Baby Sign Language: An Introduction

Learn when to start signing with your baby, plus find out the benefits of baby sign language.


-Hi, I'm Lora Heller. I'm a music therapist, and teacher of the deaf, and founding director of Baby Fingers in New York City. Our program teaches sign language through songs and musical play to help parents bond with their babies and to help jump start language development. Today, I'd like to teach you some signs that you can use with your baby, but first, I think you should know why. There are tremendous amount of benefits to introducing your baby to sign language at an early age. First and most important is communication. A lot of studies show that babies who sign have a higher IQ and a larger vocabulary than their peers who are not signing. Studies also show that babies who sign tend to speak earlier than those who don't. They have a vocabulary. They have motivation. They have command of the language. But the most important thing is the interaction between you and your baby and the fact that you can communicate and understand each other. Babies who are exposed to sign language from birth could potentially sign as early as 6 months where they might not say their first world until well after their first birthday, but if you don't start signing so early, older babies who are exposed to sign around a year old or after might start signing within a week or so. It's a very exciting process. So, I encourage you to take your time today, enjoy the process learning, and sign with your baby. If you can incorporate a couple of signs in your daily routine, you've gotten your first goal of communicating with your baby. Now, let's get started.

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