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  #1  
March 27th, 2011, 12:48 PM
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Just for another fun newfangled baby trend Has anybody here ever done or heard about baby signing? Or baby sign language? Know anybody who has done it? What is your opinion about it?

My SIL taught my nephew several signs and he was communicating pretty well WAY before he could talk at all. His main ones, which covered a surprisingly large range of scenarios, were: "more", "different/change" (which was sort like "I don't want this anymore"), "milk" (which just meant "hungry" after he started solids). He was using those signs effectively by the time when the best vocalizations he could do were like "buh" and "mah" and stuff like that. He was right on the usual milestones for speaking, or even a little ahead - it wasn't that he was signing INSTEAD of talking! He still really wanted to talk too! It was just so neat that he was able to communicate his wants and needs before he could really talk, for several months at least.

It seems that there are a few different systems and books out there. The most hardcore approach is to really try to teach the baby American Sign Language (ASL) but a lot of those signs are rather tricky, I think, and require more manual dexterity than babies have at that age. However it is a real language and can be a great second language to start early, especially if you have deaf friends or relatives who use ASL.

I think what I would do would be either use one of the simplified baby signing systems, or to just make up my own intuitive signs. DH and some of my in-laws know some ASL so I might ask them what the real signs are for things, and then use my own variations.

As far as I can tell, in order to teach the baby the signs, you just use the sign whenever you do or see the action or thing being signed. Eventually they mimic and catch on, just like spoken language. But they have the manual dexterity for basic signs way before they have the vocal control to speak, so they can communicate with signs at a much younger age. In a way it's not much different from learning to nod or shake your head.

Here's a couple links:
Baby Sign Language Signs - Teach Your Infant or Toddler Signing | Babies and Sign Language Website
Born2Sign - Infant Sign Language
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  #2  
March 27th, 2011, 12:56 PM
mom2moose
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My BIL and SIL did it with their first born. She only knew about 7 to 10 signs. Most were like food, bottle, sleep etc. She used it until she could talk. It seemed to work alright for them. (Didn't help though when others babysat, and they forgot to tell them the signs. LOL)

They didn't do it with their second child though. I'm not sure why. And that's about the extent of my baby sign language knowledge.
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  #3  
March 27th, 2011, 01:15 PM
ItsFinallyOct's Avatar Super Mommy
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My sister did this when her 3rd was born with Downs. All 3 girls were within 4 years of each other, so it was an easier way for Sarah to communicate her needs and the little sisters to communicate with her too! The only sign I know is More, and I will say, when a little kid wants MORE FOOD and signs it...it is the cutest thing, much more appealing to see than a toddler bawling and you have no idea why!
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  #4  
March 27th, 2011, 02:40 PM
JessP's Avatar Lovin life and family
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My kids have learned a few signs at school and I meant to teach them basic baby signs so that they could tell me what they wanted. But it just never happened. Being a full time working mom you fit in what you can I guess. I think its great though and a wonderful way to communicate before baby can talk. You can build on it as they get older too.
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  #5  
March 27th, 2011, 04:26 PM
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We know a lady who signed a LOT with her two boys. But her oldest did use it instead of talking and they eventually had to take him to a speech therapist to get him to use real words. But he was later diagnosed as having Aspergers, so I think that played a part in his using it instead of words.

We have inadvertantly taught Liam a couple signs. Which come in handy since he seems to have NO desire to talk at this point (at 17 months ) He gets his point across with more body language and getting what he wants himself. But the "more" and "all done" signs are lifesavers. He will bring me his juice cup and sign "more" so we know he wants more juice. When he is eating dinner, he will just signs "all done" when he doesn't want anymore. Of if he wants out of his stroller or is done with crayons. Those two signs are quite helpful. But I have no intentions of teaching him more. I would really like to encourage him to talk...and I know he will when he is ready. For now, it helps a bit though.
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  #6  
March 27th, 2011, 06:41 PM
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Not that Sara counts because she is 4 but she is fasinated by sign language for this reason we may do a few signs for the baby just the important things like hugnry, sleepy, etc.
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  #7  
March 27th, 2011, 06:55 PM
Ashl3y
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I'm a nanny and I took the boy to baby signing classes when he was younger as per his parents request. It was fun, not sure he really learned much though as he never really did it. I think that's mostly because they only did it sometimes, and I think it's something that has to be all or nothing.
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  #8  
March 28th, 2011, 04:39 AM
onedaysoon's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Although we intended to do more, we ended up using only the signs for "more" and "milk". "more" was very useful I found.
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  #9  
March 28th, 2011, 07:26 AM
missy123's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I have never heard of this until now and I am totally fascinated!
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  #10  
March 28th, 2011, 07:48 AM
kellyanne's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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We taught the girls "more" and "all done". They used them until they could talk. Occasionally, when Juliana really wants to get her point across, she will revert to signing as well as hollering "more puleeease!!"
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  #11  
March 28th, 2011, 09:13 AM
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We did basic stuff that could get him by until he started to talk. Milk, more, all done, eat, drink, thank you, please...I think that was about it. It was extremely helpful. We started at 7 months, he did his first sign back to us at 9 months (Was about to give up on it even though I know it takes a while!) and then at 12 months he was doing all the above mentioned signs (maybe more if I forgot some!) and it was so great!
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  #12  
March 28th, 2011, 09:53 AM
L-SBB's Avatar Bébé Cowgirl
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we've been doing baby signing with Savannah...we talked about doing it before she was born but i'll totally give credit to her daycare - they're BIG on teaching the little ones signs to help communication - for really motivating us to do it. Savannah knows about half dozen signs well and it really is helpful to minimize their frustration at this age when they know what they want to communicate but don't have the verbal skills yet to say it...I'd definitely recommend it to everyone thinking about trying a few signs. I think Savannah first started using them semi-consistently right around 11 months old or so, although she was using a couple (not always consistently) beginning around 8-9 months old.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellyanne View Post
We taught the girls "more" and "all done". They used them until they could talk. Occasionally, when Juliana really wants to get her point across, she will revert to signing as well as hollering "more puleeease!!"
we taught Savannah "more" and "all done" too....Savannah's just starting to actually say "more" now, so she'll sign & say "more" to really emphasize it...no luck with "please" yet though
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  #13  
March 28th, 2011, 10:00 AM
ohnicole's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I babysat for a little boy who knew some of basic signs... eat, drink, more, etc. It really seemed to work well for him, but I'm not sure if I'm going to try it or not.
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  #14  
March 28th, 2011, 02:01 PM
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I am definitely teaching our baby some signs. I don't know any signing, so this will be a big learning experience for me, too.
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