What is baby signing?

Baby signing is a method of communication used in early infancy between parent and child. Baby signing uses gestures based on British Sign Language (BSL) to represent simple vocabulary, including; food, milk, yes, sleep, more. Baby signing is used with speech to enhance the baby’s language learning and is used alongside singing and visuals to make the sessions fun and interactive as well as providing as much learning support for you and your child as possible. Baby signing has become an ever growing method of communication and is now extremely popular with families across the country, but what makes baby signing so popular?

Baby signing is a useful system for your child to learn and can be easy for them to pick up. Children already use signs to wave goodbye and hello, say no, and clap if they’re happy. Children’s motor skills and understanding of language develops before speech, babies are able to identify non-verbal cues and use them to communicate their wants and needs before they need to express this through actual speech. Baby signing adds and builds on the babies use of the signs already developed so that they can express their needs before they are able to talk and parents are able to identify the babies needs without having to guess.

Baby signs are learnt through groups with other parents and their children. Baby signs are best developed through the use of repetition. The baby signing teacher will use lots of fun games and activities to initially teach you and your child the sign, but it is then down to you to repeat the signs in the right context so that your baby has the best opportunity to learn and use the signs successfully.

Baby signing may be a slow process to establish and develop at first therefore you must be patient with your baby. You and your baby must also be motivated to communicate, it is best to begin baby signing when it is clear that your child has the desire to communicate and it is useful to learn vocabulary that will motivate your child, for example; food, drink, more, sleep and toilet.

There are many benefits to using baby signing, adding to the reasons why baby signing is so popular amongst parents in the UK. Baby signing allows your child to communicate their needs before their speech develops, this in turn reduces frustration for both you and your child. Research has also shown that baby signing establish a closer bond between the parents and their child as they are able to communicate with each other more effectively and the parent can be even more attentive to the child’s needs. Baby signing groups can also provide a social support parent group and a social opportunity for the children as they are able to communicate together.

Research has shown that baby signing can help develop the babies expressive language. Many parents wonder whether signing will inhibit their child’s verbal language – this is not true. Baby signing does not make your child talk, however it does assist your child’s language providing support for their expressive language development. As the child’s competency in using signs develops, the baby signs will gradually fade out and make way for speech.

Baby signing is a method of communication for early infancy that can be used to help your baby express their needs before speech develops. This provides many benefits for you and your child. If you would like to know any more about baby signing do not hesitate to contact us on office@sltforkids.co.uk or call 0330 088 2298.

About Catherine

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