Babies’ general motor and language comprehension skills develop before speech skills and they begin to use signs to express what they want. Thanks to baby sign language, you can communicate with your little one early and get tips about their needs. How, let’s tell!
What is baby sign language?
Baby sign language is a simple and natural way to communicate with your baby before the speaking period. Most babies who are around 8 months know what they want, feel and need, but do not have the verbal skills to express them. Baby sign language gives little ones the opportunity to use their hands to bridge this communication gap.
What are the benefits of baby sign language?
Baby sign language is an extension of language development. In this way, the baby;
- He can express his demands such as changing diapers, asking for milk and reading a book.
- The period between 8 months and 2 years; Although he cannot verbally express what he wants and needs, he can get over it easily.
- Builds a strong foundation for literacy.
- He becomes less restless because he can express his feelings and wishes.
- Can speak more quickly, have a wider vocabulary.
- Thanks to expressive hand gestures, his brain can more easily perceive a new word.
- Can use longer sentences before 2 years old.
- May have higher IQs.
- May start reading earlier.
- He has tantrums less often.
- Socially, he is ahead.
- Worries less.
- He gets the opportunity to bond with his mother.
- Since he can show his emotions with gestures, he can control his actions against the expectations of his elders.
1. Have realistic expectations!
No matter how old your baby is, you can start using sign language. However, Zeynep Benli says that most babies can start to respond to the signs from the 8th month.
2. Start with the signs in your daily routine!
Spend some private time talking to your baby and under no circumstances avoid talking to them. Don’t be shy to speak baby language. Experimenting alone with your baby reduces your embarrassment when speaking in front of others.
Zeynep Benli started sign language when her baby was 4 months old. His first recommendation is to start with 3-5 simple signs a day. Himself sign language;
- Breastfeeding her baby or giving milk with a bottle,
- She prepares her baby’s bath every day,
- She put her baby to sleep,
- He saw animals while walking around with his baby,
- She says she often uses it when her baby changes her diaper.
3. Use signs often and be consistent!
The secret of success in baby sign language is to be consistent. You can ensure that your little one is good at using baby sign language only by repeating the signs often. Encourage other people who care about your baby to use these finger marks as well.
4. Talk to your baby!
Using sign language does not mean staying silent. Say this word to your baby and talk to him while you sign the word. Do not forget that communicating by speaking is important for language development in babies.
5. Be patient!
Zeynep Benli says it may take 2-3 months for babies between 6-9 months to make the first sign. Don’t get discouraged that your baby isn’t repeating signs or making mistakes. Your goal should be to improve your relationship and relieve your baby’s tension, not be perfect.
6. Take advantage of a variety of resources!
There are a variety of books, websites, courses, and more to help you learn baby sign language. You can also use variations of American Sign Language. For this, spend 15 minutes reading a book every day and at the same time make the signs for your baby. It is also very helpful to watch baby sign language videos together.
How to practice baby sign language?
- First of all, choose 3-5 baby sign language symbols such as milk, more, food, sleep that are meaningful to your little one.
- Once your baby starts using these signs, you can add new symbols.
- Make the signs just as you say that word. “Wanna sleep?” Then make the corresponding sign.
- Repeat as much as possible, emphasize the word you have marked, and say it louder than other words. “Do you want to sleep? OK, I’ll put you to sleep. Now it is time to sleep.” like.
- Every time you say the word, make the sign with it.
- Make using signs a part of your life. Use signs at every opportunity.
What are the stages the baby will go through from signs to speech?
- He starts watching his hands.
- He shows that he understands the signs and begins to imitate them.
- When you ask him, he answers with signs.
- Begins to use words along with signs.
- He communicates by speaking, without using signs.
In which children is baby sign language useful?
- In school-age children,
- In children with attention deficit
- In children learning several languages,
- deaf mute children
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- It is very useful for children with Down syndrome.