Benefits of baby signing:
- improve IQ
- helps your baby talk sooner
- reduces frustration, including biting, aggressive behaviour, tears and tantrums
- enables parents and other carers to be more responsive to the babies needs
- enriches the bond between babies and their parents, and other carers
- enables babies to share their world – revealing how smart they really are
- promotes positive emotional development
- increases babies’ self-confidence and builds self-esteem
Research has been undertaken in the United States into the benefits of using sign language for babies. Major studies have been undertaken by Drs Acredolo and Goodwyn over the past 20 years. Others, such as Dr Marilyn Daniels and Dr Joseph Garcia have also demonstrated the amazing benefits of introducing sign language to babies and toddlers. The benefits stated above are from Accredolo and Goodwyns’ studies (Acredolo, L and Goodwyn, S. (1996) Baby Signs. Chicago: Contemporary Books).
And it’s fun! Being able to actually know what your baby wants rather than just guessing takes a whole heap of stress and frustration out of your day to day life. As a first time mum, I had no idea what I was doing, or at least that how it felt at the time. For me, baby signing was so beneficial in giving me that bit more confidence that I was actually understand what it was that my baby wanted. We still had tears and tantrums, but not through lack of understanding – just because she wanted a biscuit instead of dinner, it didn’t mean that is what she was going to get!