Baby Signing Myths ~ Chris

The following are common myths associated with baby sign language:

1. Baby sign language is a new and passing fad for “power moms.”
2. By teaching baby sign, your baby will become a super genius.
3. Baby sign language will use up many hours of your day and require hours of study.
4. Baby sign language will cause speech delays.

Each of these listed above are totally false. Baby sign language has been around for decades and regular everyday mom’s and dad’s have been teaching it to make their lives easier. Baby signing has been shown to help a baby with their language development and has even been shown through research to add up to 12 IQ points, but baby signing will not produce geniuses. Baby signing is just an easy and convenient way to talk with your pre-verbal baby. In fact, baby sign language only takes a primer to set out the rules and from there a few minutes each day to look up additional signs and commit them to memory. The rest of baby sign language involves things you do every day anyway – converse with your baby about your routine and their interests.

Finally, baby sign language has been misconstrued as the cause for speech delays. However, many speech pathologists now recommend it as a way to advance children who already suffer from speech delays. Less than 10% of children will suffer from any significant speech delay and naturally, since there are so many baby signers today, some babies taught to sign will be afflicted with language abnormalities. However, correlation does not equal causation. A baby with a speech delay will in fact benefit greatly from having been taught to sign as it has been shown to improve vocabulary and language.

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