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Baby Sign Language Helps Reduce Tears and Tantrums – Early Language Development Makes a Happy Baby!
Consider this scenario, your 8 month old baby is crying uncontrollably. You have changed his diaper, fed him, rocked him, you have done everything you can think of to meet his needs – yet he continues. This is real frustration – for you and him. What if your baby could tell you what he wanted? He can if you include baby sign language in your daily communication with him.
Typical language development in children tells us that at 12 months babies are able to use one or more words with meaning. Until then, how has your baby communicated with you? In most cases, their communication has been with tears and tantrums. Not only are they crying, but many times you are too. Babies are aware of their wants and needs before they can use language to communicate them. Without language, they must convey their needs with crying and tantrums. They will develop different outburst for different needs – hunger, pain, comfort and more. Your frustration begins when you are trying to decipher those different cries. Babies are born with an instinctive need to communicate. Imagine their frustration, and yours, when they can’t.
By teaching your baby sign language, they will be able to communicate their basic needs to you as early as 6 months. If your baby can wave bye-bye or raise their arms to be picked up, they can use sign language. Infants develop the fine muscles in their hands before they develop the muscles for speech. They’re able to communicate with you before they can speak. Imagine being able to satisfy your babies needs with one hand gesture rather than long periods of tears and tantrums.
As parents, we marvel at our child’s first year of life. Their birth weight triples; they grow from completely helpless to walking; their cognitive development is amazing, and they begin to talk in about their 12th month, however language is limited to single words such as Mama and Dada. The one thing we can’t see or truly understand is what is going on in their little minds. That is because of their lack of a way to communicate with us. Yes, we learn to decipher their cries, to some extent, but does that really tell us a great deal about their wants and needs. Should your baby have to communicate with you from a feeling of frustration? There is a better way. Your baby can communicate with you at the age of 6 months using sign language.
Babies are born with a need to communicate, however the kind of motor skills needed to talk are not mastered until their 12th month. They do have the ability to understand language and use it long before that.
From birth, babies communicate by crying. Around 7 months of age they begin to use gesture, along with their tears, to communicate their needs. They will point, shake their head and hold up their arms to be picked up. These gestures they have learned from those around them. With repetition of these gestures, babies soon learn that they can communicate with us. They begin to feel more control over their environment. If, at this point, your begin using signs along with verbal language, your baby will soon recognize that they can communicate more extensively by copying your gestures. It will build their confidence that they can affect the world around them and that we value their contribution.
Once you begin teaching your baby American Sign Language, you will soon see the benefits of early communication. These benefits include:
• Reduced frustration (for you and baby)
• Reduced stress for the whole family
• Your baby will be able to communicate their wants and needs
• Building trust with your child
• Strengthening your babies self confidence and self esteem
• Positively influencing your babies environment
• The ability to share their world
• Positive emotional development in your child
• Greater self esteem
Research has shown us that babies who use sign language are happier and less frustrated. This means that you too will be happier and less frustrated. You will be astounded at what is going on in their little heads.
Because you will now have a shared language, instead of cries and tantrums, your baby will sign milk; you will respond; and everyone will be smiling. What can be better than that?
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