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The First Language a Baby Learns: Baby Sign Language

By Charles Hopkins Published 11/2/2006 | Parenting

Just imagine how helpless it feels when your six-month-old baby would cry to the end of the world and all your attempts at consoling the little thing go in vein. These are the times when you desperately need some tool to decipher the languages that your little ones world revolves round!

Well, baby sign languages can just do it for you---it can bridge the communication gap between the adults and the children that have so far not learned how to express their concerns in human language. Starting from the stage of infancy to the toddling days, baby sign language can help you to better communicate with your little one and lays the foundation of beautiful bonding that exists between the mother and the child.

Mothers these days have to keep their eyes on a number of things. In addition to running the house and tackling their difficult bosses, rearing of child comes as a stressful task indeed for these super-moms! All hell breaks lose when the little thing starts to throw all kinds of tantrums to convey their little demands to their mothers or the caregivers. As they fail to communicate, they become more frustrated and you know the rest of the result. The entire household turns to a makeshift warfront to ease out the tension from the little childs life, but without success. These also are the situations where baby sign language comes to your rescue.

Baby sign language is nothing but the art of right coordination of several parts of the body: like hands, fingers, face, lips and so on to express your view. This is a process of communication that involves the use of lips, tongue, breath, and vocal chords simultaneously. This is a tool in the hands of your infants during their speech-less days, to express clearly what they wish. As for example you can use simple signs to indicate different things like her favorite toy, favorite cookie, and so on. This sign also makes possible for the baby to express her willingness for such activities as playing, eating, or sleeping. These signs also will help your child to state clearly if she wants more of something or simply enable her to express her desire when she wants to be kissed and hugged.

Do you know where the baby sign language has the greatest significance? Well, it is the family consisting of deaf and mute parents, that a sign language becomes the conduit of all kinds of emotions between the parents and the child. It would really touch your heart to see, how infants as little as 6 weeks old start to respond to a variety of sign language as if to help their parents to overcome the difficulties of child rearing.

The use of baby sign language for better coordination between parent and child is increasing in its popularity. But on the flipside there are certain insecurities that prevent the parents from using this highly useful technique. The greatest argument leveled against baby sign language is that; it makes the child dependent on the sign language and as she becomes accustomed to using signs to convey her messages. She bothers little to learn and use speech as a vehicle for conveying her demands or wishes.

But if you are a new parent who seems interested in training his little one in the sign language, here is good news for you. Numbers of recent researches have established that use of sign language does not affect the childs speaking power or vocabulary adversely in the latter course of life. In fact the contrary is true; the normal children trained in the sign language in infancy tend to develop richer vocabularies. Moreover, they become more communicative and try to solve the problems through discussion rather than resorting to tantrums to get whatever they wish.