Article by Ken Stiles

When I first heard about sign language for baby I thought people were crazy. These little guys couldn’t learn how to talk, how on earth were they going to catch on to the complexities of a language that didn’t involve words? Then I started thinking about it, and it made perfect sense. Infants communicate using body language from their first day out of the womb-they cry, they squirm, they attempt to suckle, they point-and what is a temper tantrum but an expression of thoughts and feelings through body language? (Okay, so you’d rather your little guy find a better way to express himself, especially in public, but still…)

Sign language, for baby, is as natural as breathing. It’s just up to us to teach them the right signs for what they want! The biggest frustration babies face is the inability to make themselves understood. As adults we have become so dependent on the use of words and spoken language to figure out what’s going on in our environment that we miss our babies’ natural signs. Infants and toddlers being the patient creatures that they are, this is usually followed within moments by a melt-down. Wouldn’t you love to circumvent that melt-down altogether?

By teaching your baby sign language at an early age you are giving him the gift of language long before his vocal chords are ready to join the adult world of conversation. Sign language will teach them a language that they already have the skills they need to speak, and since they’re able to communicate with you openly and freely (and tell you exactly what they want without any confusion) they’ll be happier, you’ll be happier, and they’ll have learned a skill they can put to use for the rest of their lives.

If you wanted another argument on the benefits of sign language for baby, consider this. Children who become bilingual at a young age have been shown to score higher on IQ tests than their counterparts when they begin school. They learn more quickly, are able to think abstractly with greater ease and often have better communication skills because they are able to communicate on multiple levels.

Furthermore, sign language for baby gives them the foundation for a great career in working with those for whom sign language is a primary language. Many companies that teach their employees basic bilingual skills overlook the necessity of sign language because they are able to put their communications in writing. An employee who is fluent in sign language is an invaluable asset, and they will quickly find that they are always employable.

Most babies can begin learning sign language for baby (which is a very simple version teaching the language the same way you would spoken English, one word or object at a time) at about seven or eight months, and by the time they are a year and a half old they will have developed a basic proficiency that will allow them to easily communicate with any caretaker.

Sign language for baby is an incredible skill for them to develop, and when they can communicate with you and you can communicate with them you’ll find yourself set up for a lifetime of fun and learning-tantrum free.

About the Author

Ken Stiles writes on a variety of topics. If you are serious about communicating better with your baby, then go here: http://www.treasuresbeyondmeasure.com/signs4baby

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