5 Reasons Why Baby Sign Language WORKS

5 Reasons Why Baby Sign Language WORKS

In last week’s blog post I shared just some of the amazing benefits of using sign language with your baby.

This week I’d like to take a quick look at WHY the simple act of pairing some American Sign Language vocabulary with your spoken words can create such amazing results. Here are 5 reasons why baby sign language works….

1. Signing builds on your baby’s natural abilities.

ALL babies gesture. As your baby gains more control over his arms and begins interacting with you more, he will start to clap, wave & point.  Exposing your baby to sign language provides a tool that builds beautifully on his existing natural abilities.

2. Signing highlights key words for your baby.

Your baby is exposed to hundreds of words each day and her amazing brain is busy trying to differentiate all of these sounds AND figure out what they mean. Adding signs to what you are saying highlights key vocabulary AND gives your baby a visual clue to what the word means as many ASL signs look like the word they represent.

Why baby sign language works3. Signing engages more areas of the brain.

Some of the amazing benefits of baby sign language [hello, higher IQ!] are almost hard to believe. One interesting area of research suggests that by exposing your baby to both auditory language (speech) and visual language (signing) you stimulate multiple areas of your baby’s brain, building more neural connections and ultimately improving intelligence. Wowzers.

4. Signing works with all learning types.

All people, including your baby, have different learning styles – which is to say, we all have a way we learn best. Think of reading a book – do you get more out of listening to a book on tape than reading it yourself? Then maybe you are more of an auditory learner than a visual learner. You probably won’t discover your baby’s preferred learning style for a few years, but baby sign language has you covered as it is engaging for visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners.

5. Signing is active vs. passive learning.

Babies learn by exploring their world through their senses – whether it’s experiencing a breeze on their skin or bringing a toy to their mouth to explore it’s texture.  But when it comes to communication, babies usually get stuck in the passenger seat.  Signing, however, allows babies to actively take part in communication months before they can talk – moving them from passive observers to the conversation around them to active participants.

Ok, wow. Just writing this post got me all fired up [for the millionth time] about baby sign language. I am READY to start the next session of Tiny Signs Online soon. Are you!?

The REAL reason(s) I love baby sign language

The REAL reason(s) I love baby sign language

Today I’m talking about the REAL reasons I’m so passionate about signing with babies. If you’d like to learn more about baby sign language, make sure you are signed up for my free week-long e-course starting October 1st. You can register HERE.

There are so many wonderful things about using sign language with babies – in fact, you’ve probably heard of a few of them. But in case you haven’t, here’s a quick recap of the extensive research that’s been done on this topic…

Benefits of signing with babies:

  • Reduced frustration

  • Improved communication

  • Enhanced self-esteem

  • Expanded spoken vocabulary

  • Increased interest in books

  • Higher IQ

  • shall I go on??

And hey, that’s all great. I mean, who DOESN’T want a smart, content baby, right?

But let’s get real for a second…

Because if we always did the things that researchers told us to do, well, let’s just say I wouldn’t have eaten 3 [Update: 4] blueberry mini-muffins today.

Research is great for helping us know if something is a good idea or a bad one, but at the end of the day, most of us can’t stay motivated to do something simply because it’s “good for us.”

So what motivated me to stick with signing with my first baby, and ultimately become the baby sign language zealot I am today?

Here are my personal TWO favorite things about signing with babies…

peek inside child mind1. Babies are smart. As we say here in Boston…wicked smaht…

Most people grossly underestimate what babies understand. And it is SO FUN to see things through their eyes and realize just how much they do grasp about the world around them. Signing gives you the tool to peek inside and actually SEE what your baby is thinking. It truly is amazing.

2. Parenting is hard. Like, really hard…

Unless you lucked out with a dream baby, most new parents would agree that taking care of an infant is a lot of work. Baby sign language makes a tough job so much easier! When your baby can let you know he’s hungry or tired, or wants water, not milk – well, all I can say is hallelujah and amen to that.

So yeah, I might have started signing for all those good-for-baby reasons in the first place, but the reason I stuck with it  is because it made my life as a mom more fun, interesting and easy. And who doesn’t want that!?

So what do YOU love about baby sign language? Let me know in the comments below.