baby sign language

Meredith - posted on 08/30/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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hi everyone! i was wondering if anyone has started to teach their baby sign language (or has older children who used it successfully), and if you have any tips? i have read a few books and have rented a few dvds, and have also found someone in my city who can give lessons. i have been doing a few signs like "milk", "more", and "all done" for about 2mo now. just wondering if anyone has any good success stories or maybe can give me some tips on what to expect or just tips in general! i would really love for my son to be able to communicate and i think it's just a really great learning experience for the whole family :) thanks in advance!

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Ryanne - posted on 09/05/2009

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I have done it with all three of my children now. My daughter, who is 11 months has really begun to use sign language a lot! I say, put down the books and just use it all the time when you talk to her. Don't worry about the "right" sign, just make sure you use the same sign for the same things. So far she does the following...bye bye, tree, eat, drink, milk, all done, more, please, and thank you. She is pointing to things and I am making up signs as we go. It really is wonderful to be able to talk to her and understand each other. I always started signing to them around 4 months and it takes a long time, but all of a sudden they get it and start signing. It really is amazing and it is so cool how their talking picks up much faster too. Enjoy this time and don't be too serious about it all--it's about communication, not how smart we can make our children.

Michelle - posted on 09/05/2009

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I agree all about repetition. I've used it with my 4 and had great success. The best has been with my third child who still uses it now. She's about to have grommets fitted to so we know her hearing is down. My 10 month old knows the sign for more and milk and will happily do them for you. She's also started using ta and please but mostly ta than anything else as it's do easy. We've just introduced food and nappy to her i would say master a few at a time those that are important to you.

Jamie - posted on 09/01/2009

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Anna is correct; it's all about repetition, consistency, and immediate reward. If you are not fluent or a frequent user of signs, then your best bet is to pick 2-5 signs that will be useful (we use milk, more, all done, again) and my daughter uses all of them independently now; we started when she was 2 months old. Pick an activity you do every day (such as eating), and show her the sign paired with the vocal word "more" before giving her each bite. It takes time, but seeing the sign and then getting a bite of food will teach her to use the sign to get more food. Good luck!!

Lori - posted on 08/31/2009

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We've started using it too -- I'll do the "milk" sign before breastfeeding, and use "more" and "all done" when feeding solids. I also do "bath", and various different types of food, and "mommy" and "daddy". My baby clearly understands some of the signs, but hasn't been able to do any back yet. Though he is starting to do some gestures, so I can tell he's trying to work it out. What's funny is the sign he picked up on the quickest is actually "ceiling fan"...LOL He loves the fans when they're turning, so I learned the sign so I could do it for him, and now if I do the sign he looks right up to the fan. So cute!
But I remember reading that with signing it's like other language, where they start to understand the words for quite a while before they can actually answer back - so they're just absorbing like sponges at this stage.

Anna - posted on 08/31/2009

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i have had great success with sign language. i personally have been taught sign language since i was a child because i have hearing problems. but my sister started teaching her sons sign language when they were babies and i would continue it while i watched them during the day. even when they couldnt talk they could still come tell me they were hungry, or thank you, or please. my daughter Fenix is starting to understand. when im feeding her my husband and i say "more?" and do the hand motion over and over then give her a bite. by the end of that feeding she was doing the hand motion between bites to get more.



its all in repetition just like everything else. it is very helpful especially in this stage where they dont talk a WHOLE lot. and later on it can be benificial for them even when they can communicate to continue it.



their are a lot of great books on sign language available. ive also started the ABCs with my daughter. i spell out her name and say it out loud. she obviously hasnt gotten the hang of it yet but she realy likes to watch me do it and attempts to do it.

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