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Baby business signs the way

Tannum Sands mother Kristie Maytom knows the benefits of baby signing after teaching her daughter Savannah, 2 1/2, to sign from six months of age.
Tannum Sands mother Kristie Maytom knows the benefits of baby signing after teaching her daughter Savannah, 2 1/2, to sign from six months of age. Brenda Strong

COMMUNICATING with your baby is anything but easy but it can be thanks to the simple gesture of a sign.

Tannum Sands mother Kristie Maytom is a strong supporter of baby sign language which she says is becoming increasingly popular in Australia with hearing babies as parents are realising the benefits.

Mother to two-and-half-year-old daughter Savannah, it was signing that rescued Ms Maytom from a communication barrier which she felt restricted her from understanding the needs of her then six-month-old daughter.

“Savannah cried a lot as a baby,” Ms Maytom said.

“I pretty much read every book in the library but couldn't stop her crying ... I felt so incompetent as a mother.”

Reading some information on the benefits of baby signing, Ms Maytom gave it a go and was surprised when her daughter signed back.

“I signed the word drink at her when I was giving her a drink,” Ms Maytom said.

“That afternoon she signed it back at me.

“I couldn't believe it.”

By the time Savannah was 11 months old she knew 35 signs and was able to construct a rudimentary sentence in sign.

Nowadays her sign range extends upward of 300 with the youngster taking this on board as her second language.

A skill which has largely been driven by Ms Maytom, who last October co-founded Signing Stars, a business that produces products for teaching babies hand signs in place of spoken language.

Baby Haven is now stocking the Signing Stars range of products to help parents learn to sign with their baby which includes baby signing flash cards, reminder stickers and charts.

Ms Maytom said baby sign was easy to learn and required no prior experience.

“It's a really fun and special journey to go on with your baby,” Ms Maytom said.

“Probably one of the most fundamental human desires is to be understood.”

For more information visit www.signingstars.com.au


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