Can we teach our baby sign language?
Yes, it is possible to teach a young infant modified gestures from the American Sign Language. As the child’s motor skills develop, studies have shown that babies may be able to communicate effectively using hand motion accompanied by eye contact. Using hand gestures a baby can communicate, often more than a year before they can speak.
You can start teaching your baby signs as early as 6 months. Signing babies can communicate their needs instead of getting frustrated.
As you teach baby sign language, it’s important to continue talking to your infant. Spoken communication is still an important part of the young child’s speech development. Teach signs for practical words like hungry, mommy, daddy, diaper, and sleepy-nap.
There are many books and videos, online information to teach parents these techniques.
The most important elements are:
- Be patient
- Continue speaking to baby
- Make it a daily habit
- Use signs to describe routine baby activities and common objects
- Have fun, low pressure
- Involve the other care-givers