How To Get Started With Baby Sign Language

Baby Sign Language New Zealand sign sign language

How To Get Started With Baby Sign Language

It is hard to see your baby crying.
Sometimes, it can be even harder to decipher what they are crying for. If only there was some way that you could communicate with them and understand what they are feeling. Fortunately, there is Baby Sign Language gives you a way to connect with your baby and understand what they are trying to say before they can speak.


It is a fantastic tool that can remove a lot of frustration for you and your baby.
So, how do you get started?


Read on to find out all about the best way to introduce baby sign language to your
household.

What Is Baby Sign Language?


The idea behind Baby Sign Language is that it is a collection of simple gestures that children can start to learn from as young as 6 months old.


Not only does sign language help you understand your baby’s needs, but it boosts their brain development, and some researchers even say it can increase their vocabulary and IQ. But to be honest, it is just a relief to be able to communicate easily!


Obviously, it is not something that you are your baby will pick up overnight. But if you spend time learning the signs and practising them, it is a fun and practical way to connect with your baby.

When Should You Start?
There is no firm time frame when you should start. As a parent, you can start as early as you like to get practice in and to establish the habit.


Babies do understand words well before they can speak them. Generally, around six to eight months old, they are beginning to connect with what words mean. Around this time they might also start to use gestures to get what they want - for instance, holding their arms up to you when they want to be picked up.


Your little one will be ready to start using sign language around this time, especially when they have developed an interest in hands. They will pay extra attention to their own hands and yours too - putting them in their mouth or using them to pick things up.

How To Teach It


The best way to teach baby sign language is to integrate it into your daily routines.

You don’t need to set aside a special time of the day to do it. Simply choose a few simple signs that will work for your family and start using them.


Use the gesture and say the word that it corresponds to. For example, every time your baby has milk, use the sign for milk and say the word “milk”.
It is important that you speak the word aloud when you do the sign so that your baby understands the connection between the two things.

With consistency and practice, your baby will associate the words with the sign and be able to use them to communicate with
you.

Top Tips For Getting Started
Here are a few tips that will help your baby sign language journey start on the right foot…
● Start with a few signs - don’t overwhelm your baby (or yourself) by trying to learn too many signs at once. Instead, focus on some key ideas that will be the most useful. Things like “milk”, “Mummy”, “Daddy”, “eat”, “drink”, “sleep” and “more” are all good ones to begin with.
● Always say the word verbally - as you sign, say the word too. Signing is like a bridge to speaking, so form the association by speaking the word out loud.
● Don’t go too fast - Repetition is a key part of children’s learning, so focus on
mastering a couple of signs at a time and use them as often as you practically can.
● Practice lots - As we said before, you don’t need a special time in the day to learn your signs. Just work them into all of your routines and use them regularly in a variety of circumstances.
● Don’t get frustrated - it takes everyone a while to learn new things, so try not to get angry if you aren’t able to communicate with your baby right away. Just keep
practising!

If you would love to start signing with your baby, then head on over to our Gobstopperz


Instagram and Facebook page

Every week we teach a couple of new signs for you to use with your baby, and there is quite a back catalogue to look back on too!


Check out the videos here.


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