'Why is my baby crying?'

Every parent has asked this question, wouldn't it be easier if your baby could tell you the reason why?

Baby Signing harnesses your baby's natural desire to communicate with you, it is the practice of using physical gestures to aid communication with non-verbal babies and children.

The idea is that if your baby can let you know when she is tired, hungry, or thirsty, instead of just crying, she will be less frustrated. This helps greatly when your child reaches their “Terrible Twos”.  Tantrums at this age are usually related to the child being frustrated and not being able to get their point across.  By teaching babies how to communicate with you, they have no need to have a tantrum – when they want something they can just tell you!

Babies Automatically Use Signs

Babies automatically use signs - think of the first time your baby waved bye bye to you. She didn't instinctively know how to wave, you taught her to - by waving at her everytime you said goodbye.

Baby sign does not hinder your child's verbal development, and should not be used to replace speaking with your child. When a baby starts to verbalise her desires she will firstly sign and say the word together and then eventually the signing will gradually fall away. It has been reported that children who signed as babies have 50 more spoken words in their vocabularies by the age of two, than that of children who didn't sign.

Baby Signing should not be used to replace speaking with your child.  Baby Sign should always and only be taught whilst speaking to your baby.  If you sign “Milk”, always ensure you say the word at the same time.  If you are unable to say the word, do not sign it either.

Baby Sign Classes are a Fun

Baby Sign classes are a fun and great way to bond with your baby and provide social interaction. Most babies will take to it around 6 months, while others will be more interested a few months later, as a general rule the earlier you sign the quicker your child will be able to sign back to you. This is dependent on your child's personality and how often you sign with baby. Little and often is the key to baby signing. Don't turn signing into a school lesson - it simply won't work. Learning needs to be fun and non-pressured.

Most classes incorporate the use of nursery rhymes, songs and books. Parents can join in with familiar songs and also practice at home with baby.

You should try to be in your babies vision, however sometimes you will be in her peripheral vision.  This is perfectly fine.  Sometimes your baby will look anywhere else but at you.  This is why the classes are great.  All children and parents sit in a circle and your baby will be able to see a sign, wherever they look.  Do not be disheartened if your baby does not appear to take notice – keep trying, perhaps changing your voice to a higher pitch, or speaking with more excitement in your voice. Make learning fun.

Thanks to Sharon Burrows from Hullabaloo Kids >> for this information.