When signing with your baby in public, you may have someone ask you if he can hear. Although many people are now aware of baby sign language for hearing babies, there is still some confusion over why you would do it if your baby can hear. If you’re reading this, you’re likely not one of those folks who are confused, but rather someone who understands all of the many benefits of signing with your hearing baby!
When we were first teaching our son to sign, we discovered an added benefit that we had never read or heard about. Once our little guy had some signs in his repertoire to describe his environment, he used them. Often they were for things he could hear and not see, like a dog or airplane outside. The fact that he could sign to us what he heard (often before we noticed the sound) told us that his hearing was really good! At a routine doctor’s appointment we were asked if we had any concerns about our son’s hearing. We could quite confidently say that his hearing was fine because he was able to tell us clearly what he could hear! Although a non-signing baby will look up or turn his head when you call his name, he won’t be able to tell you as early what he is able to hear.