Baby sign language has been a growing trend over the last few years. It has become very popular in parenting circles.
Why has it suddenly surged in popularity?
Because it is a phenomenal communication tool.
Young babies can’t verbalise what they want or need yet, but they can learn basic hand gestures to express themselves and ask for things. It is an insight into their needs during the sometimes confusing time before they have words.
Learning and using baby sign language has a range of benefits for both parents and children. They include increased bonding as well as enhanced speech and language development.
Find out about these benefits and more below:
How Baby Sign Language Can Benefit Your Baby
Often, when our babies are young, we do a lot of guesswork in terms of their needs. But, baby sign language provides a way for babies to communicate with people even before they learn to talk. From about 6 months old, babies can learn basic signs to communicate common and essential concepts like “eat”, “sleep”, or “milk”.
This early communication is believed to provide other benefits such as increased confidence for parents and infants alike. The infant feels confident that they can communicate better, while the parents feel more confident that they can understand and meet the child’s wants and needs.
Speech, Language, And Visual Development
Using signs and gestures can help to develop the same mental processes that are used when speaking verbally. This has been linked to vocabulary development and growth. A 2003 study found that infants who used sign language had a larger average vocabulary than those who didn’t. A typical 18 month old will average about 10 spoken words, while those who sign will average about 20 spoken words and 60 signs.
Signing also utilises and enhances visual and attention skills, which are important for learning and socialising as a child gets older.
Baby sign language is a wonderful bonding exercise for parent and child. You get to spend extra time talking, touching, and understanding the world together. Being able to communicate with each other from a very early stage strengthens your bond and relationship.
It has been observed that mothers who use sign language with their babies are more in tune with all of their non-verbal cues and gestures.
The dreaded baby or toddler meltdowns can’t be avoided altogether – but baby sign language can reduce the amount of tantrum throwing. A lot of tantrums are caused by a simple thing. Young children get frustrated that they aren’t able to communicate what they want or need. They want to talk to you or ask you for something, but they don’t know how to express themselves verbally yet.
Baby sign language provides a young child with the tools to communicate in an alternative way. A study from the University of Kansas found that using baby sign language reduced babies’ crying and whining.
Research has found that babies who learn and use sign language have higher IQ’s than those who don’t. This is attributed to sign language stimulating the language centres of the brain. Using sign has also been connected to a greater interest in books and reading. You can even use sign language to “read” books to your child. Early engagement and interest in books often leads to early and more avid readers.
Pretty fascinating stuff right? We have always been avid users of Baby Sign Language here at Gobstopperz. We believe in giving babies every opportunity to learn and thrive. That is why our Gobstopperz have been designed with physical and mental development in mind. Check out the range in store now.