Updated for 2018! Babies can communicate earlier than most people think, but you need to know what and how to properly teach them. A young baby’s first signs won’t look like yours; this e-book will tell why and what to look for. The book introduces the best signs to teach first, and when to teach them, but also tells the best sources to learn the signs that work for your family. Here’s a hint – it isn’t a book.
Learn how to teach yourself to do a sign, then how to teach your baby.
Sign Language can make your life and your baby’s life smoother and more pleasant months before your baby learns to use spoken words. Even a few basic signs can also be useful for years to come.
One evening in January 1993, I was holding my four month old in one arm and signed the word “eat” to him, as I had many times before. As I reached for his bottle, he opened his mouth wide and lunged for the bottle so quickly that I almost dropped him. He had never done that before. I settled him back in my arm, gave him his bottle, and watched him devour it. There was no doubt that my four month old had learned to understand the sign.
Ten years later, my wife, a pediatrician who knows sign language as well as a baby’s development, realized that some of our youngest baby’s movements were our baby signing to us even though she was only 13 weeks old, too young to make traditional signs and definitely younger than we thought possible for her to be communicating to us. Once my wife showed me what to look for, I could recognize our daughter’s signs, too.
Many sources have said that babies can’t learn Sign Language until they are at least 6 months old, but I believe that idea is based on people looking for “normal” signs, not what babies can actually do. That is human nature. It happened to my wife and me. We got a glimpse of a baby’s potential with our first child, we learned more with our second child, and we were still learning with our third one.
Our experiences showed us that babies can start learning and using Sign Language earlier than six months old if they are properly taught. Older children can also learn and benefit from signing, and their parents have more options regarding how to teach them. However, like other investments, the earlier your child’s education starts, the greater the benefits, and signing can be a great part of their education.
Even people with little or no Sign Language experience can successfully learn, then teach their baby or child, useful signs. For the needs of a baby, you don’t need to know much, and you can start off with easy signs. That is one of the reasons why Sign Language is so great for babies! Of course, if you do have signing experience, you are ahead of the game.
My goals with this book include showing you how easy it is to properly teach your baby or child useful signs, when you can start, mistakes some parents make, and other things my wife and I learned signing with our babies from birth. This information can help you learn in a short period of time what took us years. I also include some fun and surprising benefits for a child and their family that we learned from experience.
WHAT IF I DON’T KNOW SIGN LANGUAGE?
HOW DO I TEACH MY BABY OR TODDLERS WHEN SHOULD I START TEACHING MY CHILD? WHEN DOES REAL COMMUNICATION BEGIN? HOW CAN SIGN LANGUAGE BENEFIT HEARING FAMILIES? ARE THERE DISADVANTAGES TO BABY SIGN LANGUAGE? WHAT SHOULD I TEACH MY BABY OR CHILD? VOCABULARY SUGGESTIONS USING SIGN LANGUAGE BEYOND BABYHOOD AMERICAN BABY SIGN LANGUAGE definition proposal
The e-book includes pictures of children doing a few signs to show you how they sign.