During the first few months of an infant’s life, the production of speech generally lags behind the cognitive ability. This is why, though babies have a desire to communicate their needs and wishes; their ability to do so is not pronounced. This is where specialized sign language comes in to help the baby communicate without uttering words. Babies generally start talking by the time they are two years old. However, this does not mean that babies do not communicate until that time. Communication, in fact, begins as early as when the baby is six months old. Instead of pronounced words, parents usually teach their little one to articulate its needs through gestures and sign language. Other than communicating their desires, sign language also helps the baby not to resort to unnecessary fussing, crying and whining. At first look, it may seem like an impossible task to teach a baby to use sign language, but once you identify the basic know-how, you will find it smooth sailing. Teaching baby sign language can also be a very fun-filled and rewarding experience. Parents who wish to teach their babies sign language should read below to learn how they can go on about it.
How To Teach Baby Sign Language
To teach the baby the sign of an airplane, show it the palm of your hand facing down, while extending the thumb, index finger and pinky. With the palm now, show the flight of an airplane.
Put the arms in front of you and clasp the fingers to form a cradle and move them together from side to side as if rocking a baby.
Form a fist with one hand keeping the index finger extended. Now, mimicking the motion of peeling a banana, slide the finger of the other hand down the extended index finger.
Make a washing motion by scrubbing your chest with the fists, keeping the thumbs extended.
Hold the palms together and bring them close to your cheeks. Rest the head on the clasped hands, as if lying on a pillow.
Fold the fingers of your hand, except the index finger and the thumb. Now, put the hand in front of your lips, so that it forms like a beak. Open and close the index finger and the thumb in front of your lips to give the look of a bird’s beak.
Join the palms together and then open in front of you. Open the palms like you are opening a book.
With both hands, mimic the grasping of a steering wheel and drive an imaginary car.
Make imaginary whiskers on the cheeks.
Make fists with your hands in front of your body while shaking the arms as if suffering from cold.
Snap the fingers as if calling for a dog to come. You can also pat your thigh as if calling a dog to come.
Clasp an imaginary mug or cup and bring it to your lips, as if you are drinking from the cup.
Make the fingers hold onto imaginary food and bring them to your mouth, as if you are going to eat it.
Keep the hand open and tap the thumb by the side of your head.
First hold both the palms facing upward and then flip to a downward position.
With your hand make the motion of a fish swimming through water in zigzag fashion.