Decoding The “Googoo’s” And The “Gaaga’s” Of Your Baby

As a parent, not being able to understand what your baby wants can be frustrating. What if we told you that your baby’s language skills are already there from its birth, and all you need to do is teach them.

Most parents will resort using baby sign language to decode the googoos and the gaagaas, albeit with a lot of skepticism. They often doubt the end result, which is getting their babies eventually to speak. They think that teaching sign language will delay the speech development as babies will resort to using gestures over words.

Having said this, research1 on baby sign language has actually found that teaching baby signs improved the baby’s rate of verbal development and also strengthened the bond between the child and the parents. The best part, teaching your baby sign language doesn’t require you to acquire their first language, which is beneficial in

a bilingual family environment). Also, the babies will themselves choose the common signs with your help to denote milk, baby, diaper change, etc.

What Is Your Baby Saying?

There are numerous online links available that decode baby sign language. You can take advantage of these and communicate better and faster with your baby. Additionally, the child too becomes less irritable once they can convey what they want. This is good news, for it means lesser tantrums and a better relationship.

To begin with the sign language training, (and you can start as early as three months) here are some things to do:

  1. Begin small: Start small with only 3 to 5 signs for things that you need to interact on a constant basis such as milk, more and eat.
  2. Use it every time: Every time you talk to your baby, use those to denote your discussion.
  3. Complicate as your baby learns: As soon as your baby starts picking up these signs, go for more complicated ones like banana or apple. Continue using the old ones and the new ones.
  4. Have patience: It takes time for babies to
    learn. However, they can recognize words through the tone of your voice as early as three months.
  5. Keep yourself updated about baby sign language: Read books on it, take a class or watch videos that will help you teach better.

Your baby might not say much when they are born but here’s the miracle, their language skills are already there in their DNA from their birth.

Baby sign language
Image credits: Google
Baby sign language
Image credits: Google
Baby sign language
Image credits: Google
alignnone">Baby sign language
Image credits: Google

From ages one to three months

The coos, caahs and the giggles are some things that your baby is using to talk to you. They listen to you and imitate you. As a parent, you need to remember to lessen the background noise as much as possible, so that they can hear you better without any distractions.

From ages three to six months

Your infant has already started noticing its surroundings and will want to join in with their language. Try talking and pausing in between to help them converse better.

From ages six to nine months

Your baby’s vocalization will start to sound like words now (and sadly, “grrrrgh” is not a word). Emotions will be expressed, so be prepared for a whole lot of ‘dadas, babas and didis’.

From ages nine to twelve months

Your baby’s language skills are filled to the brim, and even if they cannot repeat yet, they might start scampering

to tell you what they want to say.

From twelve to fifteen months

Your baby’s vocabulary will pick up speed during this time. When they really start to talk might vary with each kid, but they will be able to express themselves through gestures, signs, or hands what they want.

There is enough advice on the net, from healthcare providers and even parents regarding how to raise children and what approach is right. Baby sign language is a small part and there are definite benefits. While we might debate about it providing an accelerated development of the child, it is crucial to understand that any approach to help them communicate, develop their interaction, social and emotional environment is all in good stead for the baby.