Every parent wants their kids to learn things very fast. For that, they make their kids learn different skills from a very young age. One of the ways is to teach babies sign words/language to them. These sign language words are not only helpful to normal kids but are also a convenient way to help deaf and mute babies communicate. This gives them confidence, which makes them stand out among other kids. It makes your journey as a parent delightful and harmonious.
In the below article, we are going talk about what baby sign language is, why you should teach this language to your kids, its benefits, and how to teach it. With that, we will also talk about some basic or easy sign language words that you can teach to your babies in the beginning.
What is Baby Sign Language?
A baby sign language is the use of one or both of your hands to communicate with your babies or kids. This technique is really helpful to those parents whose kids cannot listen. Many sign language words have hand gestures. The main advantage of learning sign language is that, unlike any language, English does not have this system of American and British English.
Research says that sign language has various benefits, like enhancing the bonding of parent and child, reducing tantrums when they are frustrated cause they can’t talk, and teaching them various sign language words that will also help them to enhance their communication skills. Remember that every child has an ace of learning; some might learn fast, and some will take some time. So, as a parent or caretaker, having patience is very important; remember to be soft to them.
Sign Language Chart
1. Chart For Words
2. Chart For Alphabet And Numbers
Why Should You Teach Baby Sign Language?
1. Enhances Communication
Most of the babies start exploring their verbal skills a little late but can learn or upskill their motor skills way too early. Teaching them certain signs can help to build a bridge that will fill the communication gap between what they want to express and what they can say.
2. Boost Language Development
Babies who are exposed to sign language can lay a stronger foundation for their language development skills. Some of the studies even say that teaching sign language to kids does not hinder spoken language development. This makes it easy to express themselves to others, making communication a two-way process.
3. Cognitive Development
Learning basic sign language and words can stimulate cognitive development in babies. It engages their motor and visual skills and increases their understanding of symbols and associations. This can lay the groundwork for later language and cognitive abilities.
Some of The Baby’s Sign Language Words
Below are some of the basic baby sign language words that can be taught to the baby. They are very easy to learn and will help your child with basic communication.
This specific sign is used to indicate the hunger of the baby. Can be used to ask if the baby is hungry or not. To make this sign just press your hand against your chest, which has to be placed under your chin, after that slide it down to your belly. Just follow the path that food takes during digestion, as you can see in the above picture. There is another common sign which is tapping and patting the fingertips together on the stomach.
This sign of milk is very similar to the making of a cow. You have to make a fist where all the fingers are tucked behind your thumb. In this, the thumb must be facing you; after making a fist, open and close your hand like you are milking a cow. With this sign, infants and young kids can communicate to show their desire for milk.
Making and learning this sign is very easy, where you have to use only the initial 3 fingers (cause it indicates W). Teaching this sign will make you understand when they need water. You can even use the common sign of drinking where a fist is made with a thumb facing the upward direction. Moving the sign back and forth is the common thing here.
This sign can be used when a kid is hungry and wants more food. Just keep the finger straight and press it with your thumb. After making this hand gesture, open and close your hands repeatedly; the thumb must face your body. This sign is similar to when you are making an alligator mouth.
One of the most important sign language words to learn by learning this sign word, your kids can easily tell when they have the feeling of going potty. To make this sign, tuck your thumb between the first two fingers of your hand. Now, start shaking them back and forth many times like you are ringing a bell.
This sign is quite complicated, so we suggest you make your kid learn this word after some time practicing sign language words. To make this sign, simply curl your fingers of both hands into a ball, leaving your index finger out, making the shape of a hook. After this, cross your hands at the writs and switch them from top to bottom many times.
This sign is simple: extend your pinky and thumb, making all the fingers tucked in. After following this step, twist the hands back and forth at the wrists. This sign can be used when your kid wants to play, or you want to play with your kid.
It’s very challenging to make your babies sleep, so to make them sleep, you can use this sign word. To make this word, use a play on the side of your face. Now, close the palm with your eyes.
9. I love You
Sometimes, parents want to show love to their babies. There are many ways to show the sign of I love you. The first one is using a simple heart, and the second one is showing a hug by crossing the arms around your chest like you are hugging yourself. And the last one is the most important, where you have to make a rock sign and move back and forth.
