Introducing Sign Language to Infants

You know how frustrating and heartbreaking it can get for parent and child alike when your child is unable to communicate their needs. Screaming, crying, wailing, and temper tantrums can be a common occurrence when your preverbal child cannot express what they need – often as simple as asking for more water or a hug.

Baby Sign Language is a specialized and simplified sign language intended to help preverbal children communicate and express their needs. These signs cover the basic vocabulary of infant communication, like “milk,” “water,” “hungry,” “more,” “cold,” “hot,” “play,” and “bath.” Unlock what your infant is thinking, and give your baby the gift of communication.

We teach the original Baby Signs® program to all of our infants at St-Laurent Academy Daycare. Through more than twenty years of research, study, and refinement, Baby Sign Language has time and again demonstrated the following benefits:

  1. Opens the Lines of Communication and Reduce Frustration

Baby Sign Language allows infants to effectively communicate their needs and wants. Your infant can easily and clearly communicate that they want more water, or that their stomach hurts, or that the bath is too hot. This makes things so much easier for child and parent alike, and leads to fewer tantrums and much less frustration for the whole family.

  1. Strengthens Emotional Bond Between Child and Parent

Parents develop a strong emotional bond with their child through body language and physical closeness, but learning Baby Sign Language only serves to strengthen this bond. A mutual understanding is a key element in emotional closeness, and Baby Sign Language helps to facilitate this bond. Parents are less stressed and more confident in their parenting when their infants are fluent in Baby Sign Language.

  1. Benefits Long-Term Cognitive Development

Studies demonstrate that Baby Sign Language helps infants develop their language, reasoning, and social skills. According to research by Baby Signs® founders Dr. Linda P. Acredolo and Dr. Susan W. Goodwyn, children who learned symbolic gesturing during infancy tested 12 IQ points higher at age 8 compared with children who had no exposure to signing.

Baby Sign Language is best begun when the infant is between six to eight months old. It is best to start with a three or four simple signs, and repeat these signs consistently on a regular basis over a period of months. The infant will begin to mimic signs after two months or so and continue to develop signing skills from that point onward.

If you would like to expose your child to the benefits of Baby Sign Language, St-Laurent Academy Daycare can help. Our two Ottawa locations address the whole child and we are committed to the social, emotional, physical, cognitive, language, and math development of each and every child in our care.

 

Check out this document for more information!