Baby sign

The idea of using simple sign language to communicate with your baby before he or she can talk has been around for a while, and there are now various books, classes and websites that teach you how to sign with your baby.

Baby sign, as seen in the movie Meet the Fockers, enables babies and parents to communicate on a basic level with each another, which makes for happier, less frustrated babies, and happier parents. The fear that babies taught baby sign will not learn to speak appears to be unfounded. In fact such babies tend to become very keen talkers.

Have any of you used baby sign with your children, or do you know anybody who has? This is certainly something I’d like to try if I every have children.

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This entry was posted in Language.

8 Responses to Baby sign

  1. Aeneas says:

    In my mind, this is probably closely related with your previous article, on teaching kids second languages. Teaching someone to communicate, in any form, as early as possible can only help that person throughout their lives.

  2. I’ve taught my daughter some simple signs, like “more”, “all done”, “no” and “I love you”. There’s certainly no sign that it’s impeding her speech development, and it definitely makes for a much less frustrated baby. What’s interesting is that she (and other children who learn sign) improvise their own signs pretty quickly.

  3. TJ says:

    Here I usually see the parents use words with signs and especially pointing to persons. But I would say that the tendency is more inclined to be for teaching the speech for children first, mainly by pointing to a person and saying his name several times!

  4. Adam says:

    Both my sister and my brother did this with their kids; however, my sister seems very determined to keep it up, and raise her daughter bi-lingual (english/ASL). My brother and his wife gave up the sign language after their kids were old enough to talk.

    I can vouch for the fact that this does not interfere with spoken language at all. My niece, who is now 4, will not shut up and give her poor Uncle Adam 2 seconds of peace 🙂

  5. To me, the idea that “baby sign” will make a child a better speaker makes intuitive sense. To use it means that the baby is getting feedback earlier on about what is the appropriate word and what kind of response to expect–and children process those sorts of things FAR earlier than when they’re physically capable of speech.

  6. Shannon Veness says:

    I also agree. I have seven children and since learning about baby sign, I taught four of my children when they were babies. The two eldest, who I taught first, have now learnt chinese and italian at there school, and one of them wants to go on with learning other languages, like german, korean and japanese.

  7. David says:

    My mum taught me baby signs when I was little, and now English and L.O.T.E. are my best subjects at school. I know Japanese, Dutch, some Russian, French and Sign Language (Australian).

  8. Simon says:

    David – does L.O.T.E. stand for Languages Other Than English? Is that an Australian term? Haven’t heard it before.

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