Babies can start learning sign language surprisingly early! If you learn a few basic concepts before your baby comes, you’ll be prepared to teach when your baby is ready to learn. I am positive it will be much earlier than you expect. I recommend that you learn before your baby is born, for several reasons.
The adorable young lady in these pictures shows a sample of what a child approaching two years old can do. She was not coached at all, I just turned on the video camera and asked her to show me the signs for some words. A few of those signs are shown here.
My e-book, “Sign Language for Hearing Babies” tells you how to get started, and helps you decide how to continue based on your situation. It lists several reasons why “eat” is my favorite first sign to teach a baby, and offers suggestions from a bedtime routine for the second sign to teach. I also mention a few things NOT to do when trying to teach your baby. The book also has a list of signs to teach as your child gets older, and why I recommend each word at a certain age.
Sign language can also benefit older children in a variety of ways. One is to have them use the manual alphabet (fingerspelling) to practice school spelling words.
My wife and I were doing sign language for years before we had children, so they had the chance to learn baby sign language from birth, and we watched them grow into it. The combination of me being a teacher and my wife being a pediatrician put us in a unique position that allowed us to see things that traditional baby sign studies missed. The benefits of signing shown in the studies are valid, and parents wanting more information are encouraged to read additional baby signing sources, but if you want to easily get started as soon as possible, read my book before your baby comes. It gives practical information from a parent who lived it.
My book shows why you can start much earlier than most sources say. It has to do with a baby’s development, which I explain in the book in simple terms.
The book goes from the view point of how a young infant can learn baby sign language, but the concepts work on older children, too.
“Sign Language for Hearing Babies” can be purchased as a download from Amazon.com.