Monday, June 27, 2011

Skeptic vs. Believer - Baby Sign Language

Before lil' man was born, the hubby and I agreed we would try to use a little sign language.  I had read about the wonderful benefits of sign language, from better communication in the early years and increased speaking vocabulary once he starts to talk.  I had read that it might be a little frustrating if you start too early, since babies will probably not respond until months of repetition and until they are old enough.  Knowing this, we started a little over a month ago (when William was about six months old).  Since we were lazy, the only word we knew was for milk.  We use this right before we feed him and right when we start feeding him.  We figured starting with one word would be simple enough.  If it worked, it worked.  If it didn't, no effort wasted. 

Lil' man is now seven and a half months old.  Over the last few days he has been doing this weird thing with his hand/wrist.  He only does it with his right hand and he kind of curls his fingers in and his wrist.  Hmm...looks an awfully lot like the sign for milk.  Coincidence?

I think so.  My hubby does not.  He doesn't do it all the time, but he does it at times when I don't think he should be hungry.  My hubby (who is a stay-at-home daddy and sees him all day long) says that when he (my hubby) makes the sign for milk, William gets excited and opens his mouth.  I guess I think he's still so young and can't believe he would be able to make a sign already. 

Anyway, we are learning a few more signs.  Ya know, just in case I'm wrong.  :)

Anyone else do baby sign language?  When did your little ones start signing?  Any advice for a new mom?


JayZ said...

We use the Baby Signing Time DVDs and Jos really liked watching them but I didn't think she was picking anything up. Then at around 8 months she started signing dog. At first I thought she was just slapping her leg but she did it every time our dog came into the room. At around 11 months, she started doing her own version of more and all done. It took me awhile to figure out what she was doing. Recently she started doing milk. I think she would have started doing them earlier but we aren't very consistent about making the signs and she's at daycare the majority of the time and they don't do signs. But he could very well be signing milk! Babies are like sponges and pick things up really fast.

PhaseThreeOfLife said...

We also did the sign for "milk" for months without adding any other signs. Quite honestly, we're not sure if Ryan gets it or not and he's 9 months old. We think he does a thing that looks like he's signing it (clenches and unclenches both hands at the same time), but it's hard to tell. We've recently added the "all done" sign and I'm going to introduce the "hungry" sign this week. I figure it can't hurt to keep trying.

Jaclyn said...

Jeff's sis-in-law signed with her girls. William's about the right age to start. Go him!

Finding Calgon said...

I use sign language with my son. His aunt is deaf and we lived with her for a while so i learned some sign...."milk" being one of them.... Its fantastic to have my son look at me and make the "milk" sign ,,, or "eat" sign to let me know whet he wants.... Im glad you are doing it... dont underestimate your little one..... babies are smarter than we give them credit for.

Hungry Hippo said...

I think he totally knows!! We kind of did some sign with Adelaide, but she was an early talker and only started adding the signs after she could already say the word...kinda defeats the purpose! Ha!

Stef said...

How fun!!! I'm going with he knows whats going on...well, has an idea at least!!! :)

Ashley said...

I am a HUGE advocate for using baby sign language. we ( I ) started signing to my son from day one ( I was in school to be an interpreter ). We really started being consistent with it around 6 months, starting with more. By 9 months, he could sign more, milk, food, and all done. We gradually added signs, and he is now 21 months old, knows about 30 signs, and can learn a new sign in as little as a day.

TYPICALLY, if signing is started around 6 months, you will see response around 9-12 months. The earlier you start, the more consistent you are with it the better.

My parents are so thankful we've used sign with our son, as are we. He can tell you when he's hungry, when he wants a drink, when he's tired... all before he could verablize those needs.

Good luck!


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