Sign Language For Babies is a cool new way of teaching your pre-verbal child how to communicate. It is easy to teach and a lot of fun to do. To make a start, all you need to do is learn some basic signs and practice, practice, practice. Here are some dos and donâ€™ts for baby sign language beginnersâ€¦
- Do start off with signs you and your baby can practice every day. Signs like Mommy, Daddy and Milk are great for beginners. You will need to make signing a natural part of your interaction with your baby, so finding signs you can incorporate into all your usual activities works really well.
- Do sign when your baby is alert, using something which is exciting to her, such as Milk or Mommy.
- Do practice as often as you can. Once you have learned a sign, you should make this sign every time you say the word or do the action with your baby. It is important to say the word clearly, with good eye contact, while pointing to the thing or person you are describing. Be consistent.
- Do use Baby Sign Language when youâ€™re shopping, playing, feeding and reading with your baby. Be creative and make it fun.
- Do be patient with yourself and with your baby. If you forget to sign for a day itâ€™s fine to start again the next day. Give yourself and baby plenty of time. Signing is worth it.
- Do encourage all of your babyâ€™s efforts. Donâ€™t worry if your baby hasnâ€™t got a sign quite â€˜rightâ€™. Give plenty of praise, attention and eye-contact to show her you are impressed with her efforts. When you and baby are ready you can move on to another group of signs. Encourage all the way.
- Donâ€™t forget to learn the signs yourself first. Itâ€™s a good idea to practice a few times before signing to your baby. That way you will feel more confident. Go to a Baby Signing class or look up some online resources to help you.
- Donâ€™t use too many signs to begin with. Limit yourself to four or five signs â€“ you can add more when you and your baby are more confident.
- Donâ€™t forget the importance of repetition. Itâ€™s important to make the sign and say the word every time you do an action or use an object. Babies learn through repetition and it can take about two months of exposure to a sign for babies over six months to learn the sign and be ready to use it themselves.
- Donâ€™t be too results-focused. Teaching baby sign language is about having fun and learning about each other. The attention and bonding you share with your baby while you are signing is as important as signing itself.
- Donâ€™t expect too much too soon. Have fun and enjoy signing, making it a part of your day. Remember, it can take at least two months of exposure to, and repetition of, a sign for a baby to learn it properly.
Information courtesy of Baby Sign Language
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