Why Sign With Your Baby?
When you think about it, all babies sign before they can speak. They wave hello, bye bye, play peek-a-boo, and point to things they want. They want to communicate with you by using their hands because their voice has not yet developed to the point of being able to form words.
While the majority of babies start talking somewhere between 1 and 2 years of age, they want to communicate with you much earlier. Since babies gain control over their hands long before they develop verbal skills, signing enables them to express what they are not yet able to vocalize. When they learn to communicate their needs with their hands, it dramatically reduces frustration resulting in fewer temper tantrums. Signing also exposes your child to more words at an earlier age, helps increase language development, and grows the desire and ability to communicate with you.
Signing also increases a child’s confidence because he knows he can convey his needs to you in a way that the two of you mutually understand. Babies will also gain the confidence to learn new signs as they build a foundation of signs. Signing creates an active interest in learning that is a great foundation for years to come!
As your baby grows into a toddler, signing can continue to help him by building his fine motor skills. It’s also a great skill to have when you need your child to be quiet in places like doctor’s office waiting rooms, church services or restaurants—you can communicate with each other in sign language, making a fun game out of your quiet language together.
Giving the gift of sign language to your child is priceless!