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Do any of you sign with your babies?

[deleted account] ( 61 moms have responded )

My daughter is 11 months old and we enjoy learning America Sign Language together. She knows over 10 signs now and speaks 5 words. She is now stringing together two-word sentences! It's so much fun and such a rewarding experience to be able to communicate with my daughter much more and has cut down on her crying tremendously! She is able to tell me what she wants instead of crying until I can figure it out. =)

Anybody else enjoying ASL with their little one?

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[deleted account]

A lot of people seem to be a little confused about something we call "sign approximation". This is when your baby is watching you sign and first attempts to sign back. It wont be perfect right away. Just like when your baby is learning to speak; the first time they say a word, you may have no idea what they are trying to tell you or you may think they are just babbling. It's the same with the first time they use a sign; it may not be recognizable or you may just think they aren't aware that they're waving their hands.

My daughter doesn't do all her signs perfectly, in fact she only does a couple perfectly but the more I praise her and sign back to her correctly the better her hand formations get! Like when she signs duck, it's supposed to be signed like a quacking duck beak at the mouth but she stretches her arm out and signs it at the duck. I know what she means because she does this all the time so I tell her, "good girl! That's right, it's a duck!" and I sign back to her correctly at the mouth.

Here's a great page that can help a little with watching for signs of sign approximation:
http://www.baby-sign-language-academy.co...

[deleted account]

Sure! There are lots of resources online if you search "baby sign language" but I'd be happy to help any way I can! Message me anytime with questions!
This is also a good site to start with - http://www.babies-and-sign-language.com/

With my daughter, I started with a few signs like "eat", "milk", "more", and "all done". Those are great to start with because at your son's age, eating is something he is very interested in. It's good to start with things that interest your child because they will learn those signs the fastest and be able to communicate sooner about what they like or want!

If you are consistent and persistent, your son will start to sign back to you somewhere around 2 weeks-1 month. After he learns his first sign, he will start learning other signs much more quickly. When he signs back to you for the first time, it's SO exciting like his first word!

I like watching videos on youtube by SmartHandsCA. She has hundreds of short videos in which you can watch the sign made correctly and then watch her baby daughter make the sign. You can pretty much search youtube for any word and ASL like "ASL duck" and you can see how the sign is made.

Good luck and have fun!! =)

English - posted on 10/28/2010

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Yes! My mother in law is hard of hearing and is part of the Deaf community so that was a starter, but I'm also a music therapist and we've seen the advantages in sessions. Since speech is a fine motor skill and signing is also motor, the signing helps to make the neural connections in the brain which make it easier to learn speech. So it's good to pair them together. Also, they have the ability to sign before they can form a lot of words in speech so you could communicate with your baby/tot much earlier than you would if you didn't do it.
2nd born children have an advantage because they get the modeling from another child and may pick up on it much more quickly. My friends second child paired two signs together at 14 months (which my first didn't do until 18 months). He told me "help train". I knew exactly what he wanted otherwise I would not have had a clue why he was making frustrating sounds.

Jenny - posted on 10/27/2010

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We have signed with our 19 month old since she was about 8 months old. We expected to just teach a few signs but she exploded with signs around her birthday! She loves signing and learning new signs! We started with the Baby Sign Language for Dummies book and then used the Baby Signing Time Videos that we checked out from the library. We didn't just plunk her in front of the TV, though; we sat together and repeated all the signs and helped her move her little hands. It would be only a few minutes a day and now we've lost track at 200-something signs :)

I love hearing that other parents are singing with their kids, it is SO fun and the confidence it gives kids when they know they're being listened to is priceless!

For you mamas out there worried your kid is too young/too old-- just start working on it! I've heard of parents starting the day their kid is born or as late as their 1st birthday and still getting great results and bonding!

Lauren - posted on 10/27/2010

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i studied ASL through high school and college and always found it to be such a beautiful language. When my brother and his wife were pregnant I got them hooked on the Baby Sign Time which they've used with both their children and she now uses in her daycare!! my daughter is now 3 months old and i absolutely can not wait to start. When i talk to her i try to use sign so she gets used to seeing it, and at times i'll move her hands (mostly when i say "all done" after she finishes a bottle)

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Alisha - posted on 11/06/2010

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That's awesome! I didn't sign much with my daughter when she was a baby b/c I didn't know any, but at daycare we taught the babies/1 year olds and it was great!