Moving on to the last and the most important sign on this list, this sign will help your kid when they are in danger. To make this sign, place your hand (dominant) up by curling up the fingers and placing the thumb in the upper direction. Place the thumb non-dominant hand (palm) down, and now move them up and down.
Benefits of Learning Baby Sign Language
Teaching sign language to the kids can bring a lot of benefits to them. This benefit is not only for kids but also for parents. Some of the main advantages of learning baby sign language are:
1. Helps the Baby Talk Sooner
This case only happens when the baby can listen and talk. Hen, you are repeating the words with signs. But this depends on the baby’s learning pace cause some can pick up early, and some may not. This process is not guaranteed, but if parents teach them properly and with all the patience, then it can happen. The commitment and efforts from caregivers or parents play an important role here.
2. Enhances Self-Esteem
Learning sign language has the potential to enhance self-esteem, especially for infants and young kids. A baby sign language mainly consists of teaching preverbal babies and toddlers. Cause the simplified form of sign language to communicate their needs, wants, or feelings before they start speaking. This builds a sense of confidence in them and results in the positive development of kids, including their self-esteem, and makes them independent.
3. Enhances Mood
It enhances the mood of both parents and babies. This learning process reduces the stress and frustration of the baby as they can communicate their needs, desires, and feelings. Moving on to the parents, the positive response of the baby can make them happy and confident. The process of teaching and learning sign language words makes the bonding between the babies and parents stronger, which enhances their mood.
How to Teach It to Your Kid?
Though teaching sign language words is a great way to upskill their communication. But teaching them properly can be a challenge. Below are some tips that can help you to teach your kids properly:
1. Start with The Easy One
Not only in teaching sign language words but anything you are teaching that is new to your kids always start with the familiar thing. Some of the easy sign language words are hello, bye, please, help, eat, drink, milk, yes, potty, no, mom, and dad. These are some of the words that you can teach them and can be used in an emergency. After they learn these basic words you can raise the difficulty level step by step.
2. Repeat Continuously
It is said that repetition is a key; always repeat the signs so that kids can remember it longer. This technique is also applicable when babies find any of the sign language words difficult to learn and understand. Repeat those words several times so that they can sit in their mind and will be remembered for a longer period. You can expand the vocabulary when the baby understands 4 to 5 sign languages properly.
3. Be Patient
Most of the parents lose patience and start getting frustrated if the baby does not give the response they imagined for. If you do this, then remember that learning cannot be mastered overnight; it takes time. So, give them the time that they need and keep your cool if they make mistakes. Always keep smiling, as it encourages the baby to learn faster.
This was everything about sign language that parents and caretakers must know. Remember that you are teaching a baby, so it may take some time to learn and grasp the sign language words. ‘So, you must keep patience with them and prevent them from getting frustrated. Baby sign language will help in fostering your baby’s communication skills. This approach will upskill them mentally to keep their desires without opening their mouth. Best of luck for teaching!
What sign language word would you like to teach your baby first? Let us know in the comment section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Some Interesting Facts About Sign Language?
Sign language is 4th most used language in the United Kingdom. There are many varieties of sign language cause it differs from country to country. Sign language is not just limited to hand gestures, and it is not as difficult to learn as it looks.
Which Is the Easiest Sign Language?
Though sign language differs from country to country, you can find varieties in it. Among all of them, fingerspelling is said to be the easiest among them. Because it is easier to memorize the letters of the alphabet, you can even ask the word by spelling it if you forget the particular sign for that word.
Which Sign Language Is Most Spoken?
Among all the sign languages spoken worldwide, Chinese sign language is at the top, with 20 million users speaking it. After that, we have Brazilian and Indo-Pakistani signs with around 3 and 1.8 million users across the world.
Who Invented Sign Language?
The beginning of sign language can be seen in the 1500s, which was started by a benedictine monk called Pedro Ponce De Leon. He used this language to educate his Spanish students. This initiation paved the way for others, and Charles Michel de l’Eppe developed the first formal sign language.