We don’t live in a perfect world and for many parents, trips to the hospital and hospital stays for their little ones are part of their reality. We know of several courageous little ones with chronic conditions that require specialized medical care and we have been delighted and impressed by their intelligence and ability to adapt to challenging circumstances. Many of these little ones use baby sign language as well as flashcards to facilitate communication with their caregivers.
For the rest of us visits to the hospital may not be as frequent but when they do happen it is important that toddlers are as comfortable as possible and well equipped to communicate their needs and wants.
Here is a sweet collection of signs to equip little ones to better navigate medical environments:
We are not including body parts on this list. A good way to help little ones communicate a pain is to teach them to point where it hurts.
You may also want to modify your hospital baby sign language deck to include your baby’s favorite signs such as teddy bear or other items of interest.
Share the signs with hospital staff by taping printable flashcards on the walls or consider printing the baby sign language chart of baby signs.