Happy Monday to everyone! It’s a bright, sunny morning here in Maine. This week, I thought I’d cover a topic that my husband and I were quite excited to try with our daughter: Baby Sign Language.
Why Choose Baby Sign Language?
Babies are a lot smarter than their little voices can express; so, by giving them a means to express themselves with their hands, we can begin to understand their needs sooner.
What Should I Start With?
Some of the most common signs parents like to teach their kids are: eat, drink, more, diaper, all done, please, thank-you, up, down, tired. There are so many more that are useful, but I think these are the basics that my husband and I wanted to go for. I’ve linked the video I watched that got me interested below:
Now, teaching Kenna some signs didn’t really go as well as we thought it was going to. But it’s not because she wasn’t picking up on it. She started using some words and signing “all done” around 8-9 months (up, dada, mama), then started crawling around 9-10 months. At this point she basically stopped talking altogether so that she could focus on her mobile skills. Once she had mastered crawling and cruising, she dove back into talking and communicating.
Since about 11 months, she’s been pointing at things and she bounces for “yes.” She also, out of the blue, started signing “please.” Our efforts weren’t all in vain, I guess. It was just really hard to stay consistent through her zero-communication phase. At this point, she’s thirteen months old and starting to experiment with new sounds and starting to imitate words (like sock, dog, diaper), so I don’t think it will be long before she starts surprising us with new words.
My favorite word she says is “give.” Most of the time it sounds more like “dib” or “dim.” She’s so cute.
Even though baby sign language didn’t go quite according to plan for us and our daughter, I still highly recommend doing it with your baby. She did pick up on a couple of really important signs (you, me, please, all done, up, drink). I think it helped her realize she can communicate with her hands more clearly if she focuses.
As long as you understand your baby, that’s all that matters. They don’t have to know anything fancy to make sense. If your baby is content pointing at things and mumbling, and you know what they want? Perfect! Communication is the key, not everyone else making sense of it just yet. I think we put too much pressure on our kids to develop in ways they may not be ready to develop in yet. When your baby is ready to talk, I’m sure their speech will take off like a rocket, and you’ll wish you could return to the all-giggles stage.
Have you tried signing with your baby? How do you communicate with them? How do they communicate with you? Let’s chat in the comments below!
Until next time,