WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/1011917

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Page 163 of 207

living with kids relationships parenting life lessons emotional growth teenage years growing up family matters Baby Talk N A Z S I O S H A N S I writer communicating with babies using sign language has become a mainstream activity. It's now a regular part of the curriculum at many day care centers and preschools, and early childhood experts, teachers, and parents endorse signing to establish early communi- cation with an infant and create a more intimate bond. "When I started teaching baby sign language twenty years ago, people were skeptical," shares Sheryl White, founder of Baby Kneads. "I had to convince people that teaching a baby to sign would help their [child's] lan- guage skills. Parents were concerned that their infants would speak later if they could already communicate with sign. Years of research have proven the inverse to be true, but that was not easily believed when I first started." In fact, White admits that she might not have started signing with her daughter if it weren't for her circum- stances as a new mother. "We were blessed with a colicky baby. After eight hours of trying to calm our little Rachel down every night, I was willing to try anything — including reading a book on baby massage that my father-in-law had given me." In White's case, her father-in-law was Dr. Burton White, an early childhood development specialist at Harvard and author of The First Three Years. He knew his recommendation could prove helpful. White found that massaging Rachel helped calm her, and they were able to get the crying and fussiness down from eight to four hours. P I X A B A Y 162 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 8

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