Can’t decide which language to teach your wee one? Consider sign language! Babies can begin signing even before they can talk; this early communication can encourage preliminary language skills and help you better interpret your baby’s needs. Start with signs that are sure to express her thoughts, like “milk”, “more” and “mom.” As baby begins to use the signs and discovers their impact (getting her the stuff she wants!), she’ll also form appreciation for the power of language.
Many families will use simplified “baby signs” or make up their own signals, but teaching your child accurate American Sign Language (ASL) can give her a real head start in the idiom. Introduce ASL from the time baby is about 4 months old, and don’t be surprised if she begins to mimic the signs from as early as 6 months of age.
Try incorporating these signs from Laura Berg’s The Baby Signing Bible: Baby Sign Language Made Easy into your daily routine and watch your baby grow her language skills.
“MILK.” Open and close your hand using the same motion you would make to milk a cow.
“MOMMY.” Using your “5 hand,” put your thumb against your chin and wiggle your fingers a little, or you can tap your thumb on your chin.
“MORE.” Using a flattened “O hand,” tap both hands together so your finger- tips are touching.
“PLEASE.” Place your flat hand on your chest and move it in a circular motion.