The language of the signs for baby, it exists!: Declined in the language of the deaf, the sign language for infants uses a simple gesture that allows the child to be understood, before the acquisition of the speech. It is increasingly used in the nursery for example. We take stock.


The language of the signs for baby, it exists!
The language of the signs for baby, it exists!

Of interest to sign with baby …

Why ? To help him express emotions and feelings before he can speak. Moreover, interact more easily with his environment than by crying, with the assurance of being understood.

How? By imitation, in a playful way, the child learns a certain number of signs.

From what age? From 6 months, when the baby begins to play with his hands.

The opinion of the psycholinguist

For Alex Cristia, psycholinguist, “Different research has shown that signing does not prevent the child from speaking, nor does it slow down his learning of speech. Studies, especially in the United States where the “baby sign” has been very developed over the past decade, have shown neither positive nor negative impact on language learning. This practice also does not affect the quantity of words that the child integrates, at the same age. Perhaps because gestures do not use quite the same connection network as speech in the brain. ”

At the nursery, “we sign all the time”!

“The more one signs when speaking, singing, the more the child will grasp this means of communication. “Explains Ludivine Rivet, Director of the Nursery Les Petits Chaperons rouges in Gennevilliers. She tells us about her experience.

“For the last two years, the whole team has been practicing sign language. We are also making a DVD by filming us when we sign, for parents. As soon as they arrive, at two and a half months, they talk to the babies, and they press the word with a sign. For example, if a child is proposed to go to bed, he or she is told “you are going to sleep, ” and you make the “sleep” sign. We sign all the time! We sing in signing, when we read a story, at the date of the meals … The children have the motor capacity to sign from 6-8 months. Moreover, the first sign that all do is “still”!

We just sign the necessary word: eating, Doudou, papa, work, water, fear … so that the child can reuse it easily to express himself. It is awesome. At the nursery, it is evident that signing has pacified the children. At an age when they want to do it alone, to make themselves understood from the adult, they no longer need to use tears and aggressiveness to be listened to. From 8 months to the assured acquisition of language, one feels that they can not yet communicate quickly through speech. The sign is liberating. ”

“With the gestures, my daughter expresses her emotions better.”

The testimony of Anne-Laure, Mother of Joane, 16 months:

“I trained with my husband and maternal assistant to learn to sign with my daughter. Joane was ten months old, I felt she wanted to express herself, but she could not pronounce the words. So she was quite frustrated and shouted a lot. We began by singing nursery rhymes to him by signing a few words. However, that did not seem to interest him. After a few months, she started signing. His first sign was “still.” Today, Joane is 16 months old and says words like children her age. However, thanks to the signs, it comes to better express its emotions. For example, she can sign “I am happy” or “You are beautiful.” This learning makes it possible not to wait for the child to speak correctly to communicate with him. ”

Nearly 200 gestures allow the adult to communicate, usually with the hands. The child knows to point his finger at himself. Moreover, he loves to say hello, goodbye, Bravo and shhh … and repeats them endlessly. For pure pleasure!

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