Did You Teach Your Baby Sign Language? Best Book/resource for That?

Updated on October 08, 2010
A.C. asks from Phoenix, AZ
25 answers

I would like to try to teach my almost 6 month old daughter baby sign language. It doesn't have to be the official sign language, but just some easy signs so she can learn to communicate basic needs. Did any of you have a favorite book/video that you used to teach your baby?

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M.B.

answers from Phoenix on

Signing Time DVDs!! My kids love them and they teach real American Sign Language. The DVDs are a bit expensive but you can probably find them at the library as well. They aslo have Baby Signing Time. It's a really fun video with songs and signs. It's amazing how fast and how well babies can pick things up. Keep at it though, at 6 months she may not be able to do the signs for a while, but she is still learning.

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N.B.

answers from Tucson on

Signing Time
Hands down, this is the only video my son was interested in! We had a couple different books w/ flashcards, and also took him to a local baby signing class...he learned way more from these videos! Learned to say new words from them too!

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C.P.

answers from Albuquerque on

I've tried using signs with my almost-one-year-old... but no luck. I think I just haven't been consistent enough. Now she just laughs at me when I ask if she wants "juice" (and sign it). I just google "ASL dictionary" and look up signs for things that I think we would use. I'm also planning to get her in a "sign2me" class this month. Good luck!

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D.S.

answers from Tucson on

Hi A.,

I found two books through www.babycenter.com. I don't have one of them in front of me at the time but the other one is Sign with your Baby by Dr. Joseph Garcia.

I have been teaching my 10 month old son since he was 8 months. We are learning eat, more, milk and all done/gone.

I hope that helps. These books are great and I just keep reinforcing everytime. I am waiting for the day he signs back. :-)

D.

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J.M.

answers from Tucson on

Definitely go with Aslpro.com I took two years of sign and used this website constantly when studying they have a great collection of signs and they are all done by video so you can see exactly how the signs are done. You'll probably want to stick with simple signs like more and milk and juice and of course mommy :). I think it's great you want to teach your daughter sign my son is 5 and knows a little I've taught him and he uses it sometimes without even realizing it it's pretty awesome.

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L.E.

answers from Tucson on

Our daughter had a very serious surgery at the at of 3yr that had the poss of cutting her vocal cord. We started with the Signingtime videos!! They are so great for the kids and parents too! It's more than just an instructional series, it falls into the "edutainment" category where it's a fun show to watch as well. It teaches more in a story format than just sitting and watching a vocabulary video. Our daughter came out of her surgery with everything but the cancer in perfect shape. She still asks to check the videos out from the library.

On their website, it lists that Signing Time is shown on the PBS station in Phoenix. Our public library, in Tucson, has about 15 different volumes in circulation.

There are also a few volumes called Baby Signing Time that is obviously geared toward the infant crowd. I know that the latest says no screentime for infants. The benefit of you watching the Baby signing time is that you'll see how some of the other younger children interpret the "correct" ASL for diffenet words.

On the Signing Time website, there are free things you can print off to help you, such as a vocabulary list. It's nice as it kind of gives you an idea of what vocabulary words are age appropriate.

For the inbetween stuff where she says, "Mommy, what's the sign for ice cube?" we go the the aslpro.com website. We always end up learning a few more words while we're there. Curious 6yr old wants to learn it all!

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C.M.

answers from Phoenix on

We actually did the Baby Signs class and purchased some additional resources from the teacher. The Baby Signs is not exactly the same as American Sign English (which is what Signing Time is). But most of the signs are modified for little uncoordinated hands. I really don't think it matters what resource you use because you will teach your little girl a sign and when she is ready (my son was about 12 months) , she will mimic the sign the best that she can. It will probably not be exact, but close enough.

I loved my Baby Signs teacher (Laura Lyons), she did so great with all the kids and at 6 months, my son started to recognize his name (thanks to the hello and goodbye song). I think the class also helped my son to realize that other people (besides me and my hubby) do the signing thing. Plus, the Baby Signs DVDs are the only thing my son will watch sitting still the entire time. Also, he has learned some signs (and words) from the DVDs.

