C.G. asks from Rio Rancho, NM on November 10, 2006
Baby Sign Language? - Rio Rancho,NM
I was wondering if anyone had some information on baby sign language. I understand it is a good way for children to learn to communicate and express themselves before they are old enough to talk. Does anyone do this with great success? How old can you start to teach your baby to sign? Are there any good books where I can learn more (because I hardly know any sign language myself)? Does anyone have any tips or techniques?
1 mom found this helpful
L.G. answers from Denver on December 01, 2006
J.M. answers from Fort Collins on November 13, 2006
I have a 5 month old and am attempting to teach her sign. I also babysit a 3 yr old and he knows colors in sign plus a few other signs but I use www.mybabycantalk.com it works for me right now until I can pick up some books.
C.L. answers from Albuquerque on November 10, 2006
We used a few basic words with our kids when they were younger. We started them at around 4-5 months. We would say the word as we were signing it. It definitely comes in handy when they aren't able to talk yet. We started off with please, thank you, more, eat, drink, yes, and no. As they got older, we added a few other words like stop, come here, and sit down. Every once in a while, I find myself still using it. (i.e. We were at a friends house and my 5 year old was a cross the room from me. He was touching something he shouldn't have. I called his name and signed 'no' and 'come here' when he looked at me. I then told him he's not to be touching other people's stuff.) It comes in handy when you're in public and don't want to yell across the room. ;o) We haven't learned any new words, but my older 2 have voiced a desire to learn the full language and maybe be an interpreter when they're older. You can find the basics online. Good luck and have fun with it. :o)
C.G. answers from Flagstaff on November 11, 2006
Hi. When my older son was two we started using sign language with him because he had speech delay. His little brother that was 6 months old started using signs before he was a year old, it was the cutest thing ever. (not to mention he could communicate earlier than most his peers)He also started talking around 1, so it didn't interfere with his speech either. A GREAT website is www.aslpro.com
A.J. answers from Tucson on November 10, 2006
When we moved to Albuquerque our new neighbor had a 1 year old whom they had taught some basic signs. I thought it was cute but really unnecessary and wondered how it effected her speech. A year later we were in the middle of an adoption and while browsing the baby books I came across some books on signing with your baby. I read about how it helps with their speech especially if while you are signing you say the words. I sort of took the cheap way out and looked words up online and when my son was about 5 or 6 months old we started with the basic manners, please and more. After he mastered those we learned thank you and a few others. He picked them up rather fast and has been using them on a regular basis. People have always commented on how cute he was and when they ask him if he would like more he always replies please and once given whatever it is he signs thank you. A lot of the ALS words are almost the same gesture so we have made a few words (signes) of our own up like drink. So if you have the time I say go for it! It really does make things easier and to be honest its nice to not have him whine all the time because he wants something that he cant either point or say the word for!
G.A. answers from Phoenix on November 13, 2006
I personally havent tought my children to sign, but have been thinking about it. My sister-in-law has a daughter who just turned a year old, not too long ago and has tought her to sign...she signs better than she speaks! I think it is a good thing to teach children, its a great think to know. I have a cousin who is deaf and of course not using signing everyday I have forgotten most, but it is a good thing, I think more parents should teach their children. I would check the library for books or even local bookstores.
C. answers from Denver on November 11, 2006
I've been using sign language cards by publishers of Parenting magazine. There are 50 commonly used words for baby...sleep, I love you, more, done, hurt, don't like, mommy, daddy, etc. I started using a few simple signs when my daughter was around 5 months old. She now uses about 10 signs and would probably use more if I was better at learning new ones. Your daughter may not seem to be catching on at first, but be patient and consistent with using the sign every time you say the word. She'll surprise you one day!
L.G. answers from Denver on December 01, 2006
I will be sitting for a familly that uses baby sign language. So I am in the process of learning it myself! My kids are really enjoying learning it too! That My baby can talk web sight is great, it has a video section that shows you some of the signs.
A. answers from Phoenix on November 10, 2006
I really found the book "Baby Sign Language Basics, Early Communication for Hearing Babies and Toddlers" by Monta Z. Briant to be helpful. It is nice because it is almost like a baby sign dictionary. It also gives some ideas about how and when to start signing with your baby. Also, check out the website www.mybabycantalk.com. It has a dictionary of signs on there. I really enjoyed teaching my son sign and I plan to do it with my next child as well.
T.N. answers from Phoenix on November 12, 2006
THe only advice I would add to the others, is something I read in my book "Baby Signs". And that is to make sure you incorporate "highly motivating" signs to the signs you teach your baby, instead of only doing the signs you want her to know. So I started with doing about 10 signs total so as not to overwhelm my son. I did half objects my son loved to do, like ball, rock, keys, and the other half were ones I wanted him to be able to communicate like milk, more, eat. He did his first sign at 7 months and now has MANY signs (18 months old) in addition to a few words.
It really helps because his words duck, truck, cracker, and yucky all sound alike when he says them, so if I ask him to show me with his hands, it really helps clarify. "Oh! You want to eat a cracker!" and he gets one. It has taken so much frustration out of our communication. If he gets mad or whines I tell to "tell me nicely" and he immediately signs what he wants or what is troubling him. It's great because he has learned that he gets results when he communicates nicely wiht his hands and words, and not when he hits or whines. If we didn't have signs, I'd have to guess what he wanted when he cries and we would both be frustrated. Plus it's cute! and my extended family knows the basic signs (I look them up in my book or online when I need a new one) and can watch him and know when he's hungry, wants his blanket, hears an airplane etc. The "highly motivating" signs are fun for him, and he uses them constantly and learns them instantly after me showing him one time now that he's older. He loves to tell me about the truck or the airplane we see. And he can tell me if he wants to "jump" on the trampoline or go on a walk. It's fun! The book I have is full of fun activities to do with signs to help make it fun and bonding for both of you.