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Is practicing baby signing with your little one worth the time and effort?
Baby sign language is a simplified version of sign language used to communicate with pre-verbal babies and toddlers. I, for one, am so pleased that it has become increasingly popular over the last few decades. I was raised by 2 deaf parents and an older deaf brother, so my first language was British Sign Language, I communicated through sign before I could speak. It was well known that I was a very calm and content baby that rarely cried or had tantrums. Maybe that was because I sensed that crying was ineffective, and it didn’t get me the attention I wanted but I like to think it was because my parents were much more ‘tuned in’ to me as a baby and could identify my nonverbal cues effectively. So of course, all 3 of my babies learned to sign before they could speak and here are the benefits that I experienced.
From my point of view baby signing brought me many advantages. I felt I was able to identify my baby’s thoughts and was delighted when we began having 2-way conversations, instantly strengthening our bond. I felt this really reduced the stress and frustration on both myself and my baby. Most importantly it was fun, and we delighted in our sense of achievement as we continued to learn signs together.
Baby signing tips
Don’t give up! It will take around 1-2 months for your baby to sign back to you and once that happens you can add in extra words such as ‘blue car’. My youngest, who is 21 months old, knows over 30 signs now and you too can be bursting with pride at your little one’s successes.
Written by Tara