Sign Language - Tiffin,OH

Updated on February 05, 2010
B.F. asks from Tiffin, OH
10 answers

Hello! My 7 1/2 month old is copletly into finger food, and most of the time will not let me feed her from a spoon unless she is playing with finger food on her high chair tray. My concern is, will she still grasp onto the sign language I have been demonstating for her? She just barely pays any attention to me, is that ok? I have been using signs for "more" and "eat" since she began sitting in the high chair, around 5 1/2 months. I think she may have used the sign more once, and the sign for eat once, but that is all. When will she start to pick it up consistently? Will it work if she isn't paying much attention to me?
Any help and advice would be great!
Thanks so much!

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answers from Columbus on

At seven months they may not be able to imitate the signs back to you that usually comes at about 9 months. But keep using them and eventually it will pay off.

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answers from Chicago on

oooo yay. i thought i was doing it forever bfore my son picked it up and he speaks at least a year older in terms of vocabulary now. say more, show her w/your hands and then hers (show her how to do it).
a big one we used was HELP. i didn't know he knew it until he needed it real bad!!!
don't give up, its awesome!



answers from San Francisco on

Just be patient.
My son didn't pay attention at all. And all of a sudden, around 10 months, he started signing milk. He was so excited that I could understand and I was so excited to that I think he gor twice the regular amount of milk the first week of signing!
And after that, it has been like an explosion. Daddy when his dad came home, eat, more...
He often surprised me by signing something I signed only once to him and when he wasn't even paying attention.
At 18 months, he could sign around 150 signs! He stopped signing when his speech developed but he still use it when addressing someone in a language he doesn't know or for words he ignore in that language. And now, he wants to teach his little sister the ABCs in sign!
As for her, she doesn't pay attention either. I guess it will come soon.

The keys are:
- consistency: the word always comes with the sign
- timing: sign the word only when it's a reality for the baby (sign food when you show food or when she eats, not in the middle of the day when you say we will have dinner after the park). She needs to relate the object and the word and sign
- Interest: for the first signs, pick what she prefers (yours "eat" and "more" are good picks)

Be patient and you'll be rewarded soon!



answers from Chicago on

Just keep doing it and she will cop on. My daughter had no problem signing while covered in food, so don't worry about it ;-)

I wouldn't expect your daughter to start signing for a few more months.


answers from Albuquerque on

Hi B.,
I used baby sign with both my boys and loved it. But, neither one of them really "got it" (started using it independently) until they were more than a year old (about 14 months for each) *and* I would hold out on them (not give them "more" until they used the sign: first with me helping them).

The more she sees you use sign, the better, but you'll probably have to wait a few more months (stick to it -- it is SO worth it!) As far as finger-feeding is concerned, *nothing* stopped my little ones from using their signs once they got going! (lol)




answers from Dallas on

Most babies don't point until they're one so I think, while you're daughter is young, she will be signing soon. The important thing to do is to use the sign and the words at the same time and do this consistently. My guy started picking up signs after about a year. I can't remember if any of his friends started earleir than that or not. I guess what I'm trying to say is, you're doing a great job, keep it up and don't be discouraged. She's still really really young and will pick it up before you know it. It's a fantastic skill to teach your kiddo. don't worry that she doesn't pay attention all the time.


answers from Columbus on

At seven months they may not be able to imitate the signs back to you that usually comes at about 9 months. But keep using them and eventually it will pay off.



answers from Youngstown on

Keep signing. She will eventually catch on or she may not. I signed to my daughter all the time and she never once signed back to me. She was an early talker so that might be why. Some kids get it and some don't. I do think it is worth the minimal effort it takes to sign. If she does learn it will be a big help to you. Good luck.


answers from Indianapolis on

Yes cont she will get it and the more sign you know the quicker they catch on. She is paying more attention than what you . When they sign you may not recognize it at first when she does it because alot of times it's an approximation of what you are signing they do not have the eye hand coordination that we have. My youngest son was around 5 months old when he started singing but his oldest brother is deaf so I'm sure that has alot to do with it. It's a great language to learn because it helps develope both sides of the brain where just speaking people use one side more than the other. Plus it's considered a foreing language now how great is that. To learn true sign language is very difficult if you do it right especially when you are having a conversation it use to wear me out at first.. So I think it is a great brain exercise with much benefit for children later in life, Try to learn more than just the basic signs your children will surprise you. Hands out to all the moms teaching their kids sign. My son and I thank you. Bless!



answers from Cincinnati on

She will catch on. Most kids typically start responding to sign language between 8 and 10 months.... even when you start early. I started my daughter when she was 6 months old. She was just about 9 months old before she started signing back.

Keep doing what you're doing. Look for 'teachable moments' when your daughter is looking at you. It will come.


answers from Columbus on

It probably depends on your kiddo. My oldest son had NO interest whatesoever. He would watch me, but never did use a single sign. My youngest uses "more" on occasion, and sometimes "milk". You can't make them do it, only encourage it. And if they won't use the signs, oh well. You just have to go on and figure out other ways to communicate.

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