Baby signing is a method of sign language which allows parents to communicate with their baby before the child can speak. The signs represent simple, high frequency words such as milk, more, eat, finished, hug etc. Baby signing experts usually recommend parents start to sign from birth although it is not until the baby is 6 months old that he or she starts to understand what the signs mean. Babies do not begin to sign themselves until they are a little older even though they often show they understand a sign by demonstrating their anticipation; grunting or panting when they recognise that ‘more’ food is on its way, or it is time for a ‘bath’.
Things to think about when deciding which Baby Signing class to join.
There is no official minimum qualification to teach Baby Signing but we would recommend asking to see copies of any relevant qualifications. A speech and language qualification would be an advantage.
Supporters of Baby Signing believe it has many benefits to both child and parent. For the child these include:
Advantages for the parent are thought to include:
Former American fashion model and Phat Fashions CEO Kimora Lee Simmons (born May 4, 1975) used baby signing with her son Kenzo.” I think it’s so important [because] a baby can say what he wants… ‘food’, ‘no’, ‘yes’, ‘thank you’, ‘please’ – it helps with communication so you don’t have like screaming crazy kids.”
This study was designed to determine the benefits of Baby Sign Language and to determine if Baby Sign language would delay speech development in children by the National Institute of Health in 1989. The results showed that by the age of twenty-four months, the signing children had a developmental advantage of three months over the non-signing children. This increased to an equivalent twelve month advantage in their overall language skills and comprehension by the age of thirty-six months.
I did baby signing classes and a DVD with both my daughters. I thought it was fantastic! My baby, who couldn’t yet talk, could tell me she wanted - more food, more milk, that she was sleepy and so much more!! I had amazing communication with my child from before she could speak! Now my girls are 8 and 5 years old they still never stop ‘communicating’!