Baby signing is a great activity for moms and babies to do together. It’s fun, it’s free – and can even help with bonding and reduces tantrums! It’s easy to get started teaching Baby Sign Language – read on to find out how…
- Start at any time: You can start at any time, even from birth. The sooner you start to sign with your baby the sooner he can start signing back. If your baby is older it’s still worthwhile learning to sign. Even by the time your child can say a few simple words you may find that learning baby sign language helps him communicate and reduces frustration.
- Start simply: Pick a few simple signs and concentrate on these signs over and over again. Popular choices as starter signs are Mommy, Daddy, and Milk, as these signs represent something really interesting to your baby.
- Repeat often: Lots of repetition is important. Use the sign and say the word often every day. With older babies you can also use Flash Cards to help your child picture the object you are signing.
- Be patient: Don’t expect your baby to start signing immediately. Most babies over the age of six months need about two months of exposure to a sign before they can begin to use it themselves.
- Use encouragement: Encourage all your baby’s efforts at signing, even if you don’t know what sign your baby is trying to make. Use good eye contact, a positive tone of voice, lots of cuddles and bags of attention to show your baby you are proud of his efforts.
- Expand your vocabulary: When you and your baby have mastered your first signs you can begin to introduce new signs. Stick to groups of similar signs when introducing a new set of signs, for example food, colors, emotions (happy, sad, angry etc), or animals.
- Make it fun: Baby sign language is all about having fun with your baby and communicating in a relaxed and loving atmosphere. Don’t take it too seriously – if you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong!
- Go to a class: Classes are a great way to learn baby sign language. If there is one near you, and you enjoy it, then take baby along. A good Baby Signing class will be fun, repeating and building on a foundation of simple signs before moving on to new ones.
- Do it at home: If you can’t find a class nearby, don’t worry. There are tons of free resources on the Internet for you to download and print for use at home. Try to get hold of some Baby Sign Language Flash Cards and a wall chart to refer to when you need to learn a new sign – or mug up on an old one.
- Get Dad involved: Baby sign language is not only for moms. Dads can sometimes feel left out with a new baby, and signing is a great activity for dads and babies to do together.
Chief Editor, Baby Sign Language
We used baby signs with my first and it seemed to really eliminate some of the frustration with communication before he could talk. We just used eat, drink, more and all done. I think with this little one we will try a few more! Thanks Misty for these great baby sign language tips!
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