After much research, Russ and I have started teaching Luke sign language! I’ve been enjoying learning the signs and there are so many resources out there to assist you and make it fun for your baby.
In addition to it being fun there are also many benefits for your baby including:
- Less temper tantrums and frustration: Your baby’s motor skills and understanding of language develop faster than the ability to speak. By signing they are able to communicate which avoids frustration.
- Promotes language skills: I was concerned that if you taught a baby sign language they wouldn’t speak as soon because they would just sign. I was surprised that studies show that not only do babies who sign speak sooner but they also have larger vocabularies. REMEMBER: You need to say the words in addition to signing them.
- Higher IQs: “One study showed that 8-year-olds who learned baby sign language as infants had an average IQ 12 points higher than non-signers.”
There are alot of different opinions on when to start teaching your baby sign language but most seem to agree it is somewhere between 6-9 months. Your baby is ready to begin when they can: keep consistent eye contact, can shake a rattle and are using their hand motor control more and are “babbling.” In my opinion, I think you should just begin whenever you want!
To get started I just selected a few main words like mommy, daddy, milk, eat, sleep, diaper, etc. I began integrating them in to my “talks” with Luke. I would repeat both the word verbally and sign it multiple times whenever the word was being used (being repetitive is crucial). Then every so often I would add another few words in.
There are lots of resources out there to educate you on using baby sign language. Here are a few articles and websites that you may find useful. There are also several apps on iPad/iPhone that you can use. My favorite is the My Smart Hands app which is done by a mom who taught her children sign language.
- Babycenter: Signing With Your Baby or Toddler
- Top Ten Starter Signs w/ Video
- My Smart Hands
Did you use sign language with your baby? Was it a good or bad experience? Would you recommend it with other moms. Please share your experiences, advice, tips & tricks by commenting on this post. Thank you for your support!
This is my sTORI being written as you read. – Love, Mommy Tori