Give Me a Sign
An infant is entirely dependent on its parents or caregiver to provide all the necessities of life. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what a small baby wants before they’ve learned to speak.
My mom told me that she initially thought I would never speak, and then one day I said, “I want to go bye-bye.” I remember the look on her face when I spoke those words – pure shock. Unfortunately, the fact that I waited to speak didn’t impress her enough to let me go bye-bye.
More and more mommies are utilizing sign language as a means to communicate while their young one is too small to speak. I think this is a wonderful idea! Moms and dads get really good at determining what their baby may need, but a small infant can’t assemble the words to let you know exactly what they want. What they can do is move their little hand and sign words, like “milk” and “please.”
Not only does teaching sign language help to communicate a baby’s needs, but it can give them an early start on their education. Your child may learn the alphabet way before they start preschool.
Just like reading helps to bond parents and children, sign language helps to connect parents in a similar way. It can be frustrating for a small child who can’t convey what they want or need. Sign language allows conversation to come through a child’s hands before it can come out from their vocal cords.
To learn any language, however, you want to obtain an official textbook and not just wing-it. You can teach American Sign Language (ASL). This way you and your child can use your new language outside of your home. Plus, you’ll be able to easily make new friends who use sign language as their primary form of communication. I found one website called Signing Time where you can purchase videos and books for all age ranges including infants.
Are you already using sign language in your home? What words did you teach your baby and how old were they when they started to sign back? Please enlighten us and share your experience.