Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Parent to Parent: Baby Sign Language
One of the most frustrating things for new parents is to try to figure out why baby is crying. Communicating with little ones before they can talk can be a guessing game, unless of course you happen to know baby sign language. 7's Lynn Martinez has more on this innovative program in tonight's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- These new parents have signed up to learn a whole new language.
Janine Balkin, Baby Signs Instructor: "Would you like to eat? Yes, have something to eat. So, we're looking at the baby. We're saying the word. We're showing him the sign and we have enthusiasm."
At a baby signs class at South Miami Hospital, parents learn basic sign language, then teach it to their babies at home.
Janine Balkin: "Just being able to communicate with your baby makes such a big difference, because babies are not frustrated."
Babies usually start signing back between eight and 12 months old. Jennifer Roshaven is looking forward to teaching the signs to her twin boys.
Jennifer Roshaven: "For them to be able to say, "I want more or they're finished or something's wrong, to have some form of communication aside from crying I think would be wonderful."
Angela Martini agrees. She took the class last year.
Angela Martini: "Lechiu. Lechiu! Let's have some milk."
Her son Marco has been signing since he was 11 months old. Take a look, here's his sign for more and milk.
Angela Martini: "Early on he was asking for milk every time he wanted it, that was very useful. He developed about eight signs in the past three months and I would say that helped him develop his words as well."
Teaching babies sign language is an idea that's catching on. Studies show signing promotes bonding builds trust and raises IQ's.
Janine Balkin: "They did studies on these kids when they were eight years old that had learned baby signs and they found that they had an average of 12 points higher in the IQ, than children that had not learned baby signs."
Better communication with parents also boosts baby's self confidence, making learning easier.
Janine Balkin: "You put your two fingers together and this is the sign for hurt."
Katie Rothfield: "Knowing that this is a tool to help them communicate, and that it would bring on language faster is really really great."
For many new parents and even grandparents signing up for baby signs is an easy choice to make. Baby signs is taught in English and Spanish.
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Babies and Sign Language