Babies begin to develop ways of communicating long before they even acquire language skills. Through gestures, they learn to express what they want or need, first with crying and then with their own hands. This happens from about 6 months, when they begin to develop fine motor skills and the movements of their hands allow them to express what they want.
That way of communicating has a name for many unknown, it is about the “Baby Signing” method or sign language for babies. In a simplified way, sign language for babies could be compared with sign language for people with hearing impairment, in addition to those with speech difficulty. But in the case of infants, the sign language is suitable for everyone, since it is applied from an age when there is no ability to speak.
What is the Baby Signing
Human beings have the innate need to communicate, and for this, he naturally seeks ways to do so at any stage of life. From birth, babies use crying to express what they need, they even use different types of crying, with variations in intensity, to make it easier for the mother to understand.
Little by little they are introducing new ways of making themselves understood, with babbling, with the expressions of their face and even, with gestures they do with their little handymen, that is, they use what is called non-verbal communication. This is nothing more than pure adaptation to the environment, in order to “survive” they need to make themselves understood and naturally use the weapons at their disposal. Baby signing is nothing more than a way to expand those small gestures that babies already know how to do, so that we can communicate with them in a more extensive way.
Actually, those small gestures that are widely used like pointing your finger, closing your hand to say goodbye or sending kisses with your hand, are already a way to communicate with signs. I mean, you could invent all kinds of gestures yourself to generate language with your baby. However, it is more appropriate to use general language because your baby can use it with others and not exclusively with you.
That is in itself the Baby Signing method, a language that already collects all the corresponding signs and words. Although the method started with the American sign language, it has been proven that it can adapt to any sign language that already exists.
Benefits of sign tongue for babies
Communicating through a sign language is beneficial for all children. Just as we want them to learn other languages, to expand their knowledge and ability to find the best job or develop in other countries. Sign language for babies will allow them to communicate with people with hearing impairment or speech problems.
What does not necessarily affect deaf or dumb people, for example, for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, or any other type of disability that affects language development, baby sign language may be the best way to communicate. Even in many cases, it may become the only possible way to communicate, as in the most severe cases of autism.
But the benefits of Baby Signing go much further, because even in children who do not have any kind of disorder or problem associated with language development, being able to communicate with sign language can be really beneficial. Imagine a very common situation like saying goodbye to your child while on the school bus, being able to tell him that you love him, carrying his breakfast in his backpack or that you’ll be waiting for him around, using sign language. It is certainly a way to strengthen affective bonds and a very important learning for any child’s life.