Carolyn - posted on 11/02/2010

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We started when Jake was about 8 months and he picked it up around 11 months also - I love it!

[deleted account]

It's so great when they can tell you things like that and without signing they would just cry or get frustrated!
Yesterday my daughter was crawling around the house with a frown on her face looking behind doors and looking in every room. Finally she came up to me and with her frown signed "Dada"! Lol he had just gone into the bathroom while she was in the kitchen and didn't see him! She was so upset that she couldn't find him and I'm glad she was able to tell me. It was really cute and really offers an amazing inside look at their thinking process which is so cool! =)

Jennifer - posted on 10/28/2010

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I sign the alphabet with both of my children. I also do it for other babies when they are around me. It's interesting to watch babies when they first start to try to copy me.

Lindsey - posted on 10/27/2010

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We sign and I feel it has eased communication frustration when he needs something. And he is a little chatterbox! Hasn't been detrimental to his speech development at all, as some initially suspected. I personally think it has helped him develop words. :) It's a great idea and I plan to do it with future little ones!

Lindsay - posted on 10/27/2010

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Yes! My daughter is now 18 months and is talking a blue streak, and seems to be dropping the signing now, but she had over 50 words and still uses some of them. It's an awesome experience being able to communicate with your child before they can talk! I will teach the next baby sign as well! :)

[deleted account]

Laura- That's a great age to start! It's never too late since it is a second language! It will help him learn to communicate words he can't say yet.

You can sign with him when you are home with him but you can also talk to the daycare and tell them what you are trying to do. You can show them a couple of the signs that you're working on with him and ask that they praise him when he uses them. Chances are, there might be another kid that also uses ASL or they might think it's really cool and be excited about it. At the very least, they will see it as helpful because they know what he wants.

It wont confuse him if they don't sign with him, though. It's just like if you spoke to your son in English at home and he went somewhere and tried to speak to someone in English who didn't understand it. As long as you acknowledge and praise his attempts to sign when you are with him, he will learn them just fine!

Good luck!

Jill - posted on 10/27/2010

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laura, my daughter goes to school during the week. I work with her in the evenings and on weekends. Matter of fact she uses her signs at school. They are trying to help as well. My daughter is almost 20 months old

Katie - posted on 10/27/2010

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My son is 11 months old and I"m going to start signing with him. I think it's so helpful!

Laura - posted on 10/27/2010

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I have a coupe questions about this....

What if you have a child in daycare? Can they still learn it with just me over the weekends?

Also, my son is a year old now. Is that too late?

Thanks!

[deleted account]

Jill, that's great! We really haven't started on "feeling" signs yet. We do "hurt/pain" but I don't have much opportunity to sign that one to her other than the 5 little monkeys nursery rhyme. I sign "hurt" on my forehead when I say "bumped his head". I think pain is such an important sign!
Our 2 day ASL teacher told us about a woman who was teaching her daughter sign language and the little girl kept signing "pain" at her ear. The woman took her daughter to the doctor and the doctor told her there was nothing wrong with her ears and not to worry about it but she kept signing "pain" at her ear. The woman took her daughter back to the doctor and demanded further tests. The tests showed 90% fluid and 35% hearing loss and if it had gone unnoticed any longer, she would have been deaf in that ear! The sign language saved her hearing! =)

Jill - posted on 10/26/2010

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My daughter has been signing a few words. I am working in a classroom that does signing so I am trying to teach her some as well. She is almost 20 months old. On Sunday she said momma more milk. She signed more and milk.



She is also trying please and thank you and I Love You

[deleted account]

I didn't buy any books or programs, they are not really necessary. If you have access to a library, they might have some good stuff to look at and look out in your local paper or ask your pediatricians office if there are any baby sign language classes. There are lots of good resources online and honestly, the books I got from the library were very hard for me to learn from because you can't see the sign in action. Try doing a search on youtube for the signs you want to learn, like "ASL Milk" or "ASL eat". Look for a video from the account"SmartHandsCA" which are really easy to follow! You don't have to do anything special to start. It's just like the way you talk to your daughter even though you know she doesn't understand everything you say. Just do the sign while you say the word and she will learn to connect the two!

