Friday, February 25, 2011

Baby Sign Language

Have you used it? Were you successful? Any tips, no-no's or resources you would like to share?   Sign language is one of those things that I haven't talked to anyone about really, but feel really motivated to use with Jude.  The one single thing that I am most excited about experiencing one day is talking with Jude. To be able to ask him what he thinks about something or to hear what sort of questions he has is super cool if you ask me.  But I could be partial. :) So, having the opportunity to communicate, even just a little bit, sooner is something I don't want to pass up!

The books say that 6-8 months is the perfect time to start, but I would like a little time to learn it all ahead of time. So, in the next week or two I plan on incorporating a few basic signs into my daily routine with him. Sign language has always been something I wish both Randy and I knew so that we could talk to each other across the room.  Who knows? Since our ballroom dancing class is almost over, maybe we'll take a sign language class! :)

Anyway, I would love lots of feedback on this topic!


Unknown said...

It's never too early to start! I would suggest signing up for a class (if you can, find one with a Deaf teacher) and using everything you learn with Jude.

In my experience, I have met a lot of babies that know how to sign. Those that learn "baby sign language," i.e. a few signs like more, milk, please, etc. can say those words and it really helps communicate those things to Mom and Dad. However, if you give them more of a vocabulary, they'll be able to say all sorts of things! I was at an appointment with a Deaf mom and her 18-month old daughter recently. The baby had a huge vocabulary! She looked at something on the wall and asked her mom if it was a caterpillar. It just amazed me. She could sign complete thoughts (not anything complex, of course) at 18 months! Most people don't know this, but that is normal for children of Deaf parents because signing is so much easier for the babies to replicate than talking.

I have a TON to say about this, but that's it in a nutshell. If you're wondering if it works - YES. If you're wondering if you should do it - YES. If you're wondering when to start - NOW! :)

P.S. I would love for you and Randy to learn ASL so I would have another person to talk to across the room. :)

Becky said...

I did baby sign language with both my kids. Kaelin (my 4 year old) picked up on it quickly and was doing all of the basic signs long before he talked. I didn't do a lot of signs with him, but he could tell me eat, drink, sleep, more, milk, all done (finished), bath, please, thank you. There were some other random words that we did too, but those were the basics. It was really cool for him to be able to tell me what he wanted and when. My daughter, Lily (2), didn't do as many of them but that was my fault. I had 2 kids and was busier and didn't do them consistent enough with her. But she did do a few, eat, more, milk, all done.
Its really cool and fun to do with your baby!

Unknown said...

I'm sure you know that Carisha and David taught Audi and Zade just a few words, like please, thank you, more, all done. The thing that most impressed me is that it was an effective way to avoid a lot of whining and crying from a very early age. If the only way to get what they want is to sign "more" or "please"...they develop that habit rather than more unpleasant ones:)

Laura said...

Of course you should teach him. You probably knew I'd say that though.

I agree with Sarah on all she said. It's amazing what the kids can pick up. If you start signing to him immediatly then by 6-8 months he can actually be signing back instead of just learning it then. His signs won't look just like yours of course, but you'll recognize them.

There are lots of books and videos on the subject, but taking a class yourself and then just signing when you talk to him is the best way. There are even studies that show babies who are bilingual have cognitive benefits over those who are not.

Also, having a conversation across the room is quite useful and fun. Do it!

Tabitha said...

Amy, I must admit I am just now catching up on all my blog-reading LOL. I think that "Baby Signs" is awesome. The only catch I've ever seen happened to a good friend of mine with her oldest. She was so involved in teaching him the signs that she forgot to also say the words verbally. As a result, he could sign very well. But he was nearly 4 before he started speaking - which was very difficult for those of us who do not know sign. His pediatrician was even concerned about possible hearing/speech problems until they discovered the root.

All that to say . . . Baby Sign is awesome when used properly - in conjunction with the spoken language :-)

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