For many parents, trying to figure out what your baby needs is an all-consuming and never-ending task. When your baby cries, does she need a diaper change, a meal, or just a cuddle? The communication barrier can frustrate both parent and child. To this end, this list of signs your baby should know can help you both communicate more easily in no time. Soon, perhaps, your baby can just flash the sign for milk instead crying her head off at random.
Why would hearing babies benefit from learning a sign language, anyway? Championed by American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter Dr. Joseph Garcia, baby sign language is a method of communication that makes use of babies' ability to sign as young as 6 months of age. In contrast, it might take a baby until the age of about 24 months to directly ask for more milk or express other needs, as explained by the Mayo Clinic. Signing gives your baby a way to communicate before those tricky language skills are mastered. It's a great way to bond with your kid and prevent frustration on both sides.
Plus, it's just fun. Signing is an active, expressive way to communicate with your baby, and it may even strengthen your bond. Study the most commonly used baby signs and make use of the ones that might benefit your family the most.