It is fascinating to learn a language in which you can talk with your hands. I had first started learning sign language when I lived near a boy that was deaf. Though I never became fluent in sign language, I have always had a fondness for it.
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Signing With Your Baby
My Baby Signing Experience With My Little One
One day when I was walking in the library I found the program “Baby Signing Time”. I never had heard about a video program for babies and toddlers using sign language. I ended up checking out the kits at the library that included the DVD and signing cards that went along with the video. After I got home, I put it in and watched a little bit of it with my baby girl. It was very impressive and it was something I found I could do that was simple and hopefully helpful for my baby.
So, I started with the basics of signing milk, food/eat, mommy, and daddy. It takes a little bit to remember to sign it whenever you say it to your baby but after awhile it becomes habit and you don’t even think twice about signing when talking. When signing to your baby you don’t need to know sign language completely. Only a couple words that the baby needs and uses is all that is necessary.Learning sign with my baby was something that we could do together that was interactive and gave us baby and mommy time.
I found that after signing to my baby, starting at about 6 months old, is that she started signing in about 2 weeks after I started showing her and her watching the videos together. That means that patience and consistency is what helps baby learn the signs quickest. All babies don’t sign the exact word all the time and end up having their own version of the word. Just pay attention to their version of it when they are signing to you and sign it correctly back to them. It is very helpful if your spouse is also learning and signing with your baby. Once my husband ended up signing with my baby he was able to talk to her and know what she wanted too. The more people that sign with your baby the better. If you have older children, a lot of times they like learning to sign with baby too.
Lyla ended up being able to sign what she needed before she was able to tell me in spoken words. This made it so much easier because she felt like I was listening to her when she otherwise wouldn’t have been able to tell me what she needed or wanted. If she wanted to eat crackers, bananas, or apples; she knew the signs and was able to tell the difference between the food signs. Now that Lyla is learning to talk, it is still helpful that she signs because little ones gibber gabber can sometimes sound the alike for the same word. If I don’t understand a word that she is trying to say, I ask her to sign it (if she knows the sign for the word) or I ask her to point to it and I teach her the sign so we don’t have a misunderstanding again.
Now that my little girl is older and knows more signs, she can tell me when she needs to go potty, if she wants to go play outside, or wanting to go to bed. ( Funny enough ,yes, my little girl actually asks me to go to bed when she is tired.)
Signing has given my little girl her “words” and has given me a way to understand her, without her crying because I didn’t know exactly what she wanted.
Resources to start signing
If you are wanting to start signing with your baby, I suggest using the program called “Baby Signing Time”. Some libraries have the DVDs and flash cards or board books. There are also some clips on YouTube, to see how it looks like. You can buy it from the company itself or places like Amazon too.You could also start by using a signing dictionary from the library or store and start signing with simple and basic baby signs.
I hope you end up loving signing with your baby as much as I have. I can’t wait to start signing with my little baby boy too.
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