When it comes down to the importance of teaching your baby sign language there are a few things you need to know. Utilizing signs helps your infant to communicate with signals before they can express themselves with words. Sign language is a visual language based on body movements, hand gestures, and facial expressions to make visual stories.
Toddlers have a rush of emotions and feelings such as excitement, pain, anger, and sadness. Sign language can aid them in delivering their message because they learn that movements portray a message. Baby signing experts believe that frustration and tantrums can be avoided by closing the gap between the desire to communicate and the ability to do so. Infants who learn baby sign language also are thought to gain psychological benefits, such as improved confidence and self-esteem.
Give your little one a head start with baby signing with popular words such as milk, water, sleep and play. To start teaching your baby sign language, you should make the gesture and say the word at the same time. For example, when you give your baby water, say “water” while making the sign for it. Don’t worry about learning them all at once or getting your baby to do them perfectly. All you need is a little patience and practice.
You can start signing with your baby when they are around 6-7 months of age and they can begin using them on their own when they are around 8-9 months.
Instructions: Using your active hand, open your palm, facing your passive side shoulder, and rotate your hand a couple of times.
Instructions: Using your active hand, open your palm facing your mouth, starting from your mouth you move it back halfway down.
Instructions: The same way you milk a cow.
Instructions: Using your active hand, make the “W” shape near your mouth, and tap your index finger against your mouth with a double movement.
Instructions: Using your active hand, you form a “C” shape with your fingers touching the neck, palm facing in. Then you move your hand downwards a short distance towards your stomach to represent a passage to an empty stomach.
Instructions: Using your active hand, form a fist shape, and place it on your passive side shoulder and rotate it a couple of times.
Instructions: Using your active hand, open your palm in a 5 shape thumb placed on the side of the chin, tap your thumb twice.
Instructions: With your active hand, open it in a 5 shape, place your thumb on your forehead and tap your thumb twice.
Instructions: With your active hand, open your palm facing your cheek, and then lay your cheek against your active hand palm. You can do this sign as well with both hands.
Instructions: Using your active hand in a fist form facing outward (representing your head), move it up and down as if you are nodding your head in agreement.
Instructions: Using your active hand, join the first three fingers and move them up and down or left and right n disagreement or decline.
Instructions: Place both hands in “Y” shape palms facing the body on both sides of the chest, then twist your wrists up and down with repeated movements.
Instructions: By using your active hand, place it extended and palm in towards your body and brush it in little circles up your chest a couple of times.
Don’t worry if your baby doesn’t pick up the sign quickly or doesn’t get it right the first time. Have fun communicating and with patience and practice it will come naturally. Baby sign language is a great opportunity for you to communicate with your child even before their speech is developed and it gives you the chance to learn something new too!
Take our Baby and Toddler American Sign Language Course and learn even more signs. Our online course includes a video for each sign to make sure you get them right.