New research says “baby signing classes ‘fail to boost toddlers’ language skills”

From an interesting article in the Telegraph. Any thoughts?

Personally, I’d never read that baby signing would boost language skills, just aid in earlier communication since babies’ hand coördination develops earlier than physiology for word-formation.  For me, it was a great bridge as we didn’t know what language our little P or C would start using for their first words.

I’d love to hear about other people’s experience.


4 thoughts on “New research says “baby signing classes ‘fail to boost toddlers’ language skills”

  1. I am probably going to get slaughtered for this comment but I tend to agree with this research. Companies promoting baby signs DO claim that they improve your child’s vocabulary amongst other things. I think they are more about teaching parents to be more aware about non-verbal communication and gestures in particular.

    • Hi Annabelle,
      Surely not! Research is research…oh wait, in some countries people don’t care about facts, I forget! I do recall the company claiming your kid could express more things earlier with sign language and this proved true for our late talker but I don’t remember anything about ultimate vocabulary development. In any event, these companies are always trying to push product and it is shameful that it is done so often based on false claims – like baby Einstein DVDs, which personally I actually loved, not for their ridiculous promises but because it allowed me the time to take a shower in peace, prepare dinner and the like!
      Thank you so much for reading and even more for joining the conversation!

  2. One of the studies I came across had shown that a child’s vocabulary was greater even at 8 year’s old! No idea how they researched this, it’s always difficult to isolate a single difference, such as baby signing, within a group of families, but it did sound impressive. All I do know is baby signing was an incredible thing for our family. My daughter loved the signs and could tell me many things she’d never have been able to communicate without it. As to whether her vocab is wider now, I’m not sure, but it was just wonderful to have so much communication during that pre-verbal period. I imagine signing generally helps families connect with their child, as it can show how much is going on for a tiny baby. So the vocab issue aside, I am still a huge advocate of signing!

  3. Tallulah, I like you am a big fan for the how it allowed us to communicate with our daughter who was a late talker. Ultimately each family has to assess what works for them. I do think a lot of companies try and push stuff on dubious claims – though perhaps at times I am too harsh and it isn’t because they are knowingly trying to dupe people but perhaps reading into/interpreting research unconsciously the way that most benefits them.

    In any event, I loved our singing time DVDs and the girls now still love singing the songs. And along with other dubious DVDs, it gave mama some free time…

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

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