Lijit Audience Analytics

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Baby Sign Language

So my LO (Little One) is almost 7 months old and I have been trying to do sign language with her. There is no one in my family who needs to do sign language but from what I have read it makes it easier to communicate with the baby when they are trying to tell you something but does not have the motor skills to.

The site that I have found to be the most helpful to teach me the signs so I can teach my LO is They have all sorts of videos, articles, games and even flash cards you can print out to help you teach your LO. Here is one of their flash cards :)

Now it can get a bit tedious, signing to your baby all the time because they do not always pay attention, but even my LO by 5 months knew the signs I was doing and what they meant. I was amazed when I saw her get excited when I was doing the signs.

One thing that I just learned is that you are supposed to do the signs with your LO's hands as well, (seems as something you would think to do but it really did not cross my mind), I thought that I was supposed to do the signs and she would pick them up (silly me). Now that my LO understands the signs that I do I am now doing them with her hands as well as mine.

I started signing to my LO when she was 3 months old and she is going to be 7 months and I bet if I had been doing the signs with her hands as well she would be signing at least one of them :)

I do encourage people to do baby sign language because it does not in any way shape or form delay the motor skills of the baby, in fact I have learned that it actually helps. Furthermore, it helps with a lot of frustration when your LO hits that age when they want to tell you want they want but just cannot. This saves a lot of crying as well cause when they know the sign they will do that instead of crying to get what they want.

You can start off with which ever signs you want, personally I started with "up", "mama", "eat", and "bath" because those are the things in her routine day that she could want. I am introducing "sleep" and "more" soon. You can start off with about 5 or 6 signs and then add one or two when you see fit.

This is a wonderful opportunity for both the child and the parent because it helps bridge the gap of communication at that age. I enjoy it a lot and will be introducing more and more signs to my LO. My family is even taking on the sign language so that they can communicate with my LO as well as I will be able to.

So far, my LOL has been able to express when she wants to go up and when she wants to eat, without all the fussing and crying that usually accompanies that.  Again, she's not exactly signing back but she does gestures and facial expressions that are often very clear (and not just because of my woman's intuition).  I still have much more work to do but it's amazing seeing the changes in how we communicate.  Truly, children absorb much more the younger they are so today is the best time to start if you're even the least bit curious!

I think I may also pick up a copy of Teach Your Baby to Sign: An Illustrated Guide to Simple Sign Language for Babies.  There are other free resources to learn sign language of all kinds, which is a great place to start if you just want to give it a try before committing.