Sign Language

Amanda - posted on 04/16/2010 ( 30 moms have responded )

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Shane is now four months and three weeks old. I am really considering starting to teach him to sign. Has anyone had any success with this? When did you start teaching? Do ya'll recommend any books/websites, etcetera? Thanks!!

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[deleted account]

Most of my family works for The Deaf and Blind School so ASL (American Sign Language) has been very easy to keep up with after the baby starts talking. I started with my daughter who is now 4 and it helped A LOT. They develop tools for learning at such an early age, understand that learning can be an enjoyment and exciting, and as they get older, I believe they grasp material faster. Like I said my daughter is 4 and is at a 1st grade level, because she enjoys learning and picks it up fast. She was doing addition and subtraction (because she wanted to) at age three. By the time she was 2 she could sign 3-5 words sentences. I started teaching my son who is now almost 5 months old and he already responds to the signs (i've been signing to him since he was a month old). If he starts crying I'll sign "milk" or "eat" and he stops crying and gets very excited and waits. I sign to them and then show the the item everytime. A few signs that I teach him right now are: Milk, eat, sleepy, potty, bath. I have a website that'll help you if you do decided to teach your little one, They do have asl for babies on the website. Books can sometimes be hard just because you dont get the actual movements. Enjoy teaching your little bundle of joy =)!!

www.aslpro.com

Emily - posted on 04/22/2010

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I am working on baby signs with my son who is almost 5 months old. I use a great directory that gives signs for any American Sign Language word you can think of. Here it is: http://aslbrowser.commtechlab.msu.edu/br...

This is a great resource and I prefer it to "baby signs" which are made up. I just feel like if I am going to bother to sign, I may as well be teaching a language that actually exists and can be used later on.

Supposedly sign increases desire in reading because it allows the child to interact and sign with you about the book. The benefits to sign seem unlimited!

[deleted account]

Babies learn almost everything from birth to 5 years old. I was interested in this as well. Go down to the public library and read any books about starting to teach baby sign language, there is a lot you should know before you start "teaching" babies this way to communicate.

There are also things you can buy. i recommend Baby Bunblebee Flashcard sets! It's awesome and very easy, and so much more beneficial to both you and baby!

Here's the website: http://www.babybumblebee.com/index.htm

If you want to do it a cheaper way, print out flashcards! :)

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Kristen - posted on 04/29/2010

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I took a class recently and have been practicing at home! Joseph Garcia has great books. My daughter is 6 months and really pays attention. She hasn't started signing back to me, but her fine motor skills are pretty good, so I expect she will start signing soon. There are many cognitive and motor benefits to this form of communication. Good luck!

Ann Marie - posted on 04/28/2010

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We had similar experiences with our first daughter. We learned how to sign in a one-day four-hour workshop with her. They taught us some fun songs and games too. We started signing to her around 6 months of age, and we got signs back at the same age she started talking, around 10 months. They were so helpful until she was about 2 years old - then she could usually tell us what she needed, and we didn't bother to sign as much. But she still enjoys going through her baby signs book for fun now and then. Our particular book uses American Sign Language, plus a few signs for things that aren't formalized in ASL, like yogurt, plus a few simplified signs for things babies just can't do with their hands.

Our first daughter has an exceptionally good vocabulary for her age, so signing certainly didn't hurt, and probably helped.

Our little one is almost six months old, so we're going to start signing to her more often now. I have noticed that she already responds to the "milk" sign by getting excited and rooting around.

Kristi - posted on 04/26/2010

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We have been using simple signs with my 5 month old from the day she was born.... I have worked in child care, and as a Nanny, and of all the children I have ever taken care of (It must be 50+ by now!) the easiest by far was Blaize! His Mum was an interpreter for people with hearing impairments, and from 6 months onwards he was able to clearly tell me exactly what he wanted!!! It was FABULOUS!!! I HIGHLY recommend teaching babies to sign! :o)

Holly - posted on 04/26/2010

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We used sign language with our now 2 year old and it was SO nice not to have him pointing and screaming when we could not understand what he wanted!!! :) He could sign milk, cup, eat, dog, cat, mom, dad, Nana, paci, no, etc. He still uses some of his signs but not so much now that he is talking a blue streak! :) It is nice to be able to be in a crowded place or a place where we need to be quiet and still be able to tell him No, Stop... or his VERY least favorite "No, Stop, NOW"... without saying a single word!: ) No stop now is reserved for very big oops though. Usually a No or Stop takes care of the situation! :) We use the signs now for Aiden just out of habit LOL... He is only 23 weeks so he hasn't done any back but he DOES watch our hands VERY closely! :) I m hoping he will pick it up! :)

Tiffany - posted on 04/26/2010

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My brother-in-law is deaf, so my husband uses sign language with my 5 month old all the time. I think he's too young to use sign himself, but he seems to understand when my husband signs with him. One day, I'll be surprised he'll start communicating with us using sign.

