We all know that babies are not able to talk. But we often forget that talking is the human way of expressing our needs and wants. So, before a baby or toddler develops that ability to express their needs, desires and reactions in words they express them in other ways.
• Hitting, biting, kicking, snatching
These attempts to communicate with others result in a lot of frustration for the child and everyone around them.
One way to alleviate some of the frustration is to teach yourself and your little one very simple sign language. They can start learning signs between 4 and 6 months of age. You can start using the signs along with words. Baby will catch on and start mimicking you. Keep using the signs. Be consistent and persistent. Baby will get the idea! This really does help with communicating before your child can piece words together in phrases and sentences. That happens between 2 ½ and 3 years of age.
Many years ago, before Baby Sign Language became popular, I was an American Sign Language interpreter. So, when my kids were 2, 3, 4 years old I taught them basic signs that I could use with them in public without making a scene. Signs like:
Stop, pay attention, bathroom, hungry, thirsty, wait, and warning!
Now language experts know which signs are vital for your toddler to communicate with you. Using them helps with some of the temper tantrums etc. that result from frustration about babies and toddlers not being able to express themselves verbally.
By the time they are a year old your kids should have a basic vocabulary for communicating their needs to you.
Click on these following pics to download and print out each chart to help you learn the simple signs.
REMEMBER that baby’s attempts will not be perfect. But you’ll soon figure out what they mean.