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Video: The What, Why and When of Baby Signing

By: Clare Birtles - Updated: 24 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss

Video Transcript

Hi I'm Therese Markham for TinyTalk in Warrington and on behalf of BabyandPregnancy.co.uk I'm going to give you the what, why and when of baby signing.

Firstly what is baby signing? Well baby signing is simple signs and gestures that we use with pre-verbal children to help with communication.

From around 6-18 months babies get very frustrated because they want to communicate with you but they can't physically talk but they can use their hands, they are playing with toys they are waving and they are clapping. So why not teach them how to form different gestures to allow them to tell us what they want, what they need and what they feel.

Baby signing helps to develop children's languages skills it allows them to focus on the words

spoken to them, the signs your making to them and the signs that they are making. Baby signing reduces frustration in the parents and the babies, they can tell you what they want, what they feel it is a great window into their mind.

Why would you wan to baby sign? I personally recommend baby signing to any parent that I meet, it reduces babies frustration it is making them happier, so if their happy your going to be happy as well. Babies benefit from understanding and being understood and baby signing really helps with this.

When is a good time to baby sign? Well you can baby sign from the moment the baby is born it is never to early to start, however it is only really around the 6 month mark that babies are actually physically able to sign back to you. They have the control over their hands, they have the mental connects to know that objects have names which they need for baby signing.

Did you know that waving and clapping a baby sign is something that children do with out even realising it.

It will take a baby on average 4-6 weeks to begin signing when they are around the age of 6 months, however what is an average baby? Babies will learn to walk, to sit up at various stages and learning to baby sign is not much different.

However the older the child is the quicker they will understand baby signs and hopefully the quicker they will baby sign back to you. My own daughter Hannah was 10 months old when I started baby signing with her and she started to sign back in about 10 days it was absolutely staggering and she went from strength to strength. I have know 6 month babies to literarily start signing after a week and several babies in my class under 6 months have actually started signing, so this proves there is no average baby.

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