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Teaching Baby Sign Language

My daughter, at 15 months has a big vocabulary. Along with the 20 or so words she knows, she knows about 10 more in sign language. No, she doesn’t have a full American Sign Language vocabulary, and we don’t consistently teach her every word in sign language. However, the words she does know has come in handy during the months she still couldn’t utter a word.

As soon as she started eating solid foods, and was weaned from the bottle, she was taught the signs for “eat/food”, “drink”, “more”. Those three signs alone has resolved 99% or issues during mealtimes. We’ve taught her “apple”, “cracker”, “book”, “baby” (for her baby doll). As we find more and more words she still can’t say, we teach her the sign for them to reduce frustration. As a result, we have some sort of hybrid communication that’s working wonderfully.

If you have a child that’s easily frustrated, and one who is eager to communicate but can’t speak yet, teaching them sign language is a wonderful tool to give them. Sign language has been linked to advanced language skills once they do acquire the knowledge to talk. They’ve even been linked to early speech development.

Why not pick up a book, or DVD on sign language for babies. There are many available out there. Don’t forget to check out the library for free resources as well!

Happy signing!

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