Monday, January 30, 2012

Communicating With Your Infant


About two years ago, I started babysitting my niece twice a week. When I first started, my niece was only nine months old. I remember the first time I heard her cry. My sister came in and asked, “What do you want?” To this, my niece made a movement with her hands, my sister gave her a bottle, and she quit crying! I was so confused at what had happened. I asked my sister, and she replied she had taught her daughter a bit of sign language! What a brilliant idea to communicate with a child that cannot speak! 
 
A baby signing "more"

Communication can be frustrating with your infant for both of you. Infants have to learn how to use their vocal cords, but they learn to control their hands much faster. Infants can understand what you say, but they have no way to communicate in return. You can teach your infant signs such as milk, teddy bear, hungry, sleepy, and others that he would need to know. These signs will let you know what your child wants and needs. You can go to this website to look-up different signs:


You should teach your infant these signs by repetition. For example, before you hand her a bottle of milk, show her the sign and encourage her to do it as well. Cheer for her when she does the signs for what she wants. 
A mother teaching her son the sign for "food/eat"
Not only does signing help your communication with your child, but it also helps them develop language better. Because they start communicating at a younger age, they can start forming concepts and ideas themselves sooner which will help their communication skills develop at a higher rate.
Teaching your infant sign language will be a great investment of time and can be fun as you both learn new words. I know that by my niece knowing signs made taking care of her much easier. So pull out some snacks and sit down to learn some signs with your infant! 
Reward yourself and her when y’all learn a new sign!

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