Ever looked at your fussy baby and thought, "If only you could tell me what you want!?"
Well, they may be able to, if you teach them baby sign language.
If you started signing from birth, your little one could start signing back as early as 6 months.
Around 6 months of age, your baby has the mental capacity to know what they want or need from you and try to communicate it to you. While they are unable to vocalize their needs to you through spoken language, they are capable of signing to you if you teach them how.
They will no longer need to cry or become frustrated. Wouldn't it just be the cutest to see your little one sign to you what they want!
There are videos on YouTube of how the signs look and they are often gestures taken from normal sign language and simplified so that your baby can execute them.
To start introducing sign language and teach it to your baby, do the sign and say the word before executing the action. For example; you would say "Milk" while signing the sign for milk and then place your baby at the breast to nurse. Be persistent and always do the sign before offering.
If you started signing from birth, your little one could start signing back as early as 6 months. If you started at 6 months your baby may take a couple of months to sign back. They tend to learn at their own pace.
I started teaching my little girl the sign for milk at 5 months. She is now 6 months old and she attempts to do it on some occasions. (Usually when she is really hungry and feels the need to)
Some basic signs you can teach your baby are;
- "Milk" - for when she wants to nurse.
- "All done" - for when a nursing session ends or she finished eating or drinking.
- "Up" - for when she wants to be picked up.
- "Sleep" - for nap-time and bedtime.
- "Eat" - for meal times.
- "More" - for more food or water.
- "Water" - for a sip of water.
- "Tea" - if you are offering tea.
You can start with the basics and build your vocabulary as you need more gestures.
Here are some YouTube videos to get you started: