Babies are smart and they really do understand far more, far earlier than we give them credit for. So, I think it only makes sense to help give them the tools they need to communicate before they’re able to speak the words themselves. One main tool being baby sign language.
I keep it very simple with only a few important signs – “more”, “all done”, “milk”, “water”, “eat/food”, “please”, “thank you”, “yes”, “no”, “mom” and “dad”. And, I’ve got to tell you, I truly believe it helped my daughter in some many ways. Here she is signing “please” – which is the one sign she still uses til this day – why? I don’t know, but it’s pretty darn cute!
People are often shocked that she’s only 2 years old, mainly because of her vocabulary skills. She’s just bright. So, I definitely don’t want to take any credit away from her – it’s just her. But, I do think there are some things we can do as parents to help jump-start their vocabulary skills. And that starts with signing.
I started signing with both of my children right around 6 months old (so, I just recently started signing with my son). It took my daughter several months to be able to sign back to me. But, once she was able to start communicating her wants and needs with me, she actually seemed even happier (if that was even possible).
- Practical: less fussing and more fun.
- Emotional: creates a closer parental bond.
- Cognitive: boosts brain development.
Here are the signs I’ve found helpful:
(you may click on each word to read more and see a video of each sign in action)
Consider giving your little one the tools they need to communicate with you far before they’re able speak the words themselves. You’ll be amazed by the benefits! Happy signing!