I do use the websites (like aslpro.com) to look up additional words, but if you want to do signs with your kid, and don't know a sign, just make something up you can remember and do it every time. The Signing Time DVDs are available for check out at the library. And at the Chandler Library, you can find free Baby Signs Seminars. (I love the library).

My son is now 16 months and can do a bunch of signs and we are potty training using The Potty Time (Baby Signs) signs.

Good Luck! Hope this helps :-)

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A.O.

answers from Tucson on

My kids (and us parents) LOVE Signing Time videos! They are awesome! Just make sure whatever source you use, that it's ASL, and that you use the signs consistently. Be patient in the beginning, but keep trying! You'll love it.

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A.V.

answers from Phoenix on

It's so great you want to do baby signs with your daughter! It really is one of the best things we can do with and for them. Save both of you tons of frustration, her needs will be heard, and it really does help thier verbal communication later. I did signs with all 4 of my babies, but it was a while ago and I don't remember the book. But my friend bought a deck of large cards at Borders. They are great because each card is a very simple sign, plus I think each card shows the picture for the sign, and maybe the word too? They are't really meant to be used like flash cards, but it's simple and as babies grow they like to look at them like a book. There are also some classes on baby signs that you and your baby can take for some fun socialization.

Have fun with your little one and communicating with her:)

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S.A.

answers from Springfield on

Personally, I would highly recomend the book "Sign Language Made Simple" by Ed Lawrence. He was my sign language teacher at Central Bible College in Spfld, MO. back in '78 and I have been interpreting voice to sign and sign to voice for 32 years now. A lot of deaf people don't know that I am evesdropping on their conversation. I have dyslexia which makes it extremely difficult for me to pass the written test to become a certified interpreter because of my mirror vision.

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K.V.

answers from Phoenix on

I did the baby signs classes offered through the city of Peoria. Here is the website to get all the supplies you need. It has books and vodeos. She loved it and we saved it all for when we have baby #2. Also there are many teachers in the valley and the website gives you links of who to call if you want and instrutor.

https://www.babysigns.com/

And when my daughter got a little older (about 1 1/2) she really liked Signing Time on PBS, here is that website as well

http://www.signingtime.com/

Hope this helps, :)

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M.B.

answers from Albuquerque on

I have a 2 year old that is no talking yet so my husband and I opted for teaching him the baby signs so that he will be able to communicate with us. We found a great program and have found so much joy in being able to communicate with our son. Here is the link!! Enjoy!

www.babysignsprogram.com/byangela
[email protected]____.com

M.

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W.H.

answers from Phoenix on

Signing Time!!!! Definitely go with this please! (as an ASL signer with many family members, nieces and nephews who also sign as well as my own son)

I know you say it doesnt need to be the "official" sign language, but if you're going to learn and use something, you might as well use something that is understood by other people - if you make up your own signs then you have a babysitter or someone else or if she uses the sign later in life, no one will be able to understand her. It's hard to unlearn something once you're in the habit of using that sign.

Many of ASL's signs are simple and easy - those that aren't, baby hands will modify. For example "milk" is simply squeezing your fingers into a fist several times (think: getting milk out of a cow) Water is a little trickier, but my brother signed it with 2 fingers instead of 3 fingers (v instead of w) well into his tweens. Babies often sign it with just one finger, but that's "baby sign" just like "baby talk" when they say wa-wa instead of water.

Baby Signing Time (by Signing Time) is very very easy and fun - check the videos out from the library (around here, you have to put them on hold to get them. If they dont have it, ask them to order it.)

I hope that I (and others) dont overwhelm you with choices - signing is GREAT for baby(and anyone really!) My son didn't hit the terrible twos until he was 3 - when he wanted to do things that I wouldn't let him (like handle the knife, or go outside when it was naptime, etc.) Communication cuts out a lot of the frustration and tantrums that happens when a child has a specific thing mind and cannot express him/herself.

