Does baby sign language work? Experts say it’s simple and easy to teach an older baby some sign language. Baby sign language gives baby a simple tool to communicate her wishes, which reduces frustration and in turn, reduces tantrums from missed cues.
It will take longer to teach a baby younger than 6 months to sign. You’ll see faster results if you start signing with a baby at 6 to 8 months of age. Start with two or three useful words, such as “Eat” “Mommy” and “Daddy.” Other words to begin with might be “Dog” “Milk” “More” “Done.”
Mothers with personal experience signing with their own babies say that baby sign language really helped their families.
Mary from Hoboken, New Jersey says: “I taught my 14 month old son baby sign language. I started teaching signs at 8 months. Now, at 14 months, he signs “Mommy” “Daddy” “More” “Done.” Once he started to use the More and Done signs at dinner time, the crying from the high chair stopped. He just fusses, cries a bit and if he doesn’t remember to use the signs, I do. Then he uses the signs back and we respond and life is good! “
Elaine from Butler, New Jersey says: “We used baby signing with both of our children., I really recommend it. Signing helped us communicate through emotional fits. When I see a fit beginning, I slowly sign the ones we taught, one at a time, starting with “Done” or “More.”, whatever might be in context. Maybe “Milk” or ‘Eat” or “Sleep.” I always said the words with as well. I found being consistent, keeping up with using the signs, made a difference and that both of my babies eventually caught on.”
There are many places to learn how to baby sign. Your local hospital might run one as part of their early parenting curriculum. Kindermusik is probably offered in your community and part of their curriculum is a Sign and Sing class.
Other good sources for learning baby signing can be found on the internet. Patty Shukla is an educator who has created a series of videos and books for parents on the subject. She uses simple and pleasant singing rhythms to augment clear the baby sign motions.
Baby sign language is one of the new tools of modern parenting that is simple to learn and helpful to parents to foster early connection and communication with your baby!