All the moms in your playgroup are doing it. There are tons of Youtube videos that make it easy. So should you take the plunge and teach your baby sign language before she’s even able to talk? Here’s what might happen if you do.
She might pick it up immediately. Whoa, you popped in the Baby Signing Time DVD on a whim, and within a week, your eight-month-old has already learned the signs for “more” and “eat.” (Now she just has to use them when she’s actually hungry, instead of every 3.5 seconds.)
…And your in-laws will think she’s a genius. Imagine how impressed Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop will be when your baby busts out the sign for “rain” during a thunderstorm.
You’ll realize how much she already understands. You had no idea that when your kid was crying, she was actually just frustrated because she didn’t know how to say, “I need to be changed.” But now that she knows the sign for “diaper,” you’re both on the same page.
She might get less frustrated. Just think: Every time your baby wants to tell you something, she now has a new tool, which will lead to easier communication between the two of you.
...But then you’ll start to wonder when she’ll actually say the word. Sign language is great, but when the heck is she going to start talking? Luckily, it’s a myth that babies who learn sign language speak later than babies who don’t. Just be patient, and the words will come along with the signs in no time.
You’ll create a closer bond with your whole family. It’s not just your one-year-old learning the sign for “Mom"; it’s you learning it, too.
And there’s nothing more rewarding (or fun) than learning something new together. Hey, how do you say “this is awesome” in sign language?