As parents, we face the difficult decision about how much screen time is appropriate for our baby or toddler. Recently the American Academy of Pediatrics revised their screen time guidelines. AAP's new guidelines state that media is part of child development and should be viewed as another environment in which kids learn about the world. For me, sometimes television is necessary so I can jump in the shower or unload the dishwasher.
I still feel guilty sitting my son in front of a screen so I can accomplish my daily tasks. When my son was very small, a family member with an older child recommended baby sign language so I started looking into it.
Baby Sign Language helps babies and toddlers communicate using manual signs, most taken from American Sign Language. Using signs allows babies and toddlers to verbalize their needs. Studies have found that using signs may produce a larger vocabulary, advanced mental development, and advanced comprehension. Using sign language may reduce aggression and problematic behavior because the child is better able to express their needs. It may also help decrease the child's frustration and improve parent-child relationships because parents are more responsive and observant of their child. Babies can learn simple signs such as “eat,” “sleep," "more," "hug," "play" and "milk.” Each individual may develop the ability to sign at various stages in his/her growth.
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