Baby Signing Time Early Communication System
Your child's first 100 words in signs, songs, and stories
Break the communication barrier!
Communicate with signs before your baby talks.
• Know what your baby wants
• Reduce frustration
Give the gift of active learning
Actively involve your child in learning!
• Give your child a head start in preschool
• Build your child's vocabulary
Instill confidence and love
Includes songs and stories that:
• Teach social skills and manners
• Help your child feel loved
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FAQs about Baby Sign Language
Start signing now! You can sign "milk" to your newborn when it's time to nurse or time for a bottle. Sign "sleep" at nap and bedtimes. Take your baby's hands and help them sign "more" in-between each spoonful of food. This will help integrate signs into your daily routine. Soon the repetition and reinforcement will occur naturally as your infant grows. Baby sign will also help your infant realize that crying is not the only way of communicating.
Learning a second language is fun and has many developmental benefits. ASL stimulates learning through different senses. Sign language is a blessing for children that are "visual", "spatial" or "tactile learners." Learning a second language has developmental benefits. Plus, 1 in 10 Americans has some degree of hearing loss. Knowing a few signs can give your child the confidence to engage and interact with a deaf child rather than both children feeling awkward and helpless.
Many parents fear that signing will delay or further delay speech. The experience of families who sign with their babies is quite the opposite. We have received countless emails from families who comment that their signing children began speaking much earlier than their non-signing peers. We have also received endorsements from speech and language pathologists and other specialists encouraging the use of sign language with all children. Signing and using gestures to communicate is natural. Waving "bye bye", pointing, and reaching arms up are simple signs used by most children. If your goal is communication, then signing can meet that need before your child is developmentally able to speak.
You do not need to become fluent to use signs as a powerful parenting tool. In fact, you may be surprised at how just a few signs make a world of difference. If fluency happens to be your goal, ASL, like any second language, takes time and practice. Surrounding yourself with others who are fluent will really boost your skills and confidence.
We suggest that if you are going to take the time to teach and reinforce signs, it makes sense to use signs that are part of a living language and have meaning to the hundreds of thousands of ASL users. Additionally, your child's caregivers (doctors, preschools, daycare centers, and elementary schools) are more likely to use ASL signs. Hearing children that start out as "baby signers" can easily transition to ASL signs and thus communicate with deaf children and adults, take advantage of ASL-based materials and support, and begin developing a second language.
Most children adapt signs to whatever they are physically able to do. As their fine motor skills develop further, their signs will also develop. This is very similar to the pattern in speech development; "Da-da" suddenly becomes "Daddy" or "Dad".
It really depends on when you start. If you start baby sign language with your newborn, they may not reciprocate until 8-14 months old. If you start with your two year old, they may respond immediately or it may take a couple of months. If your child has physical, mental or developmental delays, take that into consideration. After babies or toddlers use one or two signs, they often experience a language explosion, learning many new signs in a short period of time ... often attempting to say the words as well.
Most children are not developmentally ready to speak until approximately two years of age. Babies are developmentally able to communicate with signs much earlier than that. Some studies and the first-hand experience of many parents indicate that children as young as five-six months of age can communicate with limited signs. The inability to communicate can cause frustration and tantrums. Sign language is a wonderful tool that allows even babies to express themselves. Most parents that sign with their babies talk about an amazing bond that is felt when their child communicates so early!
Tantrums and the "Terrible Two's" are often about frustration and communication. There is less frustration when your child can communicate. A typical child's motor skills develop far faster than their verbal skills.