Success Teaching Baby Sign LanguageSigning with your child is very easy and it is a natural process for your child. And teaching your baby sign language is also easy.
When to Start
- Start signing when your baby is between 6 and 8 months and your baby holds your gaze for a few seconds.
- If your baby is 9-12 months, you can start right away.
- If you have a toddler, start signing right away.
How to Start
- Begin with 3-5 Signs. Good ones to start with are MILK, MORE, and EAT. Sign Babies Flash Cards Set 1: First Words contain the best signs to start with.
- Talk as you sign. Since your goal is to get your child to speak, you need to speak with your child as much as you can. When nursing or giving a bottle, say "Do you want some milk?" and sign MILK. Then, as you feed your child, open a dialog about the milk: "We're having MILK. MILK is good!"
- Make eye contact. Make the sign directly in your child's line of sight so your child can see your eyes, the sign, and your mouth. Then, speak with your child, emphasizing the word you are signing. For example, you might say, "Do you want some MORE apple?"
When Will My Child Begin Signing Back?
- Watch for understanding. Even before your child signs back, she can understand you and may acknowledge your words and signs through grunts.
- Be patient. If your baby is between 6-9 months, it may take 2 months for your baby to make the first sign. That gives you time to learn more signs. If your child is older, you might see results sooner. But remember that babies recognize the signs long before they can make them.
- Look for signs. Babies adapt signs to their physical abilities, so they don't always look exactly right. Similar to speech development, babies' abilities to sign will improve as they sign more.
Keys to Signing Success
- Sign often. Signing is not something you stop to do with your childųjust incorporate signing into your daily activities. Sign as you talk with your child, sign as you read books, sign as you sing, sign as you and your child interact. For example, you can sing "Old MacDonald" and sign the animal signs you learned from Sign Babies Flash Cards Set 3: Animals.
- Encourage any attempts your child makes. If you think you see a sign, say: "Oh, you're signing MILK. Do you want some MILK?" Continue to make the signs correctly and your child will learn to make the sign correctly.
- Add signs. As your child learns the signs and begins to sign back, start adding other signs from Sign Babies Flash Cards. If your child is older, add signs quickly so your child can learn the signs that she needs to communicate.
SUCCESS TIP: Create a custom book.
- Place Sign Babies Flash Cards in a 4 x 6 photo album. The cards are designed with eye-catching illustrations that help children to recognize common objects, actions, and emotions.
- This creates your own baby sign language book that focuses on the words and concepts you and your child are learning to sign.
- Read your book and sign together. Signing when reading increases a child's interest in reading and reinforces the signs you are learning together.
Remember that teaching your child sign language will help teach your baby to talk!
Used with permission of Sign Babies, Copyright Š 2004.
Shop securely online or phone our order hotline between 8:00am and 4:30pm CST
Copyright © 2011 Renaissance Discover This, LLC - All rights reserved