Good luck!

Amy - posted on 10/26/2010

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I'm very interested in doing that with my daughter. Did you buy a book or a dvd to help learn? I've seen so many different kits out there to help teach your baby sign language, but wasn't sure which one to get. Any suggestions?

Krystle - posted on 10/26/2010

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I started signing with my son at 6 months, and I knew early on that he understood the signs, but he felt no need to sign back until he was 14 months!

Now he just turned 16 m, and signs "more", "milk", and "all done". :)

Rebecca - posted on 10/26/2010

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I learned ASL in my senior year of high school, though I've gotten kind of rusty, so I'd like my daughter to learn it, and I'm using teaching her as a sort of refresher for myself! It's great that she'll know it, because we live within a few miles of a Deaf Community.

Rebecca - posted on 10/26/2010

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I'm trying, but at 10mo, I'm seeing almost no progress. She just moves her hands when she wants me to sing "Eensy, Weensy Spider."

Ashley - posted on 10/25/2010

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my son is 2 and not talking we are working n sign language with him he love it

Melina - posted on 10/25/2010

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In London there is a FREE class that you can take that teaches this to you. and the in-laws that are ignorant (meaning not knowing) to this should attend and ask the early years center their questions. This way the questions are not on you. I have 2 girls that are sick and the sign really helped us and the Dr's in the hospital. In one case it was a life saver. I feel that this is really important.

Jessa - posted on 10/25/2010

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We sign with our kids and have always loved it. It is so precious to see a baby's adaptation of the sign as they first begin to learn. My youngest, now just 1 yr old, knows quite a few signs, but is extremely picky about using them as he prefers to just point to things. He has been quite a bit more stubborn with his words than any of our other children. The lil turkey even said Mama 3 times when he was 8 months then stopped talking all together, such a stinker!!

[deleted account]

I love your enthusiasm! =) I am really passionate about it also and I'm planning to keep going with it as a second language also! I had a LOT of naysayers in the beginning, the rest just didn't understand. "Why would you teach her sign language? Is she not hearing well? Is there something wrong with her?". I originally was afraid of teaching her ASL because I thought it might delay her language and most of my family was in agreement. It's sad how misinformed people can be! My cousins taught their son sign language (I only ever saw him do "more" but I'm sure they did other words) and he didn't speak his first words until he was about 2 years old! The real reasons were that he had some complications when he was born and the doctor said it set him back 6 months to a year in development but I thought for sure it was the sign language, then I heard something somewhere that confirmed my misconception and that was it, I would never do that to my daughter!

Well when she was about 7-8 months old, I heard about it again and did my homework for real this time and found out that it actually improves speech development, vocabulary, grammar, fine motor skills, dexterity, and cuts way down on frustration and crying! I started reading touching stories about children signing in whole sentences and whole thoughts to their parents before they could ever be able to share those things with words. I wanted THAT for my daughter! lol

Then I started thinking about how sometimes I meet deaf people and I have always loved watching them sign to each other. I wished I could communicate with them in their own language! In addition, ASL has such a rich culture and history (as does any language) and I wanted my daughter and I to be a part of it! I learned to fingerspell in elementary school from a friend who is hearing but has deaf parents. She works as an interpreter and has so many more career and life opportunities because of her second language. I definitely want to give my daughter as many opportunities in her life as I can!!

Anyway, thanks for sharing also! I tried to find you on facebook but it not come up with any results by your name or email =(
My profile is private but you can look it up my my email - dariseywolf@gmail.com
I look forward to talking more with you! =)

DandieLion - posted on 10/25/2010

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Thank you Melina for sharing that with me. I'm so glad to read about other Mommies using sign with their infants and even in their later years. My in-laws actually have given me a REALY hard time about it and think he won't want to speak because of it and they think I'm delaying his speech! Can you believe it!? I ignore them. I know what I'm doing is smart and logical and feels good in my heart. My son actually loves to use speech AND sign.

