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What is your baby saying to you?

It is a problem that every new parent faces - a crying baby and the parents left feeling a little frustrated and upset as they try to work out what their child needs. That’s why parents all over the country are turning to Baby Signing classes to start communicating with their child before they can talk.

From an early age a baby’s understanding often outreaches their ability to communicate. Between the ages of 6-9 months old, babies start linking words to objects, but their vocal cords, tongue and mouth muscles are not developed and coordinated enough to talk and be understood until they are approximately 12-18 months old. Frustration can take hold as both parents and child struggle to understand each other. This frustration can lead to tantrums causing upset to both the parents and the child.

We already use gesture as a natural part of our language. By building on this and teaching some simple signs from BSL, babies as young as 6-9 months old are able to start expressing their wants and needs or their excitement at seeing lots of ducks in the park! Some parents worry that by using baby signing their child’s speech while be delayed. This is not true and is often the opposite. It is important to say the word whilst signing it so that the child then makes the link between the object, the spoken word and the sign. Baby signing can help bridge the gap between understanding and being able to communicate, thus providing the child with the opportunity for early communication skills and giving them the building blocks on which to structure their developing spoken language.

There has been a lot of focus recently on children starting school having poor communication skills. Being able to communicate is fundamentally important to our well-being and it is never too early to start. Baby signing not only allows you to communicate with your baby but through making eye-contact and interacting with your baby you are also strengthening your bond with your child.

TinyTalk was founded 11 years ago by Katie Mayne. Katie was a teacher for the deaf and after signing with her first child realised the benefits of baby signing and TinyTalk was born! TinyTalk offers baby signing classes and toddler-talking classes, through songs, books and playtime. The classes are both educational and fun for both babies. You also have the opportunity to have an invaluable insight into your baby’s thoughts.

We now deliver over 500 baby signing classes a week, teaching baby signs to over 5,000 families in the UK, Ireland and Germany. TinyTalk has over 150 teachers. To find out more about baby signing or to find a class near you, have a look on our website: www.tinytalk.co.uk.
Beth Lewis
TinyTalk Teacher (Caterham, Oxted, Warlingham and South Godstone)
www.tinytalk.co.uk/bethl
bethl@tinytalk.co.uk

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