What Is Baby Sign?

Have you ever noticed the gestures we make when we talk? Some of us use our hands more than others, but all of us make movements and gestures without even realising it.

As babies grow they do the same, pointing to the toy that they want or raising their arms to us when they want picked up. This is the very early stages of your baby learning to communicate. Baby sign takes into account this natural ability for gestures and helps you develop a way of communicating better with your baby.

Why Use Baby Sign?

The main reason for using sign with your baby is to communicate better with them, and in turn meet their physical and emotional needs more acutely.

Babies will often use forms of sign from quite a young age, be it pointing or gesturing at the things they want. As they get older this can develop into mimicking. By teaching them baby sign you can turn a generic gesture into something more meaningful, that both you and others around you can understand.

When you tune in to their signs you can get a better feel for their likes and interests, allowing a more natural flow of communication. If your baby seems flustered and irritable with their toys you might assume they are tired or hungry, but if they can sign “ball” or “book” to you then you will know that what they really want is something entirely different.

Will Using Baby Sign Mean My Baby Won’t Learn To Talk As Quickly?

So many parents worry about baby sign delaying their child’s speech, when actually it is quite the opposite. There is no evidence to suggest that baby sign will slow down their natural speech development, in fact it shows that it can help them expand on their vocabulary and communicate more clearly from a young age.

A baby’s first words are often unclear, and more of a word approximation. These are often missed, as they don’t really resemble the word they are trying to say. When said out of context they may not be recognised as a word, leaving your little one frustrated that they aren’t understood.

When these words are said alongside a sign it opens up the communication, leaving you free to understand what they’re saying and respond. This type of communication. pattern encourages your baby as they explore the world of speech, and they will naturally continue alongside their baby signs.

Is Baby Sign Just For Deaf Babies?

Baby sign is not just for babies that are deaf or have some hearing loss. All babies can learn, and in fact it works best when used alongside normal speech. It is a supplement to the day to day communication you have with your baby, and gives them the tools they need to communicate their basic needs to you.