Another reason why I advocate Signing Time is because it is the only source I have ever seen people confident enough to use signs with me or my family outside of learning directly from us or a class. Signing Time accomplishes this, I think, by the way they present it (variety of signers, showing the word/object to be signed in a variety of ways, modeling that it's ok to speak without signing every single word, etc.) I only "discovered" signing time after people started signing with me and asking them where they learned it from. It was(is?) on TV as well as DVD's you can check out or buy.

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C.T.

answers from Phoenix on

We taught our 2 kids sign language, it was great. Just the basics like, eat, more, milk. We just got some sign language cards and a little book. Its all about repetition and doing the signs in front of them over and over. When we try again we will teach the basic signs because it was so helpful.

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T.M.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi A.,
I didn't do the videos. Instead I bought the book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Baby Sign Language. You can find it at Barnes and Noble. I had good success with it. I started at 7 1/2 months with my daughter, she started signing at 9 months and eventually learned about 15-20 signs. Have fun!!!
T.

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I.K.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi A.,

I heard about signingtime.com. They have single dvd's and gift sets that help kids be able to communicate their needs and wants. I used it with my son who is now 4 and I plan on using it with my second child that's due in March when he's old enough. I hope that this helps!

I. K.

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T.P.

answers from Washington DC on

There is a great video at www.mybabycrazy.com called Talking Hands. It is great and has both baby/child and mom showing the signs in repetition.

We really liked it!

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L.N.

answers from Flagstaff on

We did signs with our now 2 yr old. The book we ended up using was Sign with Your Baby by Dr. Garcia. Someone already mentioned it. The first 50 pages talks about why and how to teach sign and then the last 50 pages is a dictionary. It's ASL based.

We also occasionally checked out signing videos from the library; I don't remember the name. And we looked up words on aslpro.com. (The site that was already mentioned.)

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A.E.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi A.!
I see that you have had a ton of responses but I wanted to send mine in anyway. My son, who is now 3 years old, learned signed language from the Signing Time DVD's and it was AMAZING! He picked up so many signs (probably about 50) and used them daily. I saw so many kids his age throwing tantrums around 1 year old because they couldn't communicate to their parents. My son never went through that stage because he was able to tell us what he wanted/needed. He has an incredible vocabulary for a 3 year old and I truly believe some of that has to do with the sign language. I highly recommend all of the DVD's. I checked most out at our local library but I also purchased some. I now have a 7 1/2 month old baby girl that I plan on introducing her to the Signing Time DVD's as well.
Good Luck!!

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J.D.

answers from Tucson on

Baby Signing Time is great! There are a few clips on YouTube if you want to check it out first. Good Luck!

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E.H.

answers from Phoenix on

I bought my son the Baby Signing Time videos and he loves them! Granted he didn't really get into them until he was closer to a year old, but they also helped me learn the signs. They combine the signs with song, words and pictures. My son is 2 now, and he will still sign some of words and still loves the videos.

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K.E.

answers from Phoenix on

We used Dr. Joseph Garcia's Sign with your Baby book and DVD and I was very happy with it. I started with my son when he was about 7 or 8 months and I loved how he could tell me he wanted to nurse or he wanted to eat - he even made up the funniest sign for "juice" that we still do today. He's 2 1/2 now and we don't use signs as much as when he couldn't communicate as well, but he likes to do them and we have had a great experience with them. Good luck!

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L.N.

answers from Phoenix on

We loved all the Baby Einstein signing DVDs...they really worked and it was easy and fun to do together. I think there are 3--My First Signs, Baby Wordsworth - First Words Around the House, and Baby's Favorite Places - First Words Around Town. We also took a class through Baby Signs, there are a lot of instructors throughout the valley. Sign Language was the best thing ever! My daughter is almost 3.5 years now, but I am definitely starting to teach my 2 month old son earlier and more!

Good Luck!

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S.D.

answers from Phoenix on

We loved Baby Einstein's Baby's First Signs. Our daughter loved watching it and she was able to learn all of the signs in the video. It was very helpful that she could communicate her needs better to us at an early age.

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