sign, you can start here!