Baby Sign Language

Elizabeth - posted on 02/23/2009 ( 14 moms have responded )

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Do any of you use baby sign language with your children? I think sign language is so beautiful, as well as a pretty natural part of talking. I mean, seriously, who doesn't talk with their hands? =) I learned some sign language when working with Special Needs children and now I'm planning to teach my 6 month old a little at a time. Right now, I sing the ABC song with sign language when I need her to focus. As I sing, she watches my fingers.



Has anyone else had success with sign language? Or even considered trying it?

14 Comments

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Chelsea - posted on 09/10/2012

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We taught my nephew baby sign because he is developmentally delayed and wasn't learning speech on his own. The baby sign not only helped him to communicate with us but also helped him to make verbal associations with the words through using signs. The thing is we had to make it fun for him to learn the words. So when we would sign, we would speak too making sure we drew attention to our mouths so that he could copy the movements and reward him when he tried and especially when he got it right. I think it gave him so much confidence that he was able to teach adults signs too just by pointing the object and signing afterwards. After a year or so, his speech improved so well he stopped using the baby sign. It turned out to be a good tool for us. I'm considering doing this for my son to strengthen his communication skills, technically it makes babies bilingual.

Lauren - posted on 08/04/2011

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Hey Elizabeth, I was a preschool teacher when my little boy was a baby. We signed all common words in my classroom with my infants and toddlers. The mothers would come ask me what they were signing and were amazed that they would ask at such an early age for things. I think it is highly beneficial to young children. It lowers the frustration levels for all children, hearing or not.

Karen - posted on 11/01/2010

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My daughter knows over 100 signs. It used to be for communication (she signed back for the first time around 8/9 months) and now it's mostly for fun (since she's extremely verbal - people are always suprised at her age when they hear her talking). It was extremely helpful! The day she learned to sign book I found out how much she wanted to read books (all day long - it seemed like anyway). I would never have known that otherwise. Also, instead of having to go through a list (apples, bananas, avacado) I would just ask, "what do you want to eat?" and she would sign her response.
Still now, if she's really frustrated she'll sign to get her point across. Also, it's been really helpful in learning numbers, colours and letters.

Katie - posted on 03/31/2010

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I used to watch a little girl and we did sign language with her and it helped so so much! One of the main reason older babies get frustrated is b/c they can't communicate their needs but with sign language they can communicate. So b/c of that experience we have been doing it with our son. He's nearly 6 months and understands the signs for milk and water. I can't wait for him to start signing back to me!! Just be sure to say the word alon

Crystal - posted on 02/27/2010

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Well an update on me with this, my new neighbor across the street speaks sign language as her first language, because a lot of her family is deaf, and so now I'm learning it and teaching it to my kids.

Cameron - posted on 02/15/2010

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I have been teaching Mira sign language for a few months, however I think I need to be more consistent. I use the all finished sign, the more sign, daiper sign, mommy and daddy sign. I hope that will begin to help our communication. Better communication is key for a happier baby and mommy for that matter.

Amanda - posted on 03/10/2009

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I used them with my kids, more with my daughter (my son wasn't really interested until my daughter started learning). I think she was about a year old or so. They both loved it though and learned very quickly. I think it really did help with her speech too, she was a very early talker and could say full sentences by the time she was two. I used the 'My baby can talk' baby signs videos. They loved them and would ask for me to put them on quite often!

Elizabeth - posted on 03/06/2009

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Thanks! That's what I figured. I've seen kids that learned signs that weren't as frustrated as the other children who had no way of communicating their baby babble. Thanks for the encouragement! Yeah, I sign to her quite often in daily conversation. I wonder how much she's picking up. She's just now 6 months so I'm not really too concerned with formally teaching her yet, but I figure the sooner I introduce it, the easier it will be in the future. I used to help teach special needs kids and it really opens their worlds to have an effective way to communicate basic wants. I'm hoping it will help Brenna, too. =) Learning a second language at an earl age is always beneficial in my opinion. =) Thanks! Oh, where do you get the baby sign videos?

User - posted on 03/06/2009

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Also, as for delaying speech, there is no proof of this. I don't think it delays speech. In my opinion it depends on the child, and I think it aids in developing speech before they can speak. They are thinking and processing what they want and need. Being able to communicate those things seems to spark thought process needed to speak earlier. My niece who was signing 10 signs at 7/8 months and knew over 50 by the time she was 14 months began speaking early, and could speak in conversation at 2. I say it just really depends on the child's ability before anything else.

User - posted on 03/06/2009

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We do baby sign language! We started about 5 months old. He didn't pick anything up until he was 8 months, and all of a sudden he signed milk, dog, and mom. The he stopped signing all of a sudden. We got the baby signing time videos which I love because he doesn't sit there like a zombie. He still plays while they are on. He says mama now so he doesn't sign it, but in addition to signing the others, he now signs all done, claps his hands, and I think he attempts to sign help and diaper. Every baby is different. One of my nephews refused to sign, and my niece signed about ten signs at 7/8 months. It may take a while, but I applaud your wanting to sign with your baby. I think it helps with communication, even with things they don't sign. Reid, my son, tries to get the point across now even if he doesn't know the sign.

Crystal - posted on 02/24/2009

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I've considered learning it, but all my kids have found effective ways to communicate before they could talk that I could understand so I never did.

Elizabeth - posted on 02/23/2009

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Really? See in the daycare and schools that I worked at, I found the opposite to be true. I wonder. I've heard both sides, that's why I was asking. I've heard it makes kids communicate younger, and I've heard that they won't talk if they know the sign. I wonder why that is. That's why I was asking, you would think they would learn it just like spoken language. Kids can be bilingual to start out, why can't one of those languages be sign? I'll keep researching. Thanks for the input!

Valerie - posted on 02/23/2009

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I didn't use it with my kids, b/c I worked in daycare for four years before I had them. Children who learned sign language at an early age tended to rely on it to communicate even when they didn't need it to communicate. By the age of 2 most children can effectively communicate their basic needs through speech, and I found that those that used sign language did that later than most. The majority of adults who work with children do not know sign language, and it becomes a communication barrier. This is just in my experience.

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