When should my baby learn sign language?
The Wisconsin Council on Children and Families Winter 2007 publication begins by discussing brain development and early learning. “Children are born ready to learn”. New research has discovered that the first months of life are the foundation baby will build on for the rest of life. Two of the points made are that the quality of a baby’s relationships have a definite impact on baby’s adulthood and early interactions directly affect how the brain will function. “The human brain develops more rapidly between birth and age five than during any other subsequent period”.1
That being said, your baby is looking to you from the very beginning to teach and guide them. But before you can teach your baby how to sign, you need to know how to sign yourself and decide on what signs you want to use. Once you begin to learn a few basic signs, use them every moment you can. Your baby will be watching, listening and learning. Your baby will begin understanding actions, objects and colors as you talk about them (and I hope you will be signing each word). Receptive language is working and storing all that information and in a few short months, your baby will begin to sign! Your baby may even look at you to ‘name’ an object.
Signs turn into words, words make up language, language is the basis for education, and education opens the door to opportunity. Make the most of your baby’s early years.