Empowering Infants: 5 Incredible Benefits of Learning Baby Sign Language
Jan 23, 2024
Unlock the world of early communication with baby sign language, which has emerged as a transformative tool for parents and their infants. In this blog post, we delve into the many advantages of learning baby sign language from a certified Auslan (Australian Sign Language) interpreter and Teacher of the Deaf and how it aligns with speech therapy.
1. Earlier Communication Milestones
Baby sign language facilitates communication before infants can articulate words verbally. By introducing signs for common needs like "milk" or "nappy," and things of interest, like animals and machines, parents empower infants to express themselves earlier. This early communication can reduce frustration, enhancing the bond between parent and baby during these crucial formative years.
2. Clearer Communication
One of the remarkable outcomes of baby sign language is promoting more transparent communication. As infants attempt their first words, speech is typically unclear. Adding signs allows babies to clarify what they are saying to make themselves clearer to their parents or caregivers. This clarity can reduce misunderstandings, creating a more harmonious environment for both parent and baby.
3. Larger Vocabulary Development
Introducing baby sign language doesn't hinder speech development; it nurtures a more extensive vocabulary. As infants associate signs with spoken words, they expand their linguistic repertoire. This dual exposure reinforces language acquisition, setting the stage for a more extensive vocabulary as they transition from signing to verbal communication.
4. Improved Wellbeing and Safety
The emotional wellbeing of infants is profoundly influenced by their ability to express themselves. Baby sign language contributes to enhanced emotional wellbeing by providing a means for infants to communicate their desires and feelings. It also supports baby safety by allowing infants to convey discomfort or identify hazards through signs, enabling parents to respond promptly.
5. Supporting Literacy Development
When integrated into early childhood education, baby sign language aligns seamlessly with literacy development. The visual and tactile nature of signing engages multiple senses, reinforcing language concepts. As infants progress from signing to spoken language, they carry this enriched understanding of language into literacy activities, setting a strong foundation for reading and writing skills.
In the dynamic landscape of early child development, embracing baby sign language emerges as a holistic approach. From fostering earlier communication to supporting literacy development, the benefits are vast. As parents explore this enriching journey with their infants, integrating baby sign language becomes a powerful catalyst for early communication and lifelong language skills.
About the Author
Meg is a mother of two, a certified Auslan interpreter, and a Teacher of the Deaf. She has completed a degree in early childhood learning and development and has a Masters in learning intervention from Melbourne University. Language development is so important for all aspects of learning, which is why she has made it her mission to educate parents on practical tools they can easily use in their home to best support their babies in developing exceptional language, which we know leads to the best possible outcomes in school and literacy.