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- Children's Growth & Development
Signing for Babies
First I wanted to talk a little bit about baby sign language, what it is, and why people use. Baby sign has been growing in popularity in the United States. The first time I ever heard about it I assumed that it was meant for children that are deaf. That actually is not the case. Parents use baby sign language so that they can communicate with their child before the child is able to speak. After the child is able to speak then they stop communicating through signing, but rather through speech like a normal child.
Why do people do it?
Isn't it frustrating when your child is throwing a tantrum and you have no idea why? Don't you with you could communicate with them to see what is wrong? That is the idea behind baby sign language. It enables parents to communicate with their baby with easy simple signs in order to see what is wrong with their child and to see what they can do to help them. Parents who do use baby sign language do report experiencing less tantrums with their children that they used the sign language with compared with the children they didn't use it with. People also use it to try and have conversations with their baby before actual speech.
Does this help my child intellectually?
This is a great question that many parents have. The answer in short is yes. The reason may not be exactly what you think. Children have a lot more brain elasticity than we do. It is important in a child's early years to establish many neuron connections in the brain. How are neuron connections established. The answer is interaction. When a child interacts with its environment and especially with people neuron connections are being establish in the brain. The more neuron connections that are established the healthier the cognitive development of the child. Baby sign language requires a lot of interaction between the parent, or teacher, and the child. The interaction will help the child cognitively
Example of some baby sign language signs
What do you think?
Will you (or do you) use baby sign language for you child
If I don't use baby sign language will my child be behind?
The answer is no. Baby sign language isn't the only way to have positive interaction with your child. Spending time with you child, playing with them, and talking to them is good positive interaction. This will also help build neuron connections in the brain and will help them progress cognitively. Many people also argue that signing with their child will help the child learn language faster than others. That actually isn't true. Studies show that children that didn't use baby sign language will learn language just as fast.
How can I teach my child sign language?
This is a good question. There are many programs and books out there that are great resources for teaching you baby sign language. There are also day cares and other groups that you can join to have a teacher teach you and your baby how to learn sign language. Honestly though you don't have to spend your money in order to teach your child sign language. There are great free resources online that will show you how to teach your child sign language. Below is an instructional video that gives you 5 tips on teaching your child sign language. There are many more like this one on youtube that you can check out.