Can baby signing really accelerate babies learning to talk or even increase their vocabulary, as many baby sign supporters claim? Or are there other benefits to baby signing?
|Lara and Rosie asking for "more"|
- they're still hungry!
Babies learnt gestures and used them to communicate long before they started talking, However, they did not learn the associated words any quicker than the group of non-gesturing babies, nor did they did they show enhanced language development.
But interestingly, the study’s findings revealed that mothers who gestured with their babies were more responsive to their babies and also thought of them as an individual with a mind. This has great potential in clinical situations where early gestures from babies or young children may provide timely interventions where there is risk of language delay or impairment.
The full research paper “To Sign or Not to Sign? The Impact of Encouraging Infants to gesture on Infant Language and Maternal Mind-Mindedness” is published at Child Development.