Week 12 – Communicating with baby

This week, for our Giving Tuesday campaign, we are really pleased to introduce the idea of Baby Signing.

Why signing is good for baby

Talking to and with your baby in the first 24 months has a huge impact on cognitive and neurological development.

It also helps to reduce frustration, for the parents as well as the baby! A baby who can ask for what he or she wants is a happier baby. If your baby is pre-speech, using sign language to communicate can really help reduce those temper tantrums.

The national campaign “Talk to your baby” says that “communication includes so many things alongside talking – gestures, body language, eye contact, physical contact. Babies are born to be sociable, and they want to communicate from day one. Finding a range of ways to have that two-way communication with your baby will help every aspect of their development.”

Research shows that babies who are introduced to signing before speech often develop a larger vocabulary and will do better in school as they get older, and there is some indication that a less-frustrated baby will grow into a less-frustrated teenager.

Signing classes in the UK

In the UK, there are several different baby signing classes to choose from, and the one we would like to share with you is Sing and Sign.

Sing and Sign use a teaching system based on Makaton, which was first developed in the 1970s to help deaf and SEN adults to communicate more effectively. Makaton is used extensively all over the UK in pre-schools, schools, centres, hospitals and clinics, and in the homes of people with communication and learning difficulties, and has been adapted for use in over 50 countries.

It’s also the system used by Mr Tumble in the CBeebies programme, Something Special.

There are several Sing and Sign classes around the area, and we are pleased to feature local teacher Katharine. She runs the Sing and Sign classes in the Cambridge area, in our Giving Tuesday activity this week.

Katharine is offering at-home classes this summer, with an example of the classes available to view here.

She is also offering a couple of taster sessions if this is new to you. You can sign up here.

Other resources

Another resource we have to share are these BSL British Sign Language Worksheets (sourced from the www.tes.com website):

Sourced from the www.tes.com website

Do you already use signing as a way to communicate with your baby? We would love to hear your experiences and any tips you might have, for our local mums and dads.

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