What is Baby Signing?

'Baby Signing' describes the practice of using sign language with hearing babies to enable them to communicate before they can talk. Babies have a natural ability to use gesture, and signing is simply an extension of this.

By introducing simple signs at an early age, we can enable babies to communicate their emotions and their needs. Babies are able to coordinate and control their hand muscles much earlier than the muscles used for speech, meaning that they can produce recognisable signs from as young as seven months.

Signing is rapidly growing in popularity in Britain, but has been used in America for years, and is the norm in American nurseries. Many British nurseries are now training staff in British Sign Language.

Contrary to concerns that signing with babies may inhibit speech, research shows that signing actually helps babies to develop a wider vocabulary. It is vital, however, that signs are used in conjunction with speech to provide babies with a multi-sensory environment.

Using the standard signs of British Sign Language means that your baby's signs will not only be understood by you, but also by others who sign.

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