Benefits of Baby Sign Language

Baby Sign Language has three types of benefits:

  1. Practical: less fussing and more fun.
  2. Emotional: creates a closer parental bond.
  3. Cognitive: boosts brain development.

Fewer Tantrums and More Fun

When babies can’t communicate constructively they get frustrated, leading to tantrums and meltdowns. We have all experienced the feeling of helplessness when trying to comfort an inconsolable baby, guessing at what they want.

Baby Sign Language lets babies communicate what they want. They can tell you if they want their teddy bear, when they are hungry, if it is too hot, or if their tummy hurts. Families that sign report that both parents and child experience less frustration.

Spending hours trying to guess why your baby is distraught is a useless way to lose a night of sleep. Baby Sign Language helps both you and your baby address the root cause of tantrums and allows both of you to spend more time enjoying each other’s company.

Ted Having Fun With Baby Sign Language
Pediatrician Approved

Enjoy a Closer Bond

When you and your baby are able to communicate, it forges a closer bond. When you and your baby can understand each other, it increases the feeling of closeness.

Studies report the emotional benefits of signing, including:

  • Parents and children that sign report feeling closer and more tuned in to each other
  • Babies that sign have fewer moments of distress
  • Parents report feeling better about themselves and more confident about parenting
Amelie Playing a Signing Game
Reduces Frustration

A Smarter Baby

Early exposure to signing helps babies develop their language and reasoning skills. While other babies are still yelling to get what they want, signing babies are learning how to communicate with words and simple phrases.

Studies show long-term cognitive benefits, including:

  • +12 IQ point advantage
  • Larger speaking vocabulary and ability to form longer sentences
  • Earlier reading and larger reading vocabulary
  • Better grades in school
Tilly Reading and Signing

Associated with higher IQ

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and a Smarter Baby?

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15 Responses to “Benefits of Baby Sign Language”

  1. Melissa

    What a great resource! Thank you so much for putting together such a wonderful website on baby sign language. My daughter is 4 months old and we can’t wait to get started. The videos are excellent learning tools for parents/family members.

    Reply
  2. Taylor

    Love your site! I’m a librarian and will be sharing this site with the moms of my babies and toddlers during our weekly programs. I signed with my son and it was a fantastic experience. He was able to tell us with signs what he needed before he could say the words, which cut down on his frustration level AND ours. Most of his first words were of those things he learned to sign (milk, eat, more). People marvel at his communication skills at 2 years old and I attribute much of that to his early language experience with signing. We’ve just started introducing signs with our 6-month-old daughter and I’m optimistic the experience will be just as successful!

    Reply
  3. Daniella

    If I teach my baby sign language, I am scared that it will take them a longer time to talk and instead of speaking they will revert to only using sign language.

    ADMIN – Hi Daniella,

    That is a common concern, that learning BSL will lead to delayed verbalization since the baby can get by with signing and does not want to put the effort into signing.

    The research that has been done all seems to suggest the opposite. Babies that learn to sign speak earlier and develop bigger vocabularies faster. In fact, BSL is now commonly used by speech pathologists with children having difficult speaking to help them progress to speech.

    When a baby signs it is a bridge to full speaking that helps them develop some of the mental processes that will be used when they speak. In much the same way that crawling helps a baby to walk, baby signs helps a baby understand the basics of communication. When they start speaking they will sign simultaneously, which lets you figure out what they are saying and avoids frustration. When their word pronunciation is good, they naturally drop signing and just use speech because it is quicker and faster (in the same way that a toddler that can walk with stop crawling).

    Reply
  4. Mila Hurley

    Hello, I love your site. My grandson was just diagnosed with Autism PDD and he is not speaking yet at age 3 YR. the Therapist suggested we start signing and I needed to learn the basic signs to begin with him. the only thing I think would help your site is if you could print the entire flash card series in a group instead of printing them one at a time. Again Thanks

    Reply
  5. sam

    I am from Australia and we have AUSLAN but the resources available here are very expensive. i love this web site, and was amazed at the amount of information on the site. i have two children, my daughter is 2 and half, and son 10 months. when my daughter was about 6 months i had heard about baby sign and the benefits. I wanted to learn it with her but i didn’t know what resources were available, and i didn’t want to spend a lot of money i didn’t have. But i have started teaching both my children from your site and my daughter loves it. Thankyou so much for putting up the site and i can’t wait till your BSL kit is available, and i would like to know if it would be possible order it from Australia. thanks again.

    ADMIN – Hi Sam,

    Thanks for the kind words. We do plan to offer the kit internationally.

    Reply

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