Anybody out there doing baby sign language?

Kristin - posted on 10/26/2009 ( 20 moms have responded )

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Just curious about how everyone got started and how things progressed... what signs did you start with, how long did it take before baby started signing, helpful tips, etc.

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Kim - posted on 11/07/2009

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I taught it to both of my sisters. The first I taught more, please, thank you, and all done.
I think she knew them all by 8 or 9 months?

My other sister I started when she was 6.5 months old and by 7 months she knew at least 10 signs. By the time she started talking (verbally) she knew around 20. We did tons more- book, baby, cat, dog, cheerio, pickle, nurse, hungry, thirsty, the list goes on!
I now have a 5.5 month old and we've been signing to her basic stuff since she was 4 months (just to get into the habit) she recognizes the sign for 'nurse' and 'all done' and has even done 'nurse' herself once or twice. I plan on doing so much more- like colors and different foods and family members :) The key is to just sign every time you say the word verbally! I occasionally move their hands too.

Good luck!

[deleted account]

I started with "more" because my daughter would yell at me for more food while I was feeding her. I would sit in the floor with her and have her hand me shapes from her cookie jar and sign and say "more please." I didnt think she got it until we were at the store one day and I gave her a puff to eat. She made a sign similar and it was down hill from there. Her favorite video was/is Baby Signing Time. Within a few weeks she had learned almost all the signs. The KEY is to say the word with the sign otherwise you will hender their speaking development. Now at a year and a half she can speak almost everything she signs but I still make her sign it too. Good luck. I have to say it was the greatest feeling ever to see her learn these things so fast!

Kelly - posted on 11/02/2009

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oh fyi really quick meaning he was signing within 2 days and was doing more and play on the first day takes alot of prompting like when they want more you need to say the word and do the sign then use the babys hands and help make the sign but trust me its well worth the effort.

Kelly - posted on 11/02/2009

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very basic signs "more,all done,juice,eat,play" they catch on really fast. i contacted early intervention because i just had a feeling he was behind. they will test them in your home for you.

Kelly - posted on 10/26/2009

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my son was taught signing as a way to communicate, he was behind on speech due to abusive parents we got him through foster care and are adopting him on november20th anyway within the first week of doing the signing he was using it. he was 15 months old and he was 6 months behind since he started he has gained 9 months and won't stop talking. What happens is they learn to sign and you say the word as you sign and eventually they get tired of signing it and just say it.
I will be the first to say this is a great teaching tool! We've come along way.

[deleted account]

Ive taught my son quite a few like eat, milk, more, please and all done/gone. He caught on very quick. The key is repitition

Abbie - posted on 10/26/2009

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We do sign, we started around 6 months, our son signs: more, milk, eat, all done, help, play,

Dana - posted on 10/26/2009

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April don't worry, my son is 14 months and just started signing. Now he picks up everything real quick.



My sister is deaf and taught all her girls (hearing) how to sign. They of course could WAY before they could talk and are now ahead of all the other kids in most of their classes. I think it's a wonderful thing to teach and to learn. I don't know how many times I've been able to sign to someone who is deaf at work or just out in public. It has always brought a smile to a deaf person's face and I think of my sister and how lonely it can be to not be able to communicate with everyone all the time. I actually think it should be offered in school along with other languages.

Sorry, went off subject there. As far as babies, it's a great way to communicate early. My son loves to sign. His favorite new one he learned this week is stinky, which isn't the actual ASL sign for stink but the sign that most hearing people use for stinky. Oh, and he loves the sign for out, which he uses frequently to get out of the high chair or crib. lol It's just too cute to see your child communicate by sign and to know that they love being able to communicate with you!

Pam - posted on 10/26/2009

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I taught my daughter simple signs starting at about 5 months. We used more, help, drink, and eat. She picked up on "more" but gave it her own twist. They do that sometimes. We just keep showing her the correct way to sign "more". She has started picking up on more signs recently at 15 months but her daycare also teaches baby sign .

Leanna - posted on 10/26/2009

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HI i am starting signing with my 8 month old. he is becoming more verbal. i show him the sign and then what it is. i think it is doing good. we started with drink/ baba or bottle, more, momma, daddy, and bed or tired! what ever u decide to call it. just keep to it. i believe it will help out his speach alot and to communicate with us alot better!

