The lovely gargling noise that you found so adorable just a few moments ago has gone. It’s been replaced with a loud, almost painful sounding noise. As his irritation grows so does your frustration, and he is now shouting and crying with impatience. You can see that he’s going to start a full-on screaming session if he doesn’t get what he wants. How you wish he could just say the word! By learning a few simple signing techniques he can tell you what he wants!
Babies have the desire to communicate but they lack the ability to do so because their speech develops at a slower rate than their hand-eye coordination. Teaching your baby a few simple signs will overcome this problem, as thousands of happy parents have already discovered.
Teaching your child to use sign language has many positive benefits, some of which are:
1. Learning basic sign language is great fun – for him and for your whole family.
2. Focused learning using signing at an early age helps to develop his brain.
3. He will have fewer tantrums if he can tell you what he wants.
4. It’s a fantastic way of bonding with your child.
5. You will find that signing becomes both natural and incredibly useful.
6. Families need communication and signing is an excellent way to stimulate this.
7. Using signs to suggest things to will contribute to a much smoother and less stressful day.
8. His self-esteem will increase with successful signing.
9. Helps to build a solid base for early and future learning.
10. Any excuse to sit on the floor with your baby and play a silly game is welcome, but it’s even better if it’s learning a new sign.
Some of the first signs that you and baby will learn together are for simple things that you will find to be of great assistance. Some common first signs for baby are:
If baby is tired he might make the sign for sleep. If he’s thirsty the sign for a drink will almost-magically appear.
There are different sign languages to learn depending on where you live, American Sign Language, Australian Sign Language, British Sign Language, and more, so be sure to use the most appropriate one for your child.
Teaching your baby basic sign language is straightforward, a lot of fun, and extremely satisfying for all concerned. Remember to say the word aloud as you sign it to your baby, and keep eye contact with him. Some babies learn faster than others, so be patient and methodical and don’t get disheartened if your baby doesn’t seem to be understanding you. Stick with it, and you will soon be rewarded with your first baby sign! His signing won’t be perfect but do not scorn him for getting it not-quite-right because this is completely normal. Instead of aiming for perfection you should be aiming for understanding. If you know what he is attempting to sign then that’s enough, and every attempt should be met with lots of happy encouragement.
When your baby is communicating using signs, telling you what he wants, how he feels, or responding to your questions, it’s a great feeling whether you are a parent, grandparent, sibling or a friend.