little beats blog
Using just a few common signs can make a world of a difference in enabling your child to communicate. Your baby's language development is happening LONG before they can talk. Communication includes non-verbal language as well as music. Baby is reading your face, following your actions, and trying to imitate you earlier then you think. (So set a good example :)) Studies have shown that babies are perceptive to rhythm, tempo, and pitch even from the time they are in the womb. This is why they respond so well to nursery rhymes, songs, and high-pitch voices. All of these things help a little brain absorb new language skills.
Sign is useful from about 7-18 months because this age has SOO much to say but are not yet able to talk. Empowering your baby with tools for communicating before they are able to speak also can mitigate major drama during a frustrating time in their lives. Don't worry about learning a million signs, here are the ones you'll use most: 'MORE,' 'MILK,' 'EAT,' 'ALL DONE,' 'BOOK,' AND 'PLAY' you can learn these signs and more here!
I remember feeling so silly signing to my baby all the time (especially in public) but a little embarrassment was totally worth it because by 9 months old, my baby was signing and by 14 months, she was saying the words while signing. Ever since, she has blown us away with her language skills. She also always felt 'in-the-know' about what we were doing or what activity was coming up next and this gave her a sense of security and confidence from age 1-2 making her a much more enjoyable little tyke! But the key is to do it OFTEN, repetition is the only way baby will learn.