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Infant Child Care and Development - Communication skills and baby talk

Posted on 08-31-2015

Hearing your child's first words evokes a sense of pride and happiness. Even before those first words are uttered, your baby is communicating with you. Infants use “pre-verbal communication” to express their needs and show affection. Basic sign language is easy to learn and simple to use. It opens up the door between "baby talk" and true pre-verbal communication for you and your child. Here are the top five Sign Language skills that you’ll need to effectively communicate with your infant.

  1. Learn the Basics: Choose a few signs that you’d like to learn to communicate with, like Mom and Dad or Give Milk. Start by focusing on these signs and grow your child’s signing vocabulary from there.
  2. Repeat: Repetition is the key when teaching your child to communicate with sign language. Keep at it. It will soon pay off.
  3. Be Flexible: Sometimes the response is not immediate. Your child is learning, so keep at it. Infants sometimes pick up certain signs more quickly than others. You child may even make up a new sign. Be flexible and seize the opportunity to learn together.
  4. Incorporate Learning Aids: Sign language might be a highly visual communication tool but incorporating other senses by using learning aids will help your child piece together concepts. Incorporate the sense of hearing by saying the word that goes along with the sign, out-loud. Encourage your child to touch the object you are signing about. Think up creative ways that your child can use all of the senses to learn.
  5. Have Fun: If you are frustrated, your child will be too. Be encouraging, foster a love for life-long learning and most of all, have fun!
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