As a parent of a new baby, you may be looking for ways to enhance communication with your child. One great way is Baby Sign Language. Baby signs are common terms that have been modified and simplified from American Sign Language. This tool allows babies to express themselves before they can do so verbally – in turn, reducing frustration during early stages of language development and improving self-esteem.
In today’s post, we’ll provide practical tips to get you started.
- Choose meaningful signs. Start with practical words that align to your baby’s daily routine. In our Infant Program, we teach baby signs relevant to each infant. Examples include: ‘mommy’, ‘daddy’, ‘more’, ‘happy’, and ‘all done’.
- Say the word aloud as you sign. To reinforce the connection between signs and spoken words, say the word aloud while performing the sign. Our teachers, positioned at eye level with the baby, follow this approach to ensure a comprehensive learning experience.
- Be consistent. Use signs regularly and repeat them often. Repetition helps babies more readily understand the meaning of the sign. At our school, families receive an End of Month folder with a Baby Sign Language sheet, allowing you to see the specific signs we’ll be working on with your baby and practice them at home.
- Be patient. As infants reach 6-8 months, they will begin to recognize and sign back to you. Don’t be discouraged if your infant doesn’t catch on immediately. Not all babies use Baby Sign Language, but the exposure increases the comprehension of key vocabulary.
Teaching your baby sign language is a fun journey that not only facilitates early communication, but also strengthens the bond with your child. If you’re curious about other ways our dedicated teachers foster your infant’s growth and development, find a school today.