What is Baby Signing?
Babies are natural communicators and will use baby signs to express themselves. At its simplest level, think of a baby waiving goodbye or raising their arms when they want to be picked up. These are baby signs we are all familiar with. Your baby understands what they want and as a result they are able to communicate non-verbally long before they can speak.
Dr. Joseph Garcia studied hearing babies of deaf parents and found that they easily copied their deaf parents’ signs in order to communicate. He found that these babies seemed less demanding than non-signing babies because they could easily express their needs and, as a result, get their needs met. It was through this research that he developed baby signing that could be used by hearing parents of hearing babies.
Your baby is said to be capable of learning signs from the age of six months. I believe a baby can start much sooner than this. Indeed I have seen it with my very own eyes with a number of babies! You can start at any time and it will not be detrimental for your baby or you to start before six months. If you use baby signing with your baby with consistency, your baby will recognise and understand these signs and may begin to use them much earlier.
The Benefits of Baby Signing
Baby signing allows babies to tell you what they are thinking before they are able to vocalise this with words. They will also be able to tell you that they are hungry, thirsty or tired, or, perhaps, just to tell you they have a wet nappy and would like to have a clean one or even what they would like to play with next. Baby signing supports you and your baby to encapsulate fleeting moments in your child’s development. The benefits of baby signing are many. Baby signing can:
1. Aid communication between you and your baby.
2. Support your baby to continue to feel understood.
3. Further support you to understand what your baby needs and wants.
4. Reduce frustration in both your baby and you.
5. Promote positive brain activity and brain development.
6. Reduce the need for your baby to cry.
7. Allow you to continue to use gestural language in support of language development.
8. Aid speech development and not hinder it. 
The Myths about Baby Signing
Many people who are unfamiliar with the world of baby signing have fears and anxieties associated with speech and language delay. I believe that baby signing will not only enhance communication but it will also support brain activity and development, which will go on to support the advancement of language and speech. I have met with and spoken to both professionals in the field of baby signing and parents who have given their children the opportunity to learn baby signing, and all the comments and feedback have been positive.
So you now have some of the facts for yourselves, what do you think? I think baby signing is a wonderful communication tool and just in case you haven’t guessed I’m a keen advocate!!
There are Baby Signing classes across the whole of the UK. You can access your local class by searching on the Internet. Simply search for Baby Signing in your local area. Happy Baby Signing!
Vivien Sabel is the author of Author of the award-winning The Blossom Method™ The Revolutionary Way To Communicate With Your Baby From Birth. In this book she introduces you to her revolutionary technique, The Blossom Method™, which will not only give you the skills to understand the language of your newborn but will also show you how to talk back so that your baby feels understood. Named after her own daughter, Blossom, who provided her with her first experience of tongue-talking, the term also echoes the blossoming relationship between adult and child during those early hours, days and weeks of life.
Vivien was raised by a (non-signing) deaf mother and in a ‘previous life’ she trained and registered as a Trainee British Sign Language Interpreter and is therefore fluent in Sign Language. She has recently been diagnosed as having hearing loss herself.
Vivien Sabel UKCP MBACP ScPTI
Author of the award-winning The Blossom Method™ The Revolutionary Way To Communicate With Your Baby From Birth
Baby Expert/Relational Psychotherapist/Clinical Supervisor/Researcher/Writer
 Adapted from Chapter 5 (The Blossom Method™ and Baby Signing) of The Blossom Method™ The Revolutionary Way To Communicate With Your Baby From Birth
I am a mother of 4, teach baby signing and also BSL level 2 qualified, love TKD and much more.