Using Baby Signing To Communicate With Your Young Child
Around 20 years ago, two American doctors discovered baby signing and many thousands of mothers are glad they did!
There are many reasons why babies cry. You could no doubt come up with a long list of reasons, but frustration is probably low on the list if it's there at all.
Baby can't talk yet but wants to tell you how she is feeling: hungry, tired, sad, my diaper needs changing (although you can probably smell that!) or whatever; but she can't. It's enough to make anyone want to scream!! Wouldn't it be great if you could communicate with baby and she with you before she can talk? You can, it's called baby signing.
Many babies know how to wave goodbye, or shake their heads to say 'no', baby signing is just an extension of these basic signs. There are several books on baby signing, all of which show you the signs you can teach your child.
If My Child Communicates By Signing, Will This Delay Her Talking?
A common question usually prompted because 'my mother-in-law says..'!! The answer is 'no'. A $500.000 government funded survey found that babies using signing were more advanced than other children in language skills. Just as babies learn to crawl before they can walk, baby signing gives them a way to communicate before they can talk. Once they can walk they no longer crawl, and once they can talk they are able to communicate more fully and easily, so there is no longer a need to sign.
Babies Learn Words Before They Can Talk
A recent study has found that children under 1 year old are already learning to match words with common objects.
The study involved 52 9 month old babies who were shown pictures of common objects like apples, fish and chairs during simple games 4 times a week. After 3 months the children were tested: they were shown pairs of pictures and asked to identify one of them based on what the researcher said. The children scored if they looked at the correct picture.
Children who had been through the training sessions looked at the correct pictures, untrained children in a control group did not identify the correct pictures.
So, it appears as though young children may understand more than experts previously thought. Which leads us back to baby signing: if children are able to understand but not yet able communicate through speech, baby signing is surely the answer. How much calmer life with your youngster would be if she is able to tell you what she needs, and you can similarly 'talk' to her.