It actually wasn’t. Baby signing was specifically developed for hearing parents and their hearing children. You can read more about the history of baby sign in another post. Essentially, it was noticed that babies started to sign back to their deaf mothers much sooner than did hearing babies speak to their hearing mothers. The logical conclusion was drawn that hearing babies could benefit from signing as their vocal codes and motor coordination caught up to their ability to talk.
Throughout the early experiments and research it was shown that baby that used sign actually reaped significant benefits had they been taught to sign over their non-signing counterparts. Signing increased IQ, lead babies to talk faster and with greater vocabularies and produced better readers. This was welcome news to parents and provided them with all the incentive to start signing with their babies. Since the 70’s there has been significant growth in the popularity of baby sign language. In fact, most people will know of someone who has taught baby sign language.
And why not? Baby’s who can sign are more easy to manage, cry less and throw fewer tantrums and can tell other adults what, exactly they want. This makes them more confident and more secure in what otherwise seems like a chaotic world. When a baby can sign, they are given a method to produce results they want. A signing baby for example can ask specifically for a drink – be in MILK or WATER. There’s no guesswork and so this makes Mom and Dad’s life much easier.