Over two decades of research by Drs. Acredolo and Goodwyn, much of it funded by the National Institutes of Health, has shown that using the Baby Signs Program provides many benefits for children and their parents. Using the Baby Signs Program . . .
Reduces tears, tantrums and frustration
Makes learning to talk easier
Boosts self-esteem and self-confidence
Stimulates intellectual development
Strengthens the parent-child bond
Using the Baby Signs Program reduces tears, tantrums and frustration.
By the time babies are 9 to 10 months old, they are quite capable of knowing what it is they need or want. What they don't know is how to tell us with words-which leads directly to frustration for baby and parent alike. All this changes when a baby is able to use signs. With signs like "eat," "drink," "hot" and "cold," literally at their fingertips, babies can make their needs known quickly and quietly without becoming frustrated and resorting to tantrums and tears. No wonder the answer we most frequently get from parents when we ask how using the Baby Signs Program has changed daily life is decreased frustration! Read more: Experiencing the Benefits of Baby Signs
Using the Baby Signs Program makes learning to talk easier.
Some parents may worry that encouraging their child to use sign language might slow down learning to talk. Actually, the opposite is true! Drs. Acredolo and Goodwyn's federally funded research showed that using the Baby Signs Program actually helps babies learn to talk. They found that 2-year-olds who had used baby sign language had significantly larger verbal vocabularies than their non-signing peers. And by the time they were three years old, the language skills of the babies who had used baby sign language were more like that of 4 years old. Babies gain a lot of language knowledge when they are able to actively engage in communication with signs-knowledge that lays a good foundation for learning to talk. And, just as a child who learns to crawl is more, rather than less, motivated to learn to walk, so also a child who learns to sign is more, rather than less, motivated to learn to talk! Read more: Experiencing the Benefits of Baby Signs
Using the Baby Signs Program boosts self-esteem and self-confidence.
What good self-esteem boils down to for any of us is the sense that we are perceived as both competent and valued in our own eyes and in the eyes of others. And that's just what the baby sign language gives to babies. Because they can communicate effectively with their caregivers, and because their caregivers respond so positively to these communications, Baby Signs babies develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments that lays a solid foundation for the development of their self-esteem and self-confidence. Read more: Experiencing the Benefits of Baby Signs
Using the Baby Signs Program stimulates intellectual development.
Children who had participated in Drs. Acredolo and Goodwyn's study were revisited again when they were 8 years old. Each child was assessed using the WISC-III, a typical IQ test for children. The results were very impressive. After controlling for family income, parents' education and a number of other factors know to influence IQ, children who had signed as babies had significantly higher IQs (an average of 114) than the children who had not signed (an average of 102). That's a full 12 points higher! Read more: Experiencing the Benefits of Baby Signs
Using the Baby Signs Program strengthens the parent-child bond.
Because babies using baby sign language are able to communicate effectively with their caregivers, the number of positive interactions goes up and the number of negative interactions goes down. In other words, when a baby and parent can truly understand each other and share what's on their minds, they feel more connected to one another.With signs, even very young children can "tell" their caregivers they would like some milk, they saw an airplane or they heard a dog barking. They can let their caregivers know whether they are happy, sad or even afraid. Life with a Baby Signs baby becomes a shared life and with greater sharing comes a stronger, sweeter parent-child bond. Read more: Experiencing the Benefits of Baby Signs