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Baby Sign Language

Want better communication with your baby? Parents TV's Brooke Carlson shows how teaching sign language to your baby may be the answer.

Wed, 22 Aug 2012|

-You're watching Parents TV. Our families. Our lives. -Where is the light? Where is the light? -Class is in session at SmallTalk Learning. Babies and their moms are spending the morning learning nursery rhymes, but not with their mouths, with their hands. -Sign for spoon. [unk] that little bowl hand shaped that we did for cereal. -That's Dawn Prochovnic. She's the owner and teacher of SmallTalk Learning. For six years, she's been teaching babies and their parents to communicate through sign language. -Babies want to communicate and just like they wanna learn to sit, they wanna learn to walk, and they wanna learn to verbalize, they can sign before they can do these things and it gives us the ability to know what's on their mind. -Like more for instance or eat. -Wanna eat? You wanna eat? There, that's eat. -This is little Killey's third session and she is catching on. Parents say learning to sign can really help ease some of life's frustrations. -I know she's tired now, but sometimes, she's sitting on the floor, she just had a nap, she's just been changed, she just ate, she starts crying, and I don't know why. -Especially when they're between a year and a half to two and they just haven't caught up language-wise with all the things they're thinking. You know, having some another way to tell you what they're thinking is really helpful for preventing frustrations. -But there's been some concern over the years that teaching babies to sign can actually stunt a child's ability to speak. Dawn says just the opposite. -What the research shows and there's been a lot of research on that is that babies who sign actually verbalize sooner and actually have a broader vocabulary sooner than babies that don't sign. -Nikki Reinhardt started signing with her first child. -We had a lot more success communicating with people too because [unk] more understood, so I think it encourages them to keep talking and keep trying. -And his little brother is not far behind. -One of the things you hear is that the more tools you have to communicate with your kids the more you're going to talk to your kids, and you know, the more time they'll spend doing it and I think that was really true. -And as they learn to say bye-bye, it's not that they didn't wanna say bye-bye just because they could wave. Our vocal cords are the muscles we need to communicate and they're hidden to babies visually and so those take a lot longer to develop than their hands do. So, they can say clearly more or in approximation more for a baby might be something like this, much sooner than they can articulate that verbally. -And babies are smart. Most kids can start learning signs as early as six months. A few months later, they can start putting those signs to use. -When we have that experience and understanding that these little babies are not little packages and their brains are just ready to take in information and take in information. They don't necessarily display their knowledge of that information along that same timeframe that we do as adult, but when we know, that baby knows how to say shoes and that baby knows what a shoe is. What I was talking about with the class is that we're much more likely to have a sophisticated conversation with them such as sweetie, go and get in your bedroom and get your shoes. -Put on your shoes. Put on your shoes. -It truly is a sign of the times. -There's that tree. -Thanks for watching Parents TV. Our families. Our lives. Your new video source for parenting.