Baby Sign Language

by - 4:21 PM

 Did you teach your baby sign language?


My Experience 

After being inspired by baby sensory classes and a fellow mum, I taught my baby simple and minimal sign language when she was 6-9 months old. They are able to sign back at this age. But when my bub didn't sign back, I got lazy and slowly forgot about it. When she was 10-11 months old, I was so shocked when she suddenly signed "milk" to ask to breastfeed. 


When she turned 1, it was like a switch was turned on and she could suddenly catch on to all the signs I taught her. She was suddenly using signs to communicate very clearly! Her favourite is "more" made by putting your 4 fingers to your thumb with both hands and putting them together. Of course she does it differently than an adult can but the message is very clear. She asks for "more" food, "more" bubbles... and even uses the "more" signal to ask me to open toys or baskets that she wants "more" of.

Why I Taught My Child Sign Language

Sign language gives your child a useful and clear way of communicating before she can talk. While I of course teach and encourage conversation with my baby, it's not always easy to decipher when "mamam" means milk, food, or mama. Or when "baba" means ball, baby, book.. You get the picture. Being able to communicate with her through signs has made things so much easier and reduces frustration as we understand each other better.

Useful Words/Signs:

I didn't teach her an extensive signing vocabulary as I didn't think it was necessary. Sign language does not necessarily have to be AUSLAN or ASL. You can also make up your own signs that you and your baby understand. 

"MORE"

The sign for 'more' is certainly used and abused by my child as she enjoys asking for more food or more toys (open the box of toys etc).

"MILK"

A very clear way to ask to breastfeed without grabbing/lifting your shirt.

"FOOD/EAT"

A clear way of letting you know she's hungry.

"DRINK"

Time for some water!

"ALL DONE"

This means she's had enough. And sometimes I'll try to push/encourage more food intake but she usually means what she says. "All done." It means she's done eating and will refuse any more. She also signs all done when she's had enough of the bath or something similar.

"POO/NAPPY CHANGE"

This way she knows what's coming when I sign poo/nappy change. And hopefully this encourages more cooperation. She definitely understands. But whether or not she'll cooperate depends on her.



Of course sign language is not to replace actual words but should be used in conjunction with them. It's so fun to watch her communicate so clearly!❤

Please share this post with a mama who would find this helpful.

Always,
Jeanne

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