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Sign Language for Babies

Babies in general have a desire to please their parents and quickly learn the art of mimicry and the importance of facial expressions. Their understanding of the spoken language is something which is far ahead of their ability to actually speak the same words.
And their motor skills and ability to point at something also develop much faster than learning to talk. It would not be surprising then to take this further by teaching babies how to learn sign language.
Joseph Garcia is a child development expert with a special interest in the development of baby’s language skills who wanted to test this theory.
Less demands and decreased frustration
Babies who have been born to deaf parents skilfully learn sign language so that they can have their needs and demands met far more easily than a baby who doesn’t sign.
These babies then appear to be less demanding as their thoughts and wishes are easily communicated, so it follows on that hearing parents could also benefit from teaching signing to their babies.
Better communication
There are simple signs which even young babies can learn, such as the need for a drink, (moving thumb to mouth and then tilting the thumb upwards,) meaning no crying fits when they are simply thirsty.
Bonding
Babies can become scared easily when they cannot see their mother from across the room or have the ability to actually callout to her for help. Teaching them the signs for cuddles, or ‘love you’ means that they know you are still there for them and it helps you to have a ‘conversation’ without the need for you to shout.
When a baby signs ‘love you’ back, it is one of the most beautiful, bonding moments a parent can wish for.
Improve actual language development
You may be concerned that by teaching signing that you could be delaying actual language development but it has been proven that the opposite is true. Signing will give your baby a wider vocabulary and as Garcia noticed, it actually enhances spoken language, rather than replacing it.
And because your baby is looking directly at you, they learn to associate the hand gesture with the spoken word, giving them two options of communication, rather than only one.
Cognitive development
Exposure to signing helps babies to quickly develop their reasoning skills, as well as their communication. Most babies will yell or cry to get their needs met, whereas babies who sign are showing communication skills using both words as well as simple phrases.
Studies have also shown there to be long-term cognitive benefits, such as:
An average of +12 IQ points
A wider speaking vocabulary and the ability to create longer sentences
Reading ability at an earlier age
Final Thought
Enhanced school grades Signing is something which deaf parents have utilized for a long time and so it would be an obvious conclusion to state that hearing parents can also widely benefit from signing as well and enjoy increased bonding, clearer communication, better speaking skills and lots of eye contact.