Melina - posted on 10/25/2010

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Yes I signed with both of my kids and now even when we are somewhere and they are across the room they will still use sign instead of yelling.

DandieLion - posted on 10/25/2010

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I just wanted to say to some Mommies out there that even though your baby might not sign BACK right away she/he UNDERSTANDS what you are signing to him/her. Eventually he/she will sign back. I've noticed with my son when he signs to me some of his signs are exactly what the sign is supposed to look like and some of the signs are little versions of his own that look similar to that sign. Sometimes I have to see what he is pointing at or his facial expressions to figure out what sign he is using. It is only because at his age his fine motor skills are still developing. Through sign my son can communicate with me and I know he appreciates it. I'm going to keep using sign as he grows up because I believe it will help him express his feelings with me later on. PS. It also makes your baby's brain O SO MUCH SMARTER :) it IS a SECOND language you know.

DandieLion - posted on 10/25/2010

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Hello Brittany! I was just about to post an article asking the same thing!!! I am SO excited you sign with your daughter. My son is just about 15 months. I've been signing with him since he was 6 months. He can sign 38 words and speak 7 or so words. I would love to talk more about this with you. Do you visit any parks around Anacortes? I've actually come across "nay sayers" since I've been teaching my son ASL. Wierd huh. I thought I would find more people into it. Just in my area though. I know if I lived some where like Bellingham or Seattle I would run across WAY more people teaching their babies ASL. My email is dandielion81@gmail.com. You can also find me on facebook under Sarah Lou Da Mamma. Lets chat!

Chelsea - posted on 10/24/2010

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I wish! My daughter would/will watch and take it in, but will NOT use her signs. She finds her own way of telling us what she wants. Which I enjoy, because that means she is learning and problem solving...but it would have helped had she learned to sign back to me, not just respond to what I signed at her through the last few months. Now she is walking and talking, telling us in the ways she knows how (which somehow we've come to understand)

Stephanie - posted on 10/24/2010

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I dont sign with my 12 month old but am really wanting to start!!!!! i have heard that it actually helps them more in the long run and the younger they are the easier it is to learn something new. thats why i hated spanish my SENIOR year! lol

Shanna - posted on 10/24/2010

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My little one is 6 months and I am starting to teach her ASL. I work with Deaf and Hard of Hearing students daily so it is a huge part of my day. I think it is a great thing for a child to learn. Mine just looks and laughs and flaps her hands at me now but it is still so much fun! Thats awesome that you take the time to do that!

[deleted account]

Wow, that's great!
My daughter also started signing more by touching her index finger to her opposite palm, I have no idea why but now she does it with both hands touching with the flat O handshape.
I love all these responses! =)

Ashley - posted on 10/23/2010

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daughter is also 11 months old & she has LOVED watching the baby signing time videos since she was a newborn--mostly i think she enjoys the songs, but hey its educational--the only she has really picked up on r 'more'--but she does it her pointer finger to her palm (just the way she picked it up i guess) & 'All Done'...these 2 r especially helpful with meals so i know when she is full:) i think its fun! she says Mom, Baby, Ow, & Dadda, kinda says kitty a little bit, n sort of thank you but its more of a Ankyou--its cute:)

Dawn - posted on 10/23/2010

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I signed with my son from day one no matter what we did I signed to him. Now he does it back and understand things with out me yelling at him.

Brittany - posted on 10/22/2010

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Yes!!!! I decided to this a couple of months ago, but didn't know there were other moms doing this. I have since found several articles on it.
I have signed since I was a child, and I tought it would be good for my son. He is 6 months right now. He already does the sign for clapping (we don't do a regular clap, but the actual sign) when he is proud of himself for an accomplisment----I've been doing that for a while now----or when he gets excited. I am looking forward to seeing more as time goes.
It really is great to see so many other people doing this. I hope it is something you consider continuing as they get older. There is a large deaf community that would benefit from more people knowing how to communicate with them!

Tana - posted on 10/22/2010

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we sign simple words like "eat" &"cup". we havent gotten totally into it, but words like those made thing very easy with my older children so we have continued it with our youngest who just turned 1.

