GUEST BLOG - Baby Signing in a Bilingual home
This topic touches home for me because my husband and I are raising our kids in a french/english household. I wish I knew Jenni from Mellow Baby when our kids were babies. I hope this blog is helpful to other parents trying to raise bilingual kids!
Little Intro... Jenni is the fabulous mastermind behind Mellow Baby. Her focus is to help parents relax, communicate & bond with their baby by offering Baby Signing and Baby Massage classes in Ottawa, ON. I'll link her website & social handles at the end of the blog. With no further ado, here's Jenni....
"Is baby signing confusing for bilingual babies?" I get asked this question A LOT and I totally get it. Parents want to make things easier for their little ones, not harder. Easy communication can make home life oh so sweet and knowing what your baby actually wants can be life-changing.
Baby Signing actually HELPS your baby make the connection between the two spoken languages which speeds up the learning process. When you say “house” in English while signing “house” in Sign Language, and then say “maison” in French while signing “house” in Sign Language, you are showing your baby that they mean the same thing, and ultimately speeding up the learning process.
So much of baby's life revolves around food in the first few years. When you are introducing solids they are learning lots of new concepts; more, full, all-done, yes, no, etc. so having signs to go along with learning these new concepts is so useful and can make the process even more fun!
Baby will sign ‘Eat’ when;
asked if she is hungry (in French or English)
asked if she wants breakfast (in French or English)
asked if she wants lunch (in French or English)
asked if she wants supper (in French or English)
This one simple sign, ‘EAT’ allows parents to really know what they are learning in both languages and how their vocabulary and comprehension is developing – all before they have spoken her first word! It really is amazing!
If you then introduce another ‘eat’ word like ‘snack’ and Baby does the eat sign, then you can quickly get confirmation that that is another word that she understands so it can help to show you how much they are picking up in another language.
If you are introducing a second language and sign language early on, baby’s wonderful little brain will soak it up like a sponge! Early exposure to Baby Sign to develop their language and reasoning skills. While others are still crying to get what they want, signing babies are learning how to communicate with words and simple phrases. Which, studies reveal, show long-term cognitive benefits, including increased IQ points.
Baby sign language is a fun and fabulous tool to enhance communication in your bilingual home. It can help link ideas in Baby's mind and make communication easy and fun!
To find out more about Baby Sign Language and where you can join a class with Mellow Baby please visit Mellow Baby's website or social sites.