Thursday, August 12, 2010

Baby Sign Language

Baby sign language saved us a lot of tears before Ali could speak and articulate to us what she wanted... plus I think it actually helped speed up her language development!  Our neighbor's son, who is 2 and still not talking that great, uses his signs all the time to let us, and his best bud Ali, know what he needs. Thank the lord for Ali's daycare, who got her, and me, started on the signing process. We unfortunately did not start signing with her until she was a year old.. I wish we would have started sooner!
I was recently contacted by Misty Weaver, the Chief Editor at and asked if I would like to host a guest post on baby sign language.  Being that I totally dig baby sign language, used it with Ali, and plan to teach it to Avery in the near future, I was totally down!   This article gives a great starting point for starting the process with your own babies!

Tips For Beginning To Start Signing With Your Baby 
Baby signing is a great early activity for mom and baby to do together. Because Mom (or Dad) will need to learn the signs first, it doesn’t matter if your baby is young when you first start signing. What is important is to be consistent, repeat the signs as much as possible, and to practice, practice, practice!

When Should I Start?
The sooner you start signing with your baby the sooner he will begin to sign back. You can start at any time, even from birth. If you have an older baby you can still begin to sign with him at any time. 
What Is The Best Way To Start?
The key for beginners is to pick a few simple signs, such as Mommy, Daddy, and Milk, and then concentrate on repeating these signs over and over. Repetition is important, and so is choosing signs which are interesting to your baby. Food is always a good place to start, as most babies are interested in food! Whenever you use the sign also say the word clearly, with good eye-contact.
When Will My Baby Start Signing Back To Me?
The key is to be patient and don’t expect your baby to start signing immediately. You should encourage all his efforts, even if you don’t recognize the sign your baby is trying to make. Any effort is worth encouraging. Most babies need about two months of exposure and repetition of a sign before they can begin to use it themselves. So, if you start signing with your baby when she is three months old, she will most likely be using one of your favorite signs by the age of five to six months. 
How Do You Increase Their Signing Vocabulary?
When your baby has mastered his first few signs you can to introduce some new ones. It’s a good idea to stick to groups of similar objects when introducing something new, for example food signs or colors. Remember to make it fun and repeat, repeat, repeat. Encourage your baby’s efforts at making the signs. Only introduce a few new signs at a time, and continue with these for around two months.
Do I Need To Go To A  Baby Sign Language Class?
This depends on your preference and where you live. If there is a class nearby, and you enjoy it, then classes can be a great way to learn. Good baby signing classes follow the advice given above – making the classes fun, repeating the signs over and over, and building a foundation of simple signs before moving on to new ones. They will also encourage the efforts of the babies and the moms! If you can’t find a local class don’t worry – there are loads of resources online for you to try at home. Have fun, repeat and encourage – these are the beginner’s steps to success no matter how young your baby. 

This guest post is brought especially to you by your friends at the Baby Sign Language site. Check out our Baby Sign Language Dictionary with a ton of new signs to learn.


Alexa said...

I love baby sign language! Daycare started blair on it and he still uses some signs on occasion! Amazing!

Lindsay said...

I love baby sign language. I started Averee signing at 8 almost 9 months. I picked up a Sign language for Dummies at TArget and read it on our way to our family thanksgiving dinner and started that day. Even though Averee was an early talker, I still thought it was such a great thing to learn. And heck just the thought of it minimizing fits....I was in! Anything to help communicate is a + in my book. :) I've missed reading so much, can't wait to catch up on the rest of your blog!

Stacey said...

That's awesome!! We totally used baby signs with Ry, and I'm with you. He speaks so clearly and articiulates so well. His vocab also exceeds his little peers' vocab. I've already started using a few with Connor. It can never be too early to start, right?

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