Baby Signing

Shannon - posted on 07/31/2010 ( 19 moms have responded )

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Hi, I have recently found out about baby signing and wished I found out about it sooner. My daughter is 20 months so she is starting to say a few words but not many. We think she will pick up the baby sign language to help her communicate a little bit more without being frustrated. We are trying a class this week. Does anybody use this?

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Jeanine - posted on 08/08/2010

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I highly recommend the Baby Einsteins My First Signs video! It was so helpful to us! My DD is a late talker too...just babbling and starting to say a few words now at 21 months...the signing has alleviated a lot of communication issues. She knows what I am saying but is still struggling to speak English :-)

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Melinda - posted on 08/16/2010

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We sign with our daughter and although she didn't sign back right away-she was 6 months when we started, it's quite helpful now even. We started with 'all done' and 'more' at meal times-super helpful! Then added more words. Now that she's almost 2 and starting to talk more, it's nice to have her signing so we know what she's really trying to say. All of her b words sound the same, but with the sign she doesn't get frustrated and we know what she's trying to say.

She definitely picked up more words at a quicker pace when she was a little bit bigger. It's totally worth trying!!

Clare - posted on 08/16/2010

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I have used this with my son from very early on. It has relly helped with his communication - we knew what he wanted long before he was able to speak the words properly! It encouraged him to communicate and speak because it taught him the basics of how communication works. He 'tells' us something and we will respond and less stressful for all of us than just crying with us guessing til we got it right. There is only one thing to remember with signing and that is that people only worry about using sign incase the child decides not to speak and ONLY uses sign so holds them back. this will not happen if you yourself ALWAYS speak when you sign to them, so they see that the sound and sign go together. They should follow naturally in time to do the same :) as my son was so young when we started obviously he wasn't able to speak properly - any sound is better than non and is to be praised. In time those sounds will turn into words :) strongly recommend sign. Its fun, fab and relief for both yourself and your child. Do stick with it, i started to worry it was holding my son back even though i already knew a lot about sign and that he would pick it up - i hadn't been a mum before and paniced! I stopped using it for a short while and my son stopped trying to communicate at all!! As soon as i started it again he picked straight back up and found it exciting. Great stuff!! Should never have doubted myself! Good luck and enjoy! xx

Alexandra - posted on 08/14/2010

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buy the baby signing time dvds. your baby will love them and she will repeat the signs she sees and the words she hears.

Anne - posted on 08/14/2010

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I've been trying siging with freddie since he was about 7 months and he is now 21months and has jsut started signing grandad, eat, milk and bed. its great he doesnt get as fustrated anymore x

Karen - posted on 08/12/2010

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I started to sign with my baby around 3-4 months, she started to sign back at about 8 months. I was so excited. We kept teaching her signs as fast as she could learn them (I used signsavvy.com and mysmarthands.com for videos of the signs). Now she probably knows about 100 signs (including all the letters, numbers up to 20, and lots of colours and animals). She often signs and says words at the same time. Or if she says a word and I don't understand her then she'll sign the word to clarify. Most of the time she signs for fun (like signing all of the animals on the page in the book she's looking at) or she signs for emphasis or when she's so upset that she can't talk (more milk!!). Also, we sign when we can't/or don't want to talk (when she's playing a little away from me and I don't want to yell etc). Her dad and I now sign behind her back when we don't want her to know what we're talking about (kinda like spelling the word (time for b-e-d) except faster)
People are always telling me how well and how much she speaks for her age. I don't know if this is related to signing - but my guess is it probably is related. I thinking signing is super great and gives kids a big head start in communicating their interests/needs.

Becx - posted on 08/11/2010

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The thing with baby signing is they can actually learn to speak earlier as you are always saying the word as they sign it.

I have been a nanny for 10 year and used sign with all the babies Ive looked after and now I do the same with my son.
It really helps that he can understand us and we, him.

Jennifer - posted on 08/11/2010

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I knew about it early on and tried using about 3 to 5 signs regularly. My daughter had no interest and I didn't think she ever would. She is now 20 months and just started using the "eat" sign whenever she is hungry. Now I am working on the "all done" sign which she likes to mimic but hasn't used on her own yet. I am excited at the prospects of what she may want to sign now. Even if she only wants to do a couple, it is nice to have that communication!

Megan - posted on 08/11/2010

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WOW! didn't know there was a class. wish we had one around here. I've heard nothing but good about baby signing. I have worked w/ my son w/ some basics and he has picked them up well. i don't want him to slack in his speech so i encourage him to speak as he signs. I only wish i would have been working harder to do more signs. He is 21 mo. old my daughter is 3wks i hope to teach her as well.
Best of luck to you.

