Communicating with your Baby or Toddler

Your 8 month CAN ask for milk when she’s hungry.
Your 15 month old CAN tell you when she has an earache.
You CAN manage your toddler’s behaviour in public without your voice.

HOW? With Baby Sign Language!

It’s a fact that infants develop the fine muscles in their hands before they develop those required for speech; as a result, they are equipped to communicate with you before they can speak. Over 20 years of in-depth scientific research has been conducted to show the benefits of signing with your pre-verbal child.

The Benefits of Baby Sign Language:

• Reduces frustration with communication
• Strengthens your parent-infant bond
• Empowers babies to direct adults’ attention to what they want to talk about
• Jumpstarts language development with signs
• Stimulates intellectual development
• Provides a strong foundation for early literacy
• Enhances infant self-esteem
• Gain insight into your baby’s world

Frequently Asked Questions . . .

Will my baby’s speech be delayed if she learns to sign?
Studies confirm that babies who use sign language actually talk sooner than non-signers. The reason for this is that they are using expressive language from an earlier age, playing with words, ideas and pairing them up before they have even developed the oral motor skills necessary for speech. In addition, they have found that by age 8, children who signed had stronger reading skills than those who did not.

Is it natural for children to use signs to communicate?
It certainly is! Most babies will show signs of wanting to communicate by coming up with their own simple gestures: they will raise their arms to say “Pick me up,” reach for things they want, pat the couch to say “up”, or open their mouth wide when they want more food. Signs expand on this idea and offer children an opportunity to communicate about specific ideas or concepts. It is actually easy to encourage this natural communication and to expand this into the use of sign language on a daily basis with your child.

Is it difficult to sign with babies?
Signing with babies isn’t difficult. Teaching sign language is not a time-consuming chore. It can be worked easily into your life as a natural part of communication with your child as well as the rest of your family. No prior knowledge of sign language is required. Most parents learn right along with their children with the aid of a sign language dictionary, baby signing book, or website. Many of the signs are iconic, meaning they look like the object they represent, making them easy to learn.

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