Hotter than hot with US Parents today: teach your nine month old baby a few signs instead of just waiting a couple of months for his words to start. Why? Well, obviously to give him an advantage. How so? According to a Californian mix of commercial and academic experts, there are many positive effects.
So what do babies sign? Guess what? By far the most used signs are More and Milk. A former colleague of mine from the UK mentioned had an anecdote about a signing baby: Whatever the problem was, be it hunger, thirst, a dirty diaper, etc, the baby would inevitable sign ‘milk’. Our mother’s breast, a cure for all ailments, eh?
To be honest, I tried it with my first child but my limited investment had no visible return. My youngest was spared the exercise, apart from the regular attempts at using gestures such as waving goodbye. And as I gain parental experience an approach of reactive rather than pro-active stimulation seems to me to yield the most profitable ROI anyway. It is certainly less demanding and has many other positive effects on me.