Many experts assert that teaching your baby sign language can be an effective tool of communication for babies and toddlers, which can, not only help your infant converse with adults, but can help ease frustration.
It is advised that teaching sign language should begin when a baby is approximately eight months old and should be practised until a child reaches two years of age, as this is when children know what they want and how they feel, but do not have the necessary verbal communication skills to express themselves.
Teaching a baby sign language can also help develop a bond between parents and baby and is a fun way of relaxing with your infant. Here’s our baby sign language advice.
* Of course in order to teach your baby sign language you need to be familiar with it yourself. Familiarise yourself with the signs by reading a baby sign language book or going on a website. Some communities offer sign language classes, ask your midwife if she knows of any.
* Begin by teaching your baby the signs of objects and activities that are related to your baby’s daily requests, such as eating, drinking and Mummy and Daddy, as an infant will be able to relate to these signs and pick them up quicker.
* Consistency, repetition and practise are the key of learning sign language. Encourage the other people in your baby’s life, such as grandparents and aunties and uncles to use the signs, as the more your child is exposed to the process, the quicker he will pick it up.
* It is important to stay patient when teaching a little one sign language. They will not pick it up over night and if they do get a sign wrong, do not get upset. Remember the purpose of the baby sign language process is to improve levels of communication and reduce frustration, not to generate perfection.