Besides reducing TONS of frustration for both you and your baby by knowing what your baby wants and needs, signing has many other benefits.
- Signs pull language from adults. Babies learn words from listening to adults. When a baby uses a sign (ex: BIRD) upon seeing a bird, the adult responds with lots of language (“Yes! That’s a birdie! We call that a robin. See, there’s another bird. Oh, the bird flew away.”) The more signs a baby knows, the more likely this is to happen. This will increase your baby's vocabulary and language development.
- Signs enable babies to pick the topic. Babies learn words from listening to adults. When a baby uses a sign, it starts a conversation about something the baby is interested in, thereby making it more likely the baby will listen to and learn from what the adult says. The more sign a baby knows, the more likely this is to happen. Your baby is now learning their thoughts and words have worth. In this way, their self confidence increases as well as their self esteem. In the future they are likely to be in healthy relationships where feelings, thoughts and needs are valued.
- Signs excite babies about communicating and motivates them to move on to an even better system. The more signs a baby is able to use successfully to communicate, the more motivated he/she is to get better at communicating—that is, to move on to words. Signing increase their ability to say words earlier.
- Signs increase a baby’s interest in books. Babies learn new vocabulary from reading books with parents. Because signs enable babies to be active participants in book-reading (naming pictures with signs), babies are drawn more strongly to books, thereby exposing them to more new vocabulary items. The more signs a baby knows, the more likely this is to happen. This increases their literacy skills.
- Signing in a class setting is very beneficial. You can get words off the internet, but a class is a different dynamic all together. You have other babies signing and other adults signing in the class, increasing your babies chances of signing. We all know every baby signs GoodBye. WHY? Because EVERYBODY knows and uses this universal sign. The clerk at the grocery store, the grandparent, your neighbour etc. Babies is exposed to many parents and many other signing babies in a class. In a class setting, the music and books and movement draw babies in and keep their attention. The more they see a sign, the more likely they are to do that sign.
- In my own experience, parents who attended classes had babies who had at least twice the number of signs than those who just did it at home on their own. There are reasons for this. In a class, you often can ask and get questions answered specifically for your child. You get weekly tips, ideas and are taught the best ways to implement signs into your daily life. Signing tips can make the difference between a baby who is eager to sign and one who is not interested. Not to mention the obvious benefits of classes - socialization for both babies and parents. In a social setting a baby who is hitting, or hungry has not only one parent, but many parents signing GENTLE or EAT and validating their feelings and needs. These babies feel heard and understood. Signing is a wonderful way to help your baby learn about their world. Give them a voice today!
- TEACH YOUR BABY TO TALK - BEFORE THEY CAN TALK!