Stimulate Your Baby’s Development with Sign Language

Andrea with son Ben signing I love you

One thing I’ve realized from working with so many infants is that they are learning and understanding things much sooner than many parents realize. Using baby sign language, parents can start to communicate with their babies months earlier than they might otherwise.

When my son Ben was 5 ½ months old he became a lot more aware of his mommy. When I’d leave the room he’d start to whimper until I’d pop my head back in and then he’d smile. He’d reach for me when I’d walk past him and he constantly grabbed for everything. When his 2 year old brother walked in the room I could tell because Ben would let out a screech, even before the toddler came near him. He learned early on that big brother Brandon usually meant trouble. It’s amazing how early babies can recognize cause and effect patterns.

When you start to notice your baby reaching some of these developmental milestones, this is a crucial time to engage your infant in learning new things. They are extremely curious and their minds are like little sponges, ready to absorb the world around them.

One new and exciting stimulant you can add to your baby’s educational development is baby sign language. Some of you may have already been using signs here and there with your baby. If you haven’t started yet that’s OK, but don’t wait any longer.

By adding baby sign language, you are enabling your child to use multiple forms of learning, including kinesthetic, visual, and auditory. With baby signs you always say and sign the words. Studies show that the more ways information is absorbed by the brain the easier it is for the child to learn. I am a kinesthetic and visual learner, which may be why I love sign language.

Parents who communicate with their babies via sign language are amazed by how much information their babies already understand and retain. Signing is entertaining and it holds a babies attention longer than many other forms of learning.

Your baby is just waiting for you to help her learn. Baby sign language is a fun and exciting way to help your little one get a head start in life.

About the Author: Andrea Ploehn (SAY Plone as in “hone”) is an expert on nonverbal communication and teaching babies sign language. A native and resident of Salt Lake City, Utah, she holds a communications degree with an emphasis in interpersonal communication from Idaho State University. She and her husband, a physical therapist, have four children, ages 16 months through 9-years-old. For more information, visit http://www.Signing4Baby.com. Contact Andrea at AndreaPloehn@hotmail.com.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to stimulate baby’s development.

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  • Nikki Schwartz (@NikkiSchwartzVB) November 5, 2012, 2:06 pm

    Andrea, were are big fans of signing around here. With a toddler signing helps with frustration so much (although, we are going through a phase where, even with signing, my 22 month old gets very frustrated about not being able to communicate). I think we have fewer temper tantrums about lack of communication, most of the frustration seems to be at the difficulty accepting/understanding reasons for the word “no”.

    I have realized that while we don’t have very many temper tantrums related to not being able to communicate wants or needs, the ones we do have are a little more intense. I think it’s an advantage though, at least I know that more teaching needs to be done and am not in the dark.

    I can’t say enough good things about the Baby Signing Time DVD series. We started signing on our own around 3 months and added Baby Signing Time at 11 months. Now at 22 months he knows approximately 50 signs and can almost always ask for what he wants. Very helpful.

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