25 answers

Baby Sign Language - Stoughton,WI

I would love to start my son on some baby sign language. Any good books or suggestions on how to get started with that? - He is 6 months.

Thanks!

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Featured Answers

Baby Signs! We started at 6 months. She didn't really take to it at first but keep at it. My child is 3 now and she knows over 25 signs. She loves it and has fun showing them to me!

What I'm using for my son whose 4 & daughter whose is 9 months is baby see n sign from the library. Also signing time videos or dvds are helpful. Signing time also has books as well. Starting at 6 months is a good age from my studying & he'll start signing back around a year. I hope that helps, if you have questions you can reply back to me.

B. F

My parents are deaf and I wanted to get my children started with sign language right from the get go. A cute video is Baby Wordsworth, part of the Baby Einstein series. It is signs about things around the house. My kids loved it!

More Answers

Check your local public television station. In some areas there is a lady that does a program on baby sign that's really neat. I am sorry I can't remember her name though.

Baby Signs! We started at 6 months. She didn't really take to it at first but keep at it. My child is 3 now and she knows over 25 signs. She loves it and has fun showing them to me!

I did sign language with my son and now I do it with my daycare kids. It works great to keep everyone's frustration down when trying to communicate! The big thing that I would say is if you want to, make up signs that work for you and your kids. It doesn't have to be the "official" sign. For example my son loved bananas but the sign for banana was a little too complicated for his coordination when he was starting out. So I made up the sign of putting his hand in his armpit (inspired by a monkey, silly I know : ) to sign for a banana. The simpler the sign the quicker they pick it up. Then that gives them confidence to learn more new signs!!

J.

We used Signing Time DVD's which are terrific! The lady on there shows you and tells you the sign and then her daughter and her nephew performs to the music and shows the sign to you. They repeat it several times and incorporate other children. My kids were able to stay focused because it is so entertaining. We purchased them on e-bay but here's there website http://www.signingtime.com/

I learned right along and it helps to sign outside of the DVD. My child started the DVD's around 11 months and signed more soon after and between 9/30/05 (1yrs. old) - 10/31/06 (2yrs. old) she knew 57 signs. I logged her progression in Word.

Yay! Teaching your child to sign can be fun and rewarding. I taught our son ASL and I felt like we could have real conversations from the time he was about 13-15 months. So helpful during those frustrating toddler times.

Several of our friends have also wanted to teach their children to sign and have had varying degrees of success. I think it depends partly on the child, but a lot depends on the consistency and repetition of you modeling signs for your child. Videos are great learning tools, but unless your child makes the connection that it's a way to communicate with you, he probably won't attempt to replicate them. Think about how many times they hear us say words before they get the hang of that. Signing is a bit easier for them physically, but does require a lot of repeated demonstration. Don't get frustrated.

I highly HIGHLY recommend the book "Sign with your Baby" by Dr. Joseph Garcia. The first part of the book discusses his studies and methods and gives good advice on how and when to modeling signing for your child. It's a quick read and the latter half of the book shows several signs that are useful for babies/children. I found a few nice board books at an educational store and online, but I also would make signs for things in his favorite books as we read them. Goodnight Moon is great for that, or books of opposites, colors, animals, etc that you already have. Just use an ASL Dictionary or look them up here http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/aslweb/browser.htm

I also want to put in a plug for teaching your child ASL instead of "baby" signs. If you only want to teach your child a couple of words, then it's probably fine. You could make up your own signs without the use of any books and that would work great for those purposes. But if you're going to do it, why not teach him signs that he might build upon and use to communicate with others? Teaching your child sign language has the same learning/developmental benefits as teaching your child any other foreign language. I think if you approach it in that manner you can enrich all your lives and also give your son a building block that he can use in the future.

Check out this website: http://www.lifeprint.com/asl101/pages-layout/concepts.htm
It gives you some basics to start out with. I taught my daughter a few basic words before she started talking and she still uses them. She actually prefers to sign cat than say it. Also when she's done eating she does the "all done" sign.

