Signing with Babies
Sign with your Baby. Babies are capable of this language skill and it helps to reduce parent / child communication frustrations.
Signing with babies works because babies are physically capable of using their hands to communicate words many months before they can speak. And once they do begin to speak, signing will continue to expand and increase their language and communications skills. Parents across the country and around the world have come to realize that by providing their baby a language skill they are also helping to reduce parent – child communication frustrations. Babies will begin to sign words as early as eight months old and by fourteen months will begin to use signs for objects and things they find in the world around them.
Why Sign with hearing babies?
- Babies can use their hands long before they can master the complex muscles needed to speak. Researcher and author Dr. Marilyn Daniels found that babies achieve the ability to construct language with their hands at least six to twelve months earlier.
- Babies are not lacking in understanding of language. They can understand much more than they are saying. They are only lacking in the traditional verbal means to communicate. Signing allows babies to talk non-verbally.
- Signing helps to foster an enthusiasm for learning because it gives babies a way to learn more and more about the world around them.
- Encourages brain development during the first two years of life by offering experiences and opportunities to them that are critical to the development of neural pathways, synapses and dendrites, that govern their cognitive, motor and socioemotional learning and development.
Keep these things in mind.
- Anyone can sign with their baby. It requires no previous signing experience.
- Begin slowly and simply. With very young babies, choose a few signs to use consistently until they begin to sign back. Then begin to add more signs.
- Choose words that go to the heart of communication and words that will help to reduce parent child frustrations. Key words we suggest are more, eat, all done, tired, hurt and bottle.
- Have your babies attention when signing.
- Sign the words every time you say them.
- Be patient. Babies all begin to sign at different times and for different reasons. Keep signing and they will sign back.
- Be positive. Reward and encourage all your babies efforts.
Recommended reading that will help you attain signing success:
Sign to Speak - Babies Can Talk Dr. Marilyn Daniels, Georgia and Ken Frawley
Dancing with Words – Dr. Marilyn Daniels
See our helpful hints for signing with babies
We Sign is America's #1 interactive DVD series featuring ASL, instruction and activities, for hearing children (babies, toddlers, preschoolers and elementary ages) as well as for parents, teachers and other caregivers who wish to bring signing into the lives of their children. The Series has won over 50 National awards and has been highly acclaimed for over 15 years.