Many parents would like to be able to talk to the baby, to know what it wants right now. In fact, even the smallest ones can use baby hand signals to communicate what they want. We'll tell you how sign language works for babies!
It sounds crazy at first, teaching your baby hand signs. Maybe it sounds impossible to some. But rest assured, it works. Because hearing babies can actually learn their first signs from the age of six months and thus let mom and dad know what they actually want. How exactly this should work was revealed to us by mom of two, author and baby hand sign expert Eva Möller.
Eva was interested in baby hand signals from the film 'My bride, her father and me 2'. When she saw the film, at the time still pregnant with child number one, and in it the grandfather communicated with his grandson using hand signals, she thought the idea was so brilliant that she immediately threw herself into research on the subject.
That was in 2005 and the baby hand sign practice was still largely unknown in Germany at the time.
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Why teach the baby hand signs?
Let's face it, one of the biggest difficulties, especially for parents of small babies, is communication. The only way to express their displeasure about something is by crying for children between 0-18 months of age. This in turn often leaves parents at a loss and the search for the cause of the crying begins.
And that's exactly where baby hand signals come in. Because if the child can use a gesture to signal that they want to drink milk, have their pacifier or just their stuffed animal, for example, this can save parents a lot of tears and, above all, stress.
How do babies learn hand signs?
From a certain age onwards, children independently make certain signs that they have learned by copying. A classic example is waving to say "hello" or "goodbye" to someone or pointing the finger in combination with the "da" when they see something exciting. Baby hand signals work on the same principle.
The baby learns the meaning of a hand signal when the parents keep linking the word, the action and the corresponding hand signal together. So, for example, if you show your baby before and during breastfeeding the sign for milk, the word says and the child then confronted with the action, ie breastfeeding or the rich of the vial, it will connect all these things together. And after a certain period of time, it will be able to make the sign and tell his parents need to face milk.
It is important that parents are consistent when learning the sign language. So if you want to teach your baby's sign for milk, you should show the sign every time the child gets milk, say the word and then rich the milk.
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How old should children be to learn baby towels?
Of course, it depends a little on the nature of the child, but Eva Möller is convinced that children can learn their first signs as early as six months. And this assumption results from an experience with her older daughter.
Eva started with her with the symbol for milk. Again and again, when it was time to breastfeed, she would show her daughter the sign, say "milk" and breastfeed her. Then one day, when her daughter had already had a drink and Eva was of the opinion that she should make a cup, she wanted to pick it up and put it over her shoulder. At that moment, however, her daughter showed her the sign for milk and Eva understood that she wanted to continue drinking. At the time, her daughter was six and a half months old.
How quickly children learn certain baby hand signs also depends on their nature. That can be between one to two weeks, but also three or four take. So it is important that the parents stay tuned.
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The language acquisition is delayed when children first learn sign language?
Many parents suspect that the language acquisition of their children could delay if they learn baby towels, after all, the child can already express themselves. But that is not the case, assured Eva Möller. Even the opposite is the case and children who learn baby towels would already speak.
The reason for this she sees in the positive experience that the child could already collect with the baby towels. Not only the parents there is a good feeling that own child understand, but also the child himself feels very positive and satisfying. And because it has fun and pleasure to communicate with his parents, the child will eventually replace signs through words.
Eva Möller is even convinced that children who have learned baby towels used to form longer sentences. Because words you can already pronounce formulate them, but other, difficult words, you can replace with the help of the characters.
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Your browser can not play this video.Video by Jane Schmitt
With which baby hand sign is best started?
The first signs that learn babies should address their basic needs. This is among other things. It's best to start parents with the baby's hand sign for milk. It is important to show the child in combination with the word at each milk meal. That should always be repeated before and also during feeding. When the child has finally learned the sign and can use it independently, one can start with another sign.
And this is what the four most important baby hand signals look like:
Anyone who likes the idea of teaching their child baby hand signs can take advantage of the opportunity to watch video tutorials or attend a course. If you like to have something in your hand, you also have the opportunity to learn baby sign language with the help of a book, such as that by Eva Möller.
>> Here you can order the picture book of BabyHandzeichen directly from Amazon.*