Do you know how important gestures are in communicating with your baby? At the beginning of a baby’s life, gestures are one of the main tools of communication with the world. And the use of these signs begins well before speech. Want to know more? Check it out!
Why use gestures to talk to your baby?
Besides crying, smiling and other facial expressions, babies soon learn to communicate through gestures and little babbling. It is common, for example, for children to extend their arms when they want to put their arms on or point to the objects they want. And these signs, in addition to facilitating communication with the little ones, can help in connecting with the baby and even in acquiring vocabulary.
This is because verbal and visual communication goes together. And both are extremely important in children’s development. In this sense, it is also necessary for parents to interpret the communicative gestures of babies. Furthermore, it is quite interesting for adults to make gestures when they speak or show objects to their little ones. After all, attitudes like this make communication much richer.
The more people who live with the baby work on this interpretation of the signs, the more they start to understand what the baby says, minimising feelings such as frustration and discontent. The gestures can be to show something, signal a feeling or ask for an object, for example. The exchange of glances and the deviation of focus towards an object also contribute to the understanding of what the baby wants to communicate. Thus, even before the speech, the little ones and the adults can already start a conversation, even without the use of words!
When to use gestures to communicate with your baby?
At about 6 months of age, most babies already learn to make the gesture, which they use for a long time. Already at 9 months, the little one begins to demonstrate their will more. Therefore, it is expected that from then on new types of interactions will start to appear, mainly in relation to objects. This is the case with the pointing gesture, often accompanied by the “give me!”
However, it is worth remembering that, during the development of speech, it is necessary to stimulate that these gestures always accompany words. For example, if the baby points to something he wants, the parents or guardians should ask: “What do you want? The doll? What colour is the doll? This one? Or that one?”. In this way, adults guarantee that babies won’t get everything they want just by pointing at the object.
Some jokes can even help the development of speech. Through the stimulation of the senses, it is possible to work on imagination, creativity, vocabulary, and dialogue, for example. In addition, music and songs can also work on phonological awareness, that is, the ability to manipulate sounds and words correctly. Finally, although signage is an important tool for younger children, it should not replace language for most small children. On the contrary, studies indicate that the use of gestures and signs can speed up the speech process.