The Benefits of Signing with Babies
Being able to communicate using sign language is a valuable and transferable skill for adults and the wider community. Signing can also have many positive benefits for babies and their families including supporting the areas of a baby’s developmental milestones. Here are some of the benefits of signing with babies:
Reduces frustration by giving babies a tool for communication before their speech develops.
Enhances communication skills through facial expressions, turn-taking, and eye gaze.
Boosts language development by giving babies a visual channel to learn vocabulary more quickly.
Empowers babies to communicate earlier through signs and gestures while waiting for their speech sounds to develop.
Enhances brain development and enriches parent-child interaction by using signing as a means for early interaction.
Increases self-esteem by giving babies a way to express themselves and be understood by others.
It is easy to learn and use some everyday signs with your baby that can make a positive difference in your communication and remove some of the guesswork out of knowing what your baby needs. Some key signs that families have found most useful are the signs for ‘MILK, ‘MORE, ‘FOOD’, 'WATER', and ‘BISCUIT’ (of course!). You can learn these signs and more via the Famlingo members' app that is available to download from the App Stores.
When learning how to sign, it can be hard to know where to look first, as each country has its own sign language that doesn't follow spoken language. For example, American Sign Language (ASL) is very different from British Sign Language (BSL) even though English is spoken in both countries. Some signing programmes use signs that don’t belong to any sign language so it’s good to check where the signs are from before you start learning.
To help families in the UK learn signs for communication that are also recognised by British Sign Language (BSL) users, Famlingo has created training and resources that use BSL signs with spoken English. When signs are used alongside English word order, this is known as Sign Supported English (SSE). SSE can be used to support communication but not as a replacement for when BSL is needed. Should families wish to take their sign language learning further, Famlingo is a registered BSL centre providing courses accredited by Signature - the Leading Awarding Body for Deaf Communication Qualifications in the UK. These BSL courses are delivered in British Sign Language by qualified teachers who are native/fluent in BSL and can lead to a wide range of further qualifications and opportunities.