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Do You Sign With Your Baby?

Let me start of by saying that the title of this blog is a bit tongue and cheek. I’m calling it “Baby Signing for Beginners” because I
image of baby
only know a few signs! So let’s begin there. If you know and use others, feel free to laugh at me and teach me a thing or two as well! I’ve always used the following three baby signs when talking to my babies, starting at around seven or eight months: Eat, Drink and More. I figure, any way they can communicate their needs, the easier life will be for both of us. No matter how in tune I am with my children, I am still often baffled by the frustrated pointing and grunting that can quickly turn to angry howler monkey-like screeches. “How can you not understand me, Mommy! Aren’t we practically the same person??” And yes, while I can often read Cooper’s mind, it also important that he learns how to tell me what he needs with words or signs. Eat Signing “eat” is fairly straight forward--Pinch all of your fingers together like you are holding a piece of food and bring it to your mouth. Cooper does his own variations of signs as do other children, so sometimes he points to his mouth, sometimes he holds an imaginary piece food, sometimes his mouth is open, sometimes closed but I know what he wants when he does it. Drink To sign "drink" curl your fingers and thumb around an imaginary glass of water. With your left hand you will be forming the letter C (completely unrelated--that’s just the shape you want). Bring your hand to your mouth, touch your thumb to your lip and tilt your hand back as if you were drinking from a cup. Your baby may not be able to mimic your hand movements perfectly, just as if he were speaking verbally, he might be "signing" baby talk, but after a while you’ll catch on. More Signing “more” involves keeping the fingers on both of your hands straight and pinching them all together with your thumb. Then bring your hands in front of you and touch the tips of your fingers together. (Does that makes sense?) It’s hard to describe how to sign so what I suggest is to do some searching on YouTube and you’ll find videos of children and babies demonstrating the hand and finger motions. In fact, I just did this a moment ago with Cooper on my lap and he absolutely loved watching the babies. He kept signing “More! More!” These are the three signs that I use most, though I also know a few others like banana, ball, strawberry, milk and potty. Maybe I’ll add a few more to the repertoire since, unlike the girls, Cooper is a bit of caveman and prefers to point and grunt. Do you sign with your baby? Which signs are your favorite?
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  • I’ve tried to incorporate some signing but I just haven’t been very diligent with it. I think that DD grasps some of them, like drink and more, but she has yet to use them.

    Britni Bradford on
  • Kyle knows ‘more’ and ‘all done really well… We’re still working on eat and drink. He’ll be 7 months tomorrow so we’ve got lots of time :)

    LeeAnne A on
  • I am currently using those 3 signs as well. I would like to add more however I am not as dedicated as I would like to be and those 3 are generally used all the time.

    Jennifer Lee-Smith on
  • I signed with all my babies and plan to again with my new little one, but my oldest did it the most, her sisters decided to talk a little earlier. It was neat to see her make the connections and make up her own signs for things, a good sign that she really wanted to comunicate, although sometimes it took a bit to figure out what her new sign meant.

    Melissa on
  • I have always taught sign language to my kids as well as my baby and toddler class i used to teach in daycare. My daughter who is now 13 months knows how to sign milk, more, bird, and all done. And we are working on thank you and a few others right now. Absolutely love it! It really helps her communicate with us without getting too frustrated.

    Cassie Webster on

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