Chapter summary

DefinitiveBabySignCom - Elephant 1– Find as many opportunities to talk to your baby as possible even if it seems like you’re just talking to yourself.
– Always model signs to your baby by doing the signs yourself so that they can see them.
– If your baby will permit, help them do the signs by manipulating their hands for them.
– Give your baby a chance to do the signs on their own by waiting for at least 5 seconds before showing them how to do the sign. This is referred to as “delayed physical prompting/modeling.”
– Sign on your child’s body as an alternative way to expose your baby to signs.
– Be animated when signing and use exaggerated facial expressions to capture your baby’s attention.
– Reintroduce objects over and over again as a way to create signing opportunities.
– Use touch to anchor yourself to your baby and gain their focus.
– Tapping a baby’s hand can serve as a reminder that your baby needs to do something with them and should be used when your baby knows a sign, but otherwise isn’t using it.
– Guiding a baby’s hands toward a sign by initiating a movement, works because babies, like all people, are lazy, and will continue a motion since it’s easier than trying to reverse it.
– Catching a baby wanting something, or during “shared” or “joint attention” when your baby and you look at an object, then at each other, are great times to introduce signs.
– Set up choices for your baby to make communication a requirement.
– Enlist family members and friends to help to lessen the burden on Mom and Dad.
– The entire body can be used to teach signs through body language, and as far as signing is concerned, the facial expressions and emotions should be congruent.
– Introduce new signs as your baby’s vocabulary grows, keeping just a handful of signs ahead of them at all times.

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