What I'm using for my son whose 4 & daughter whose is 9 months is baby see n sign from the library. Also signing time videos or dvds are helpful. Signing time also has books as well. Starting at 6 months is a good age from my studying & he'll start signing back around a year. I hope that helps, if you have questions you can reply back to me.

B. F

I agree, "Baby Signs" is a good book to get you started - check your local library, they may have that one and maybe more! The most useful signs are More, Eat, Milk, Drink, All Done, Yes, No, Diaper, Please, Thank-you, Up, Down, Mommy, and Daddy!

Food signs are easiest to teach! Each time you give them a bite/drink sign right beofre the bite, than ask them to sign it to you, give them the bite!

Good Luck - this helped us tremendously with early communication before she could talk, and cut downt he crying/whining a lot! I also think it helped increase my girl's further language development once she could speak!

Jessie

We just finished a 6 week course. It was really fascinating and fun. You have to be very consistent using the signs, but they teach you all about that. Go to www.sign2me.com that will give you a list of book resources and presenters in your area.

Good Luck!

A.

I didn't look at your responses yet, so it might be a duplicate...I found a good website that shows you the sign rather than just a photo it's www.mybabycantalk.com. My son is 18 months and I've been teaching him for a long time now. It's a great way to ease some of the frustration of not knowing what they want. 1 thing I have noticed is that he's not as verbal as my other children were at this age. I would not change a thing though, as I know he's getting a lot of language with both! Good luck to you! I knew of a video series another parent mentioned to me, but I can't remember it. Hopefully you'll get good tips.

As others have said, Signing Time! I have two babes, 27 months and 14 months (and a 6-year old). All three love the series, especially our 27-month old son who just so happens to have Down syndrome as well. The series is wonderful for children with and withOUT special needs. I'd start with Baby Signing Time. You can watch demos on the website as well. Have fun!

I have the "Signing Time" and "Baby Signing Time" DVD's. My girls LOVE them!!! They are cheaper if you go on Amazon.com as opposed to her (Rachel's)website. My girls no a ton of sign language and it has been easy for all of us to learn. I cannot recommend this enough.

One word of caution. My two year old isn't talking as much as she should. She has been evaluated by a speech pathologist and tested within normal limits. Learning sign language does not cause speech delays in children but everyone around us has made comments like, "She doesn't need to talk because she signs." It is highly annoying because even though we know this is not the cause of her delay in speech...those who have not educated themselves on the topic do not know that it actually increases their vocabulary and some tests have shown that kids who know sign language actually test 1-2 points higher in IQ (that is insignificant to make a difference but it is still interesting!). So - just beware that even though it is the coolest thing to communicate with your child before they can talk and reduces frustration between you both - you may get some annoying comments in the process.

For my 1 & 2 year olds I really like the Baby Signing Time seriers (there are four now) because of the music and graphics that are more geared towards this age group. However, both my girls like the regular Signing Time videos too!

I checked out the baby signing time video everyone is talking about (along with a few other brands) from the library. If it wasn't something he loved, I didn't want to get it. The signing time videos work because they have music, songs to sing, and real children/teacher doing the signs. I didn't find any other videos that did. We didn't like any other brand but the signing time videos. My son LOVED the first video. He didn't care for the second as much and my husband and I didn't like it (songs weren't as good), but watching it helped us learn the signs. Since my son has a good base of sign vocab, it's natural for him to just pick up new signs from us. Videos are better than books because you see the actual sign being made-sometimes it looks different in books. The kids in the signing time videos can also help parents recognize signs from their kids because the way your child does the sign might look a little different (unique level of abilities, etc). As my son's fine motor skills develop, he gets better at the signs. He still doesn't seem to use them when he is frustrated though I know that lots of kids do and it prevents some tantruming.

Signing Time! is a great series. I carry them in my store. If you're interested, you can email me at ____@____.com.

Wonderful tool to have for your kids. Both of mine learned all that they know off this series.

K.

I can't think of one book over another right now but, anytime is a good time. Good ones are more, please, cup, milk, thank you, juice, etc.

