As every mother can attest, it can become quite frustrating trying to figure out what your fussy, crying toddler wants. But there is a way to open up the lines of communication, even if your child hasn’t learned how to speak. There are those who advocate teaching your child sign language, and it’s not as hard as you think.
All it takes is a little patience, repetition, and commitment. And it’s all worth the time as learning the simple signs for “more,” “drink”, and “eat” can spell a world of difference for parents who feel helpless.
According to Nancy Cadjan of signbabies.com, babies can understand basic sign language as early as four months old. And by the time they’re seven to nine months old, when they have better hand coordination, they can manage to sign basic words on their own.
In addition to helping establish communication, sign language for babies helps strengthen the bond between parents and child, and boosts brain development.
Here are a few simple commands and gestures that you can adopt to grow both your vocabularies.
Bring the fingertips together and tap them together twice.
Bring the palm over the face, and close the fingers as if you’re signalling their eyes to close.
Swirl your forefinger in the palm of your other hand as if “to mix.” This becomes especially useful when your baby wants to tell you that he/she feels unwell.
Learn more sign language gestures on the next page…
Bring your hand to your mouth.
Make a grip and make the motion as if milking a cow.
Using three fingers, make a “W” and bring it to your mouth. Make a drinking gesture.
Check out more gestures to help you communicate with your child on the next page…
Move your hand in a circular motion on your chest.
Tap your lips and bring out your hand like you’re blowing a kiss.
Put your palms together and make the gesture as if you’re opening a book.
Put your palms to your chest and push out as if shooing a fly.
READ: Mom teaches her 3-year old and baby how to sign
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