This post was written by Sign ‘N Grow
3 Myths of Baby Sign Language
Have you heard of baby sign language? It’s when we teach our babies & toddlers signs from Sign Language to help them communicate with us before they start to speak.
Baby signing comes with so many benefits – early language development, less frustration for you and your baby, building fine motor skills, and more.
If you already know of baby sign language, then you’ve probably heard one of these 3 myths. Let’s bust the biggest baby sign language myths out there!
1. MYTH: Baby sign language delays speech.
FACT: Research has found, time and time again, that baby sign language does not delay speech1,2,3. All you need to do is say the words while signing them. That way, your baby can still see your mouth movements and hear the words attached to the signs. With time, your baby will begin to use a sign, then say the word while signing, and eventually drop the sign and just say the word. In the meantime, your baby has a way to communicate with you early!
2. MYTH: Signs don’t count as words.
FACT: Signs are part of your baby’s word count4. Signs are words in Sign Language, so – just like with any other language – they count as words. As long as your baby uses a sign intentionally, independently, and consistently, it’s a word in your baby’s vocabulary.
3. MYTH: Sign Language is only for deaf or nonverbal children.
FACT: Sign Language is for everyone! Although deaf and nonverbal children will gain the most from learning Sign Language because it allows them to communicate in a natural and visual way, signs are very beneficial for hearing babies, too! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents of hearing babies use baby sign language to improve early communication5.
At around 8 months, your baby already knows what he or she wants and needs but cannot tell you yet. Baby sign language gives your baby a way to tell you… months before being able to speak to you!