So what is baby signing?

dr Joseph Garcia

Baby signing bridging the communication gap
Joseph and daughter Alaina sign “telephone”.

As early as six months, your baby knows what he wants – and he’d tell you too if only he could talk – but he’s going to have to wait another six months or so before his vocal mechanism has developed enough to speak and a year or more before he can tackle more complex words.And a year’s an awfully long time when you’re a baby. No wonder he gets so frustrated – it’s enough to make you want to scream…

That’s where sign language comes in. In Britain we use a variant called British Sign Language (BSL). It’s simple to learn a few signs to start with and then build up your repertoire as your baby progresses.

Why should I do it?

There are four main reasons:

  • Sign Language helps to take a lot of the guesswork out of being a parent. That means a lot more smiles and a lot less tears for both of you.
  • Your baby has a world of thoughts and observations about the things he sees around him. Imagine how exciting it must be as each day brings new discoveries – new sights, new sounds, new experiences. Sign language enables you to share that excitement with him before he can talk.
  • Research shows that learning these new communications skills at an early age will help your baby’s longer-term mental development. Babies that have used sign language typically start to talk earlier and then continue to learn more quickly than their non-signing playmates.
  • It’s fun!

Why wait? There’s so much more you could be sharing with your baby.