Sleep is a hot topic for every parent with a baby or toddler. Babies need sleep to develop healthily, but just like adults, all babies sleep differently. Also, every family is different and what works for one may not work for another.
New parents often feel under pressure to have a baby that sleeps through the night. The truth is that babies wake up for lots of different reasons; teething, hunger, a wet nappy or even reflux can be some of them.
But sleeping doesn't affect babies only! As a parent/ carer, you need sleep for your health and well-being. Establishing a good bedtime routine can help both you and your child get more sleep and this can make a difference. When you are physically, emotionally and mentally well, your child is more likely to grow well, develop and thrive.
How can signing help?
By offering a means of expression, signing can alleviate some of the sleep-related frustration. Babies and toddlers can make clear to their carers that they are tired so that they can move on with their bedtime/nap routine. Responding to your baby's need for sleep and comfort is an integral part of bonding with your baby. What you teach them is that you are there for them, they are safe, cared for and loved.
How to sign "Bed"
To make the sign for "bed", hold your hands together and tilt your head on them. You can also sign it using one hand only, which is quite useful, especially if you are holding your baby in your other arm.
Watch the video below for a demonstration of how to sign "bed" to your baby. Don’t forget to say the word "bed" as you sign it - this reinforces your baby’s learning and helps them to associate the word with the sign.
When to sign "bed"
Start to sign "bed" as part of your baby's bedtime routine. Signing in their bedroom, or where they usually sleep, can actually help, as they can make the connection between the sign and the word easier. Also, read the signs; a tired baby will yawn, rub eyes, cry or even be quiet and not want to get involved in any play or activity. Sign when you realise they are tired, and with practise, your baby will be able to tell you when they are tired before it's too late!
Tips for Starting Baby Signing with Your Baby
Always say the word as you sign it so your baby can make the connection between the word and the sign.
Sign in your baby's sightline - keep the sign close to your face.
Repeat! Babies learn best through repetition.
Baby Signing Basics Digital Course is here!
Who is this for?
This is for families who want to learn the basics of baby signing at their own pace. Suitable for babies approximately 5 - 18 months old.
6 baby signing topics that will help you communicate with your baby easily and in a fun and enjoyable way. Very First Signs - Family Signs - Getting Ready Signs - Health Signs - Wellbeing Signs - Weaning Signs
48 BSL sign videos that you will find handy and will help you revise quickly.
6 pre-recorded classes to watch with your baby.
1 live Q&A session to discuss your questions and needs.
Unlimited support via email.
3 months of access to all the online content.