Tara - posted on 10/22/2010

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We just started a Baby Sign Language class last week. I also got a video for them, which they love. My twin 10 month olds are having a blast at class. They haven't caught onto anything yet, but we just started! They both already say Mama and Dada! I am really looking forward to seeing them learn some signs!

Samantha - posted on 10/22/2010

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I just begun to do some sign with boys, to help with their communicating. So far they are both really enjoying it.

Tasha - posted on 10/22/2010

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i used to sign all the time with my twins....i love signing, i have been signing for 12 yrs and interpreting for 4. the twins know quite a few signs but i really need to get back on the ball with it....but to answer your question yes i do!

[deleted account]

Alex, that is so awesome! That's exactly what I hope for when my husband and I have #2 in the future. What a great way to start off sibling bonding =)

Heather, that's wonderful too! How old is your little one?

Lady Heather - posted on 10/21/2010

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We started in the summer and she is now looooving it. I've seen a big improvement in her verbal skills too.

Alex - posted on 10/21/2010

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we did w/ our 1st (2.5yrs now)and he is now helping us teach our second (7 months). it worked wonders the first time around and i cant believe how much he remembers and is trying to teach his brother. It also gives our oldest something he can do w/ his brother that they will not get hurt w/(he forgets his brother cant play like him). Its great to watch them interact w/ eachother and learn together.

Kelly - posted on 10/21/2010

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We plan on signing once our LO gets a little older. I love all the great feedback everyone is giving! Very encouraging, We sign "I love you" right now, but of course he really isn't understanding it yet. Cute story though- our son has a 6 yr old cousin who is just in love with him, and always wants to hold him and "teach" him things. Well he signs I love you to him like we taught him, and the other day he comes up to me and asks, "Aunt Kelly, how do I sign your going to be like me"? Too cute! I guess he figures the baby knows all sign language?!

Brenda - posted on 10/21/2010

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ive wanted to do that with my son is 10 months to late to start? do you have any web sites, books , dvds you would suggest ?

Marjolaine - posted on 10/20/2010

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yes my son is 8 mons old now and im pretty sure he is trying to sign but were not too sure yet when hes really excited about something its like hes trying to fly esspecially when we do the sign for bottle/ milk hell go nuts and squeal its so cute we watch the baby einstein first signs and he loves it weve been incoroprating it into our every day life and i do believe he understands it but just trying to do it now is the hard part...

Sarh - posted on 10/20/2010

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Amber, my daughter did the same thing to get out of her high chair and also has a high vocabulary. Congrats to you and your daughter!!
I also forgot to mention that my daughter and I used Sign with me baby!
Here is the link for that.
http://sign2me.com/
I was very grateful for teaching my daughter baby sign language because she had chronic ear infections and at about 8 months old when I took her to an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor) she had a hearing test done and the dr said she head as if you had a pile of pillows over your ears! :( Even now at 4.5yrs old I know when she has an ear infection because she starts to do the simple signs.
Good luck to everyone and their children!! :)

Amber - posted on 10/20/2010

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You can also buy books at walmart and the public library is also a great resource. My daughters first signing book was purchased at walmart called babys first signs. When I went and checked at the library the first time I was overwhelmed with the amount of signing books I found. Now she likes to sit and look at her first book and read it and go through the signs...Shes two and has been signing since 9 months. She now has a very extensive vocabulary her first was all done because she knew it would get her out of her high chair :D

Sarh - posted on 10/20/2010

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Krista, here is a link to a web site I find to be helpful on this topic. This web site along w/other places i have looked suggests about 6 months old for most babies! I believe that is about when I started signing w/my daughter, that was a long time ago (ok, only 4 yrs ago, but still a while ago).
http://www.babies-and-sign-language.com/...

Krista - posted on 10/20/2010

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this was so encouraging i want to sign with my baby to at about what age is it good to start teaching them?

Sarh - posted on 10/20/2010

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I did this w/my daughter and yes it is a life savor!! My son is 4 months old and I plan to start soon! I like to hear that other moms are also doing this! :)

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