Baby Sign Language was supposed to be invented by a company called Baby Sign. However the jury is out on that one as it seems many companies nowadays are laying claim to the science. However to be far, the company has published a best selling book on the topic teaching your baby sign language called The Baby Sign Dictionary. It also runs and franchises programs and classes out of Baby Sign Institutes.
This company put forth its theories about babies to help mothers raise healthier and happier babies. Signing to your baby gives him or her a way to communicate before their tongues, lips and vocal cords have developed the coordination to allow them to speak.
Baby signing is simple for most moms, dads and other family members to learn because it is based on traditional American Sign Language (also known as ASL) it is used to communicate with individuals who are deaf. The company interviewed a focus group of parents and asked them to come up with the 100 most popular things that their babies try to communicate to them and then designed sign language to fit those requests.
Since hand-eye coordination is possible in advance of the acquisition of verbal skills, infants can learn to express their needs using simple signs for common words such as “eat”, “sleep”, “more”, “hug”, “play”, “cookie”, and 'milk”, etc., before they are able to produce understandable speech.
The great thing about Baby Signs is that you can start teaching it to your infants quite soon after they are born. Most children are ready to master it between seven and nine months. That is the age at which most infants have the eye and hand coordination to be able to sign a request to their parents.
Children who can sign have so far been show to have a higher intelligence quotient and a greater ability to learn a second language later in life.
Yet another benefit of Baby Signs is that it can help expand the vocabulary of a toddler. Once they have learned this simplified form of ASL most children continue to use it up until the ages of four and even five years old.
Studies done by Baby Sign also show that teaching your child sign language at an early age also stimulates brain development and gives your child of a head start when it comes to developing language and social skills.
Critics of Baby Sign say that it creates a reliance on non-verbal communication and therefore gives the baby no motivation as to how to learn how to speak. There have been no studies done to prove that this is true.
The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks when it comes to babies signing with the biggest benefit for a parent being able to enjoy a higher level of trust from your baby.