Amber - posted on 10/26/2009

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I teach my daughter sign language and it has helped so much to teach her Spanish words as well! We are already learning to read, and she just turned 2 in May. Its just a good thing for kids to learn as much as possible when they're young. The key to everything is consistency. Keep up the good work! =)

April - posted on 10/26/2009

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i'm deaf too, but oddly..my son isn't interested in signing! He says dada, hi, bye, no, etc.. but he doesn't SIGN! He's hearing and so is everyone else, but me. And I'm the only one that can sign in my family. He's 10 months old and i thought babies were able to sign by 6 months?

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I didn't do it with my children. I worked at Head Start with 3-5yo's and knew one family that did it.They swore by it! When my brother and his wife had their baby I bought them a few videos and a book. They did milk, more, eat, and done. They are crediting baby sign with Jaden speaking sooner and not becoming as frustrated since everyone knew what he wanted. Another brother and sister-in-law just had a baby and the information was passed on to them.

Mandi - posted on 10/26/2009

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I think teaching a child to sign language in the beginning is very useful, as it allows him/her to communicate better. As mentioned previously, start with the objects/gestures the baby is interested in such as "more" food", "milk", etc.. Just be aware, that in some cases, hearing children will delay speaking and opt for the familiarity of sign language.



Overall, in my experience, it has helped quite a bit when working with smart kids that just didn't have the words yet, their temper tantrums reduced, and their overall happiness increased as they began to express what they wanted through sign.

Kristin - posted on 10/26/2009

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Grissom will be 7 months next week, he's a hearing child, we just thought it would be a fun thing to do and help him communicate as well. We have several friends who sign (teachers who work with DHH children) and so we're around it a good bit... never hurts to have more than 1 way to communicate what you want or need I say!

Amanda - posted on 10/26/2009

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I do not really know much sign language my self just a bit but I wanted to teach my son for we have a relative who is deaf and uses a sign language. All I did was when he was old enough to start watching me and ready to start talking I just started with the simple words when I said mom I signed mom and so on. He was about a year and a half by the time he caught on but I never signed all the time. It also helped when I bought the baby einstein movies. those are great for teaching baby signs for simple words around the house and sign words for family and different objects. My son loves them. He can do and remember most of the words that were shown on the movies now and he is almost three I can ask him a word and he can show me how you say it. I am trying to teach him how to sign the alphebet as he learns the alphebet now.

Katherine - posted on 10/26/2009

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Actually, Sarah, even deaf babies spoke before they signed. Hearing toddlers signed more than they spoke, even though they weren't taught sign language. Gestures aren't just gestures, after all.

Anna - posted on 10/26/2009

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Hi Kristin, I have been doing baby signing with my son. I have been doing a few basic signs since he was about 4 months old. He is now almost 11 months. I started with the signs for eat, breastfeed and more, also cat, ball and car because those were things he's interested in. He doesn't really do any of the signs 'correctly' yet. He bangs on my chest when he wants milk - it's supposed to be banging on his own chest but who cares, I know what he means. I think he is starting to do eat and more and cat but it's hard to tell! I have also taught him to wave hello, clap hands, put his hands on his head, touch his nose, splash in the bath, throw a ball and other fun things. So he understands all those words. He has started saying a few words already - mama, dada, nana (banana), miaow (to the cat), hello. So I think the signs are helping him get the idea of language. I'd be interested to hear how you get on, if you decide to try it.

Kelly - posted on 10/26/2009

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I did with my youngest. We did "milk", "more", and "eat" (there may have been one or two more that I have forgotten, she is almost four now), of which "milk" was definitely her most-used (I nursed her until fifteen months). It didn't take her long at all to get the hang of it, just a couple days if I remember correctly. It was in no way a bad experience, but I don't know that it was as important as "they" make it out to be either. I'm pretty sure "milk" was the one we started with.

Katherine - posted on 10/26/2009

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I'm deaf, and I taught all four of my babies sign language. My three year old daughter signs as much as a 5 year old can talk. I started with the basic things such as eat, drink, pee, poo, owie, mama, dada, diaper, play. Pretty much what the baby could want or need, I teach.



Babies use ALL of their senses to learn, including sight. Be aware, however, that babies' sight are not as good as adults until around 2 months old. Whenever you feed the baby a food or a drink, sign "drink" or "eat", whenever you change the diapers - sign "diapers". Show the baby a sign for each thing that you do to/for the baby.



Later on in life, the baby will grow into a kid and that kid will begin taking their sight for granted and will become lax in their signing. If you see any sign of that laxness, turn off your voice and sign. They will have no choice but to use their eyes.

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