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Guest Article- Baby Sign Language - How To Talk To Your Baby

Posted Sep 07 2008 2:10am
I love teaching my 13-month-old son new words using sign. He picks them up rather quickly and it is exciting to see the expression on his face when he knows that he's communicated his needs to me with sign. If you are interested in learning how to teach your baby sign language read this great article about the basics of infant sign language.


Baby Sign Language - How To Talk To Your Baby by Jayne Lewis

Baby sign language - or baby signing - is a method of communicating with your baby or very young child before they learn how to speak. This is nothing new, as parents have for years been signing with their children to try and find out their wants or needs.

One of the first games any parent plays with their baby is to ask "how big is baby?" ... "so big" and raise their childs arms above their heads. How wonderful is it when they throw their arms up at the right time? What about the first time your baby waves "bye-bye" back at you? You have just learned how easy it is to sign with your baby!

Mothers know that their babies are trying to communicate with them; most babies will invent their own "signs" to try and get their meaning across and the muscles in their hands develop long before their ability to speak.

It is so easy to encourage this natural communication. You will be surprised how quickly your child will begin to develop and use these communication techniques and you can soon be using sign language on a daily basis with your child.

There are a few points to bear in mind if you are going to try and learn to sign with your baby:

One of the most important things to remember is to be consistent. Consistency from the very beginning is essential if you are to be successful. You must use the same sign, in the same way, for the same action, object or meaning. This helps your baby become familiar with the sign - then eventually they will learn to sign it back. Concentrate on a few signs to start with then build up. Don't forget that your baby may adapt your sign for themselves - this is fine as long as you both know what it means!

Also, remember this is fun! Be happy and expressive, using your face and body as well as your hands, saying the word as you sign.

Be patient with your baby as they can take weeks or months even, before they sign back at you. They may even use a sign correctly, then just stop signing for no apparent reason. Don't get frustrated, just keep at it and eventually they will join in again.

Don't just sign with your baby at home - make it part of your daily routine when you are out and about. You want this to be a natural means of communication. Above all, be full of praise and let your baby know how fantastic they are when they use a sign correctly. Don't forget to be proud of yourself too! If you can communicate at such an early stage with your child, it makes the whole process of parenting so much easier - it eliminates a lot of the guesswork and helps you to keep your baby contented more of the time.

This in turn has a positive effect on you as a parent as you feel a deeper bond with your baby and also a great deal of satisfaction that you can effectively communicate with your non-speaking child!

So what are your waiting for? Click here to start learning baby sign language today! Your child will thank you for it!

About the Author

Jayne Lewis is a stay at home mom of three young children who all learned how to sign!

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