When you have non-signers around, always be sure to show off your baby! No, I’m not being facetious. Showing your baby off has multiple purposes. First and foremost it shows others that your baby, while not verbal, has the capacity to communicate their wants, needs and interests. Second, showing your baby off is a great way to educate others around you about the sorts of signs your baby knows. Third, showing off some signs that your baby knows will help your friends and family identify patterns in your baby’s motions and actions which might carry meaning – or be signs.
How frustrating would it be to wake up in a world in which your native tongue was suddenly stripped away from you! Imagine what it might feel like to, all of the sudden be unable to make clear your thoughts. Now, while babies are already used to this feeling as the words they do say (and signs they do) are garbled in the beginning, and are tremendously adaptable, they will appreciate being heard, even by people who make short visits in their lives.
This is why you should act as a translator to your baby for others. Yes, people will look at you funny, and probably hold a lot of disbelief and some might even feel that you are harming your baby or that perhaps even that your baby has a disability, but with a little bit of time and effort, you can set them straight.
So next time the grandparents come to visit, take the time to give them an update about which signs your baby is doing so they can join in the conversation. I guarantee that both your baby and your Mom and Dad will greatly appreciate it!