Video:Teach a Baby to Signwith Rachel Edelman
Signing with your baby is a great way to start early communication. Learn simple techniques for teaching your baby to sign.See Transcript
Transcript:Teach a Baby to SignHi I'm Rachel Edelman for About.com. Signing with your baby is a great way to start early communication with your infant. It's a great idea to learn to learn a few signs before, so today I'll show you how to teach a sign to your child.
When Can a Baby Start Signing?A child's first spoken word is often around a child's first birthday. But a child may produce a sign 3-5 months earlier.
Teaching a Sign to a BabyFor infants, start with just a few key words that you can use often throughout the day. For example, this is the sign for MORE. Bring your fingers together on both hands. In front of you, in a horizontal repetitive motion, tap your hands together. Say the words out loud as you sign it. MORE, do you want some MORE? Make sure that you sign when your baby is looking - this is one of the most important things about teaching an infant sign - if they can't see it, they can't learn it.
A great way to introduce MORE to your child is by using your child's favorite cereal. Put out a few pieces, then when they are eaten, say Do you want some MORE? Want MORE cereal? Then, after a little delay, give them another small handful.
Sign Language RepetitionContinue doing this, over and over and throughout the day for a few days. Some babies may pick up on the sign the first day and other babies may take a while - so keep it up even if your child doesn't start right away.
Sign Teaching TipsWhen teaching signs to your child, here are some tricks to help them watch your hands. You can sign with one hand if you need to, like this - hold the item with one hand and sign on the object with the other hand. Also use signs with things that they like or enjoy to do.
Sign Teaching ToolsNow I'm going to use my bear, which I often use when I teach parents signing. You can also encourage your child to the sign with their own, by moving their hands for them. Or, you can do the sign directly on your child. For instance, HAT what a nice HAT.
Start with a few signs when you and your child are engaged in an activity, don't worry about signing all day long. Have fun with it, and enjoy communicating with your baby.
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