A.

Baby Einstein has a good video to start, and Sesame Street use to have a little book of signs, but your best bet is to use it yourself. A child learnsto sign the same way as the learn to talk by mimicing you. So use the sign and words you want to start with around your child and they will soon start to do it themselves. I have and adult deaf child and her younger brother use to get in trouble because he'd sign instead of talking around strangers LOL.

Check your local library. I live in Madison and our library has DVDs that you can check out for baby sign. You can also go on the American Sign Language Website. There are video clips that show you how to perform the signs.

Hi C.....we did a little signing with all 3 of our kids. Nothing to crazy....we just tried to find signs that they would get the most milage out of like: more, all done, please, thank you, milk, eat. I took sign language all through college, so that is how I knew the signs, but I would think you could Google Sign Language for Babies and get some great resources. Also if you are doing ECFE classes they would definately have great guides. I know Anoka Hennepin Community Ed and ECFE programs offer Baby Sign Lanuage Classes. It is so fun once you see them "communicate" with you. They all of a sudden seem like real little people :) Good luck!!!

Hi! We used sign language with my son before he could talk as well. It helped that I already knew a little from my previous jobs, but it's easy to learn. I have a book called "The Joy of Signing" that has easy-to-understand pictures and descriptions. There have also been classes offered at our local library for doing sign language with children. We started with basic signs-- eat, drink, more, all done, please. We modeled them for my son and when he was old enough, we started to hand-over-hand them until he did them on his own. When he was old enough to do them on his own, we made him use them before he got what he wanted. He was at least 9 months before we felt that he was capable of doing them on his own. It's never too early to start modeling though! Good luck!

i got a small square book from target - with a baby on the cover? dont know the title offhand. anyway, i found that i NEVER used it. you have to know sign language yourself in order to properly "teach" it.
however, i made it a point to learn and be able to in an instant use, the signs that i thought were most important.
i used milk, more, hungry/eat, and even tried water.... but it didnt end up catching on.
anyway,
these should get you through, but the more you learn and internalize, the more you will teach your kid. its more important to teach yourself the signs you want your child to learn, and then get into the habit of using them every time you use those things.
it worked great for my son - he never had those fits where i would have to find out what was wrong, cuz he would ask for milk. milk is SO SIMPLE! :D

I went to mybabcantalk.com and clicked on their online dictionary. It has little video clips in a dictionary of baby words for each sign language word. We started signing at our first baby as soon as she started feeding herself. We used basics like 'milk' 'more' and 'all done' at the table. I'd sign milk everytime I was about to offer a bottle. We'd sign more each time we put more food onto her high chair. We'd sign all done as a question and then again as we went to wipe her up after each meal. Then we added things like 'bath' and 'again' and 'play'. She picked it up quite fast and had lots of 'words' by 1. I've been terrible at it with my second baby and she hardly signs even one word. (she just turned 1) Each kid is different, but signing DEFINITELY helped me communicate and alleviate tantrums with my baby!

Baby sign is a great one. I bought the whole kit, but you don't need to! Start by training yourself when baby is around 8-10 months, as it will be you that needs to be consistent for him to catch on. There are only about a dozen signs that you really need and that opens your world like you can't believe. More, milk, hungry, potty, sleepy, hurts are just a few. Start with "more", the MOST common one and just keep doing it. You will be amazed the day he starts doing it. Signing is so wonderful because they understand long before they have the ability to verbalize. It really helps to be able to communicate early on. We did a lot with our first baby and of course not as much with our second, however the first born taught the new sister sign language when we were lax!
It is great, enjoy your baby!
J.

That's a great idea! There are some wonderful websites- I looked up 'colors' recently for teaching 4 yr. olds. I know a lot of people that mainly used it for eating in the high chair- words such as 'more' and 'good'. Good luck.
L. S.

My parents are deaf and I wanted to get my children started with sign language right from the get go. A cute video is Baby Wordsworth, part of the Baby Einstein series. It is signs about things around the house. My kids loved it!

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