Today I’m featuring a guest post from Elizabeth of Baby Signs With Elizabeth – Welcome, Elizabeth! As a Baby Signs Instructor and mom to two children who sign, Elizabeth is here to share information on the Baby Signs program and even gives us some great tips as well. And guess what? There will be a Baby Signs giveaway in the near future thanks to Elizabeth! First though, here’s what Baby Signs is all about:
Families who use the Baby Signs® Program know first hand that there are many benefits to using signs with their babies. Using the Baby Signs® Program …
- Reduces tears, tantrums, & frustration
- Allows babies to share their worlds
- Increases respect for babies
- Strengthens the parent-infant bond
- Boosts self-esteem and self-confidence
- Makes learning to talk easier
- Stimulates intellectual development
Over two decades of Baby Signs® research has shown that these proven benefits affect different areas of a child’s development. Using the Baby Signs® Program stimulates:
- Social-Emotional Development
- Language Development
- Cognitive Development
You can start teaching signs to your baby anywhere from the time they are born until they are communicating verbally for everything. Generally a good time to start is between 6-12 months.
Be patient while waiting for your baby to sign back, it can take several months if you are starting young. Don’t get discouraged. They are watching you and processing all of the information and once they start their signing skills explode and it really is an amazing thing to witness!
For your first signs pick words that are important in your baby’s routine. Mealtime signs are often used as starter signs because mealtime is such an important time and common occurrence in every baby’s day.
Signing is very natural and doesn’t take any extra time from your day to teach. Simply sign the word as you say it and help your baby to re-create the sign, just as you would teach them to wave “Bye-bye.” Always say the word as you sign it. Babies who are taught to sign talk sooner and it has a lot to do with how often they are hearing the words. Parents who sign with their babies tend to talk to them more, teaching them more words because baby can demonstrate understanding and be a part of the conversation.
Baby Sign Language is especially helpful in a daycare setting. I strongly believe that every daycare center should include it as a part of the curriculum and daily routine. The signs serve as a universal language for babies and caregivers, eliminating the need for caregivers to try and recognize each baby’s distinctive cries and what they mean. It helps caregivers explain to an upset baby that Mommy will be back later and distract them by talking about pictures and toys in a way that baby understands. After teaching my first baby to sign I was amazed at how much he could tell me. So much so that I wouldn’t even consider sending him to a daycare that wasn’t at least willing to learn his signs. To me it was like sending my verbal child to a daycare that only spoke a different language.
One comment I hear often as an instructor is parents telling me that they communicate just fine with their baby. “I know my baby’s “Hungry” cry from their “Hold me” cry so we don’t need to learn Baby Sign Language.” My response is simple: “But what if they could tell you without crying?”
Communication is key in all walks of life. Many frustrations and misunderstandings could be avoided if there was proper communication. And teaching your baby to communicate using signs before they can talk avoids so many tantrums! They can tell you exactly what they want for snack, what their favorite animal at the Zoo is and best of all…. they can say “I Love You Mommy” all day long :)
Baby Sign Language helps make potty training before the “Terrible Two’s” hit a possibility. Given the right signs your baby can tell you when they need to go and you can show them the potty routine step by step. Potty training before the age of two can be easier because baby is in a stage where they love learning new things and are very proud. Once you hit that “Terrible Two” stage anything that was your idea is bound to start a power struggle :)
While there are many Baby Sign Language programs out now I love the Baby Signs Program for many reasons. It was developed by two Child Psychologists and Mothers who spent decades researching the benefits before releasing the program to the public. Something they started after watching their own children benefit from it. The resources and products available are great and affordable and the support is incredible.
To find an Instructor in your area visit BabySigns.com
Check out their Summer Deals!
Thank you sooo much for sharing this post! :-)