Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Parent to Parent: Baby Sign Language
When babies need something, they usually cry to get mom and dad's attention, but some parents are taking a different approach to communication. They're teaching their little ones sign language, literally, showing them how to communicate before they learn to speak. Seven's Lynn Martinez explains in today's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- They're too tiny to talk, but experts say even before they speak, babies can learn to sign. Sheryl White, a mother of three, teaches an infant sign language class designed to make communicating easier for babies and parents.
Sheryl White: "One of the main reasons to do signing with babies, with hearing babies, is to reduce frustration for the parent and for the baby."
Sheryl says using sign language allows babies to communicate what they need.
Sheryl White: "The baby is upset because they want to have milk, then they can just sign milk, and then the parents know exactly what they want, and they can give them what they need, and then everybody is comfortable, and the babies are more calm."
Anne Lee: "I don't want to wait until she cries to try to figure out, by process of elimination, about is this the problem? Or that's the problem? If she can tell me what the problem is, I can get to her quicker, and she'll be happier."
Sheryl teaches parents dozens of useful words, things like ball and book. The parents then teach their babies and eventually babies start signing back to let mom and dad know what's on their mind.
Sheryl White: "The experts recommend the babies to be 6 months old or older in order for them to have enough short term memory to retain and be able to learn what you're trying to show them."
And these moms couldn't be happier with the results.
Kara Kendrick: "I just think that it's a nice way to communicate with your child and bond and to sort of help that process along."
Anne Lee: "You'll be able to talk to your kids better. They're happy kids, and you're happy parents."
Christine Cruz: "And here's a bonus, the experts believe that teaching your babies sign language later helps accelerate speech development."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Valerie Goode