Friday, May 3, 2013

Signing With Baby

When I was in high school I was required to take a language class.
I attempted Spanish and well I barely passed that class.
Even now I can only say a few things in Spanish.

Being homeschooled gave me more language options.
My mom did a unit study on American Sign Language.
I instantly fell in love with the language and excelled in ASL.

My plans for after high school were to go to Rochester Institute of Technology 
for their interpreter’s program. God had far different plans for me. 
I wasn’t accepted to RIT for their ASLIE program.
I ended up taking an online course that was very inexpensive and worked at a local clothing store.
I ended up getting engaged and we had plans to get married the following year.
Instead of going off to college like I had planned I got married and have since had two wonderful babies.

I had a cousin growing up that was the third child in her family and she refused to talk.
She could talk but she refused to. She would make grunts and her two older siblings would do all of the talking for her.
The problem was bother of her older sisters went to school during the day.
It was very frustrating for my cousin and my aunt as they had no way to communicate with each other.
So her parents began doing baby signs with her.
Signs like “more, please, thank you, all done, potty, cracker, cheese, drink, milk, juice, water, and play” made a world of difference in their family.

I knew even before I was pregnant that I would do sign language with my kids.
Between seeing the frustration of so many of the kids I babysat and my cousin I knew they had to be a better way.

When my oldest was probably 10 months old my best friend babysat for us.
We had already been signing for a while with him and when she was feeding him dinner he was able to tell her that he wanted “More Milk” in sign.
He was able to completely communicate his needs and wants with her without either of them getting frustrated.
We continued to sign with him consistently and when we took him for his one year check-up his vocabulary was double what was expected.

This time around I honestly hadn’t been nearly as consistent in working on signing with my baby. It’s funny how different things are when you have two kids.
But recently I stared signing “more” with Bug.
At 8.5 months old he is now able to sign “more” during meal times to let me know when he is ready for the next bite of food instead of the whining/screaming/hitting his highchair tray. It really only took maybe 3 meal times and a couple of snack times for him to get it.

The next word I plan on teaching him is “all done.”
I would really rather him sign all done instead of spitting his food back out at us.

Did or do you sign with your babies?
Is it something you want to do but aren’t sure where to start?

You can go to your local library, they usually have great resources on baby sign books.
My local library has a wonderful set of baby board books by Lora Heller
There are also great free resources online such as's baby dictionary and has a ton of great things as well!

Be sure to hop and over and check out all of this great information on The Parenting Patch blog:
Parenting Patch: baby sign language
Parenting Patch: Poppy Signs Milk

1 comment:

  1. I love this! I try to practice sign language with my son because he cannot express himself with words. He is 13 1/2 months. I just don't have a background in sign language. Definitely something to add to my studies and recommendations as a post partum doula as well!