On a parenting forum I started writing about baby sign and realised I’d got a fair bit to say. Enough to make a blog-post or two. Indeed as I set to it I thought it might even be worth sharing our signs. Here goes for a first instalment.
Signing with baby
(no not singing, but that’s good too)
When to start using signs
We started sign at about 6 months (and maybe 5 months 2nd time around) when baby started taking solids, started potty training a week after that too(!). After a about 1½ to 2 months there was recognition and some understanding, 3-4 months some signs being used. Immeasurable benefit IMO as they could ask/tell for/about stuff – milk, toilet, food and express tiredness, hotness – before they’d master vocalisation.
So, why use baby signing? This comment from reddit.com by dstam goes to the heart of it I feel:
I think the toddler years can be very frustrating for kids. They are learning at a ridiculous rate, both mentally and physically, but are not yet verbal enough or skilled enough to say and do what they really want. I think a lot of their acting out comes from this place of frustration, so I try to really understand my son when he is babbling at me incoherently. If I figure out what he is wanting I try to work on a few key words with him for that situation, like if he wanted a drink I try to teach him to say “thirsty.”
Something I posted before [minor edits]:
J started with “light” and “bird” at about 9 months. Interestingly he doesn’t do those signs any more (at 12.5 months) but he appears to recognise +light, +bird, +food, +potty, +poo, +mummy, +daddy, drink, +bed, +music, +speaker, +smell(verb) … at least (+ shows signs he can give). There are a few signs like finish, cat, nice and perhaps others that we’ve been doing a long time but that he hasn’t attempted. There are also some like “smile” where we can’t be sure if he’s responding to the sign or just doing the action.