It is safe to say that the majority of parents want to know what is going on in their baby’s mind. They also want to give their child the love, support and everything they need to be happy, healthy and well taken care of. Being able to communicate with your baby would make these tasks so much easier – but how?
Baby sign language is one of the most common communication techniques used by parents all over the world. It is highly used as an alternative form of communication between a parent and their babies during the pre-verbal years. Educated parents know that signing with babies support early communication, promotes language development skills while alleviating unnecessary anxiety and frustration babies have when they cannot have their needs met.
Imagine if your child is hungry and wants some milk and is enabled, through sign language skills, to tell you. Sign language adds a lot comfort in the lives of both you and your baby and a natural bonding is strengthened when you can communicate directly. In the classroom, playing together, during feeding times, teachers find much happier infants once they have the basic ability to “ask” for things through signing. Babies have the ability to use more of their energies to become more involved in exploring and learning, rather than crying and becoming agitated. The increased communication, more involvement with the children as thoughts and needs are shared and stronger bonding opens additional opportunities for learning and fun.
Some of the benefits of teaching sign language to infants;
- Reduces frustration at not being able to express needs
- Promotes the development of language skills
- Reinforces language skills already developed
- Increase early literacy skills
- May increase creative thinking and expression
- Creates feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment
- May increase your child’s visual attention skills and joint attention skills
- Research indicates that early communication can aid in increased IQ
- Teaches a 2nd language that is recognized (such as ASL)
- Can help promote your child’s fine motor skills
- Reduces emotional outbursts, anxiety and frustration = happier baby
- Teaching sign language strengthens your bond and is fun for both of you!
At Forrestal Academy we incorporate baby sign language into our daily routines in our infant program. Our infant room teachers work with each baby to begin introducing simple signs such as “milk”, “eat”, “more” and “please”. We compliment this teaching with simple to follow instructions and pictures made available to you on “Forrestal Families Online”, so you and your family can continue to bond and communicate easily with sign language too!