Rae - posted on 08/10/2010

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I started signing with my first child when he was diagnosed with verbal and oral dyspraxia, my second son who is 21mths has picked up most of the basic signs without one to one time.

Andrea - posted on 08/09/2010

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Shannon,

I didn't know there were baby signing classes. Can you tell us where the class is/was you took?

I have two girls, 39 months and 20 months. We started doing baby sign language with the youngest one before she was a year old. It was GREAT. While waiting for her speaking skills to develop, she learned she could still communicate. We started with basic signs such as milk, eat, more, then added 'hurt' (tapping fingers together where it hurt to let us know). Another great sign was 'help' (tapping her hands against her chest - which is a baby sign different than the regular 'help' sign). This helped a lot since, instead of frustration about doing something they simply sign to ask for help. Another great sign to start is 'change.' Imagine your child giving you the sign the he/she needs to be changed.

A book I used to get started with baby signing is 'The Complete Idiot's Guide To Baby Signing.' I highly recommend this book (I found it a Half Price Books). Other baby signing books can be found at the local libraries. Another book I'd recommend is ' Baby Sign Language Basics' by Monta A. Briant.

Our whole family uses sign language with the words and are now adding more and more words. There are videos at most local libraries called 'Signing Time' that are geared toward children (starring Alex, a young boy, his cousin, Leah, a deaf child who was the motivation for the videos, and Hopkins, an animated frog). The videos show the signs, where they are used, an adult doing the signs properly, and lots of kids doing the signs. There are also lots of songs using the signs that are learned. My girls LOVE these videos and learning all the new signs, dancing and songs about as much as they like Barney videos. I highly recommend them.

As for the children gaining from using the baby sign language I recommend doing the baby sign language whole heartedly. My oldest not only was able to express her needs and interests much earlier, it helped as she developed speech that she already knew how to express herself. I think it helped a lot with language development. My youngest I think is way ahead in communication because she mimics and learned the sign language skills from her older sister.

So, even though your child is already 20 months old, I think you will be thrilled with teaching the baby sign language skills as your baby learns to express herself preparing for speech skills.

Hope my thoughts helped.

Amber - posted on 08/08/2010

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i've done the baby signing since i found out i was preg. my daughter does alot of the basic like milk, eat, more, just as an example. she is beginning to talk but i love the signing. it helps me know what she wants when she cant say it and it saves me alot of frustration. go for it, totally worth it and a great way to spend time together!

Dawn - posted on 08/08/2010

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I have been signing with my daughter for over a year and we love it. She understands everything you say and she can communicate without getting frustrated. My mom got me the Baby Sign book and dvd and we went from there. Wish I had done it with my older child. Good luck with it!!

Katrina - posted on 08/08/2010

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I started baby signing with my daughter when she was about 5mths. Her motor skills are exceptional but her speech was a little slow getting started & we were both gettig a tad frustrated trying to communicate. I would heartily recommend it made such a difference & even now at 20mths her speech is coming on a treat but we still sign stuff so don't worry it'll delay things if anything it helps. My partner poo pooed it a bit as a fad but even he has had to eat humble pie & admit mummy knows best as it has helped him understand what our daughter wants. Give it a go & remember, you don't have to use the standard 'signs' we have made up our ow signs & get on just grand. Enjoy ;) x

Debi - posted on 08/05/2010

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My daughter picked up two signs (not sure from where) "please" and "more". They were wonderful before she was speaking and I wish I had gone this route from an early age. Now I am asking her to "say" the words. My only concern in your case would be; is this taking a step back? I hope you have more response to this question...

Maggie - posted on 08/04/2010

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I started signing with my DD when she was about 3 or 4 months. We have about 15 to 20 that she used on a regular basis until her vocabulary exploded about two months ago. Now she would rather talk but it is nice if she is not right next to me she can let me know what she is thinking or what she needs. she also uses it when she is being really shy (she doesn't like to talk if there are strangers around). I didn't bother with the classes though. I just got a book from the library and copied the pages with the signs on them and went from there.

Moni - posted on 08/02/2010

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We started signing with my DD at about 6 months old, now at almost 21 months old she still likes signing and prefers to sign some words rather than say them. I still teach her new signs and sign with her daily. I think it's a great communication tool, and recommend teaching her the proper ASL signs, but I agree with the pp, you need to stick with it in order to get the results. Good luck and have fun!

Clara - posted on 08/02/2010

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My daughter uses about 20 signs now - it is such fun, but you have to stick with it !

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