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Have you heard of using sign language to communicate with your baby? We did this for Miss Sarah, and to this day, she still uses some of the signs!
There are several approaches to teaching your baby sign language, but the three mentioned in this article might just be the key to teaching your baby the sign language you want them to learn. Just remember that the main ingredient in teaching your baby sign language is to be consistent. No child will learn something when a parent is off and on about the matter.
Get Repetitive with Your Baby
Getting repetitive with your baby is one way to teach sign language. Every time you turn around you will be doing a sign with baby. Each time your baby makes a grunt or indicates they want something; it’s time to go through the signs. For example–Make sure you are saying “more” while you do the sign for “more.” Babies catch on quickly, but they also need to be reminded frequently. With this approach you can switch up signs more often. As long as you are continuously using sign language, being repetitive really does work.
Doing sign language morning noon and night is smart because you are communicating with your baby. While babies may not be able to verbally communicate, they are so capable of learning basic sign language to communicate with their caretaker. It truly is an amazing concept.
Keep it Simple (Mommy)
Didn’t you just say to be repetitive? Yes! But hear me out. Babies are very smart, but parents can sometimes get carried away. Teach your baby one or two signs and make sure they have those down before you start with anymore. There is no certain time frame in between teaching your child each sign, but ensuring each sign is well learned is important. You simply cannot jump back and forth between signs and expect your child to learn that way. Consistency is really important (I can’t say that enough).
Image credit: http://developachild.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/please-more.png
There is no reason your baby needs to do sign language movement by movement according to the standards of American Sign Language. As long as you know what your child is trying to communicate, that is what’s important. For example, instead of putting two fingers from each finger to indicate more, the child might only do this movement with one hand against the other hand. Your baby is going to do their own version and that’s okay. The important thing is that you remember that it’s okay. As your baby turns into a toddler, their signs will probably change (and that’s okay too).
What tools can I use to teach my baby sign language?
YouTube is a great tool that’s also free. Simply sign on to YouTube and search for sign language videos. You don’t need to buy fancy DVD’s to teach your child sign language. If you have no idea of how to do sign language, you can learn right along with your baby. There’s no need to feel silly because ASL is a language that helps people communicate. While you might feel weird signing “more” to your child— just imagine the open communication level you are establishing so young in their lives.