Erina - posted on 04/26/2010

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We used the "My Baby Can Talk" series. I ordered them from Baby Center. They were GREAT! We started my daughter at about 5 months, and she was doing over 45 signs by the time she was 9 months. We're starting Cole, our 5 month old now.

Julia - posted on 04/26/2010

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Jessica
Thanks so much for that website, it was nice to have a place where I could see videos of the sign with the facial expression...it can be challenging to learn sign from a book and it's really nice to have a website where there is a baby signs category so I don't have to muddle through to try to find the ones I want!!! It was really helpful.

Nazek - posted on 04/25/2010

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I feel so illiterate this is the 1st time I hear about it. Thanks a lot. am gonna do some investigations about it .. and will definitely try it immediately.

Stephanie - posted on 04/25/2010

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my son is 2 and a half and signign was one of the best things i did with my son at a young age. by the time they start walking they are getting to know what they want but cant speak it yet and by using their hands they can tell you... this relieves alot of frustration for both of you ... i found meal time was effected the most because my son would never eat and i would get very frustrated with it, then he would get frustrated because i was frustrated so when he learned to sign eat, drink and all done we were both happier because we were understanding each other. he still uses his signs when i remind him to but now that he can talk it isnt as needed so it is something i have to remind him to practice but i would recommend it to everyone

Sandy - posted on 04/24/2010

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I've been showing signs to my 5m old since birth. Haven't seen her sign back yet. She seems to have her own way to signal milk and toilet. For milk, she'd smack her lips and look at my breasts. For toilet, she'd raise both her legs up, that's how I hold her over the potty. She couldn't do this while on her stomach, so she'll usually wet her diaper and protests by sounding her irritation "mmm!".

Tiffany - posted on 04/24/2010

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I'm a deaf mom for my hearing daughter. I'm teaching her basic signs for now to start with and she hasn't learn any sign yet but am encouraging her until she finally gets it. I also do hand on hand with her to help her to sign to understand the picture that i'm showing her. She also have the dvds from www.signingtime.com most kids love those dvd because of the music. I know there are many different ways to use.. My daughter is 5 months old and it varies on babies when they finally sign and understood Good Luck teaching sign language. :)

Ashley - posted on 04/24/2010

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i did it with my son he is now 3 but at the time i started it he was about 8 months...but i have heard that you can start it as soon as they are 1 month i have also started it with my 4 month old she doesnt understand yet but she will get it, its all about repetition so dont get discouraged if it doesnt work the fisrt week :) i just went into chapters and found a book there

[deleted account]

I taught my first at somewhere between 6-12 months. It was really good. We just taught him basics as he talked early and pretty soon he didn't need to sign. He's 3 years old now and still remembers the signs.

My second baby is 5 months old. I probably won't start teaching him for a few months but I see no harm in starting early - you'd just have to wait longer to see results.

We have friends who taught their son sign language quite intensively and now at 3 he has some speech issues. It may be he would have had them anyway and the signs helped him communicate.

I just skim read a book about it and just taught the basic signs for food, more, etc. Our son developed his own sign for "done" when he was eating. It's a simple process of modelling the signs for your baby and encouraging them when they start doing them. You you can make up your own signs if you want as long as you keep them simple enough for a little one to do.

Delora - posted on 04/23/2010

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I taught a few signs to my son (now 2 years old) and it cut out a lot of frustration that toddlers normally have because they don't have the words to express themselves. I used a lot of functional signs like eat, drink, hug, outside, help and please. I do plan to teach my daughter. Around this age you won't see them do it much, but when they get a little closer to a year, it pays off because they will start to sign. I didn't formally teach. Whenever he would sit in the high chair I would say eat while doing the sign and then feed him. I would also ask, "Do you want to eat?" (while doing the sign). I knew he wouldn't answer back at the time, but I wanted him to associate the sign with getting something to eat. Good luck. :)

Lizz - posted on 04/23/2010

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Sofia knows how to sign for milk and she is about to be 5 months.
But I am going to teach her more soon. =)

[deleted account]

I use the My First Signs baby signing book illustrated by Annie Kubler. I read it with my son and do the action the represent it. Wish my other half would do it too but he keeps forgetting :D

Julia - posted on 04/22/2010

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wow it seems 9 months is the age you start seeing the signs (like I mentioned I havent done any classes on it.) It makes me feel a little better because Reid is almost six months and he gets really excited(like rooting and trying to get closer) when I do the milk sign before he eats....but no motion to use them. I thought maybe there was a trick to teaching them and I was going to have to get more than just a book. My friend's kid must have been advanced...or something...because I saw him use the two signs when he was 6 months...

[deleted account]

The Baby Signing Time DVDs were recommended to us by another mom at the library. We've been using that and basic signs with our 5 month old son for a couple of months now. The mom who recommended it said they had been using the DVD with their daughter for 9 months or so before the daughter did any of the signs spontaneously, but it was helpful once she started signing. And all the parents I've talked to who use sign language with their kids says it is a huge help when dealing with frustrated babies.

Sarah - posted on 04/22/2010

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My best friend, who teaches deaf education, recommended this site for me and my daugher and uses it with her son. I don't know what is a good age to start though.

http://lifeprint.com/

Amanda - posted on 04/21/2010

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Thanks so much for the help! I will check into the library books and the flashcards! I am so excited to start!

Jeanette - posted on 04/21/2010

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I used baby sign language with my 4yr old and it was so easy! I dont remember the book, but it said to start with a max of 5 signs and when baby starts using them then you can add more. I did milk (we use it for her bottle), cup, eat, more, all done, and then added please and thank you. We didnt have terrible twos because she could communicate what she wanted and now she is more articulate than half her preschool class. I just started with my 5mo old along side the spoon practice. The trick is using it all the time, just like words, and then helping baby to do the basics of the signs. There is TONS of info available but dont get bogged down in it. just pick a few, start doing them and your off and running! Good luck!

Katie - posted on 04/21/2010

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I bought baby signs and am going to start with my 5 month old son. Several moms I know have done it with great results and my mom is a speech language pathologist and feels it is a great way for babies to communicate bc their receptive language develops before their expressive language does.

[deleted account]

By little girl is now 5 months old. We've started with a few basic signs such as mommy, daddy, eat, more, done, milk, dog, cat, bird, rabbit, turtle, car, bath, help, etc. During a session on it, we were told that they will not respond at such an early age, but by about 9 -10 months old, they will suddenly start signing back to you. They pick up on it now even though they are not showing it. You can also sign up at www.babysigns.com to get a new sign a week.

Julia - posted on 04/21/2010

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I have been using signs with my baby (who is 5 months) since he was a couple months old (just a very few...milk and more...and a couple others) I didn't go to a class or anything so I have no idea if I am doing it "right" but we have some really good friends who taught their sons sign (they went to a class with the first one when he was young) and it helped a bunch! He was signing for "milk" and "all done" by the time he was 6 months. By the time he was nine months he was using please and thank you and different animals like bird and dog. He didn't throw the usual tantrums because he knew how to ask. I would definitely recommend teaching him ...for one reason what will it hurt? even if he doesn't pick it up in time to be helpful you are still teaching him another language and many studies have shown that alone (even just the beginnings) can help with their abilities to process and learn different languages in the future. (I am a linguist and an elementary teacher) GOOD LUCK!

Brandy - posted on 04/20/2010

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I did sign language with my daughter (now almost 4) too. We didn't do A LOT of them just milk, more, cookie, please, thank you, and I think that was about it. I am huge in being polite so we wanted her to learn at an early age.

Jenny - posted on 04/16/2010

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I love teaching signs! I taught my daughter sign language when she was a baby and have started it again with my one year old son. One of the books I used a lot was Baby Signs by Garcia (Can't remember first name:( The most important thing you can do at this age is to just keep showing your little guy the signs while saying the words when you're doing the action. For example, when your giving him his milk, show him the sign for it. Or if he's all done with something, teach him "all done". You most likely won't see him repeating them till 9/10 months but they are taking it in the whole time. We would be showing my daughter certain signs for months and then all of sudden she would just do them one day when she needed them. By a year, I'd say she did 6 signs regularly. The ones she used the most were: all done, more, milk, drink, help, please, thank you. We mostly did the signs the way they showed them in the book, but you can make up your own. It really doesn't matter as long as you understand what their sign means.

It was a great way to communicate, especially in that 12-18 month range when they're smart enough to understand but vocally unable to say the words yet. We had very few frustration temper tantrums at that age because she could tell us what she wanted. The big one was help which I taught her to sign when she needed help with anything..a toy, an action, etc... I recommend it to anyone who wants to have that communication at an early age (plus it does seem to set them up to verbally be stronger too.) My daughter had a huge vocabulary at an early age, always the talker, and I believe the signing had something to do with it.

I should say though that my son, who's one, has not picked it up as fast as she did. He currently only does a couple of signs with the main one being "all done". He's just not as interested as she was. Too busy crawling off somewhere to pay attention. Hope this helped!

Let me know if you have any specific questions. I'd be happy to answer them:)

Elizabeth - posted on 04/16/2010

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I gotten a few books but haven't started yet :) I'd be interested in any info too

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