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betty_joanne 03-28-2007 05:01 PM

I taught dd the sign for eat but now she uses it a bunch
ok, so "eat" was the 1st sign that we ever taught her. Just before she turned 18 months(about a week or so ago) she started using the sign for eat.
So, my question is how do i know if she really is hungry or if she is just doing the sign for attention? When she does the sign for eat i give her some peas, slice of bread, slice of cheese, etc. and she does actually eat it and not just play with it. So, do you think she really is as hungry(every 15-20 minutes) as she tells me she is?

milehighmonkeys 03-28-2007 05:40 PM

Re: I taught dd the sign for eat but now she uses it a bunch
Teach her some more signs. At this point, it seems she realizes that some action takes place when she does the sign for eat and it sounds like that's the only sign she knows. At 18 months, she can probably learn several signs a week.

ocanfield 03-28-2007 06:46 PM

Re: I taught dd the sign for eat but now she uses it a bunch
I agree...teach her more signs...see how she picks up on them. I would treat it like a would if she was speaking. If it seems possible she would be hungry at that time...feed her a snack or lunch, or whatever...but if she shouldn't really be eating at that time, acknowledge that she did the sign, but you don't have to feed her each time. Say something like, "You're hungry? You want to eat? Not right now, honey, we'll eat in a little bit" and get her interested in something a new book that teaches her some new signs. This is what I do with my daughter...she's almost 15 months and knows over 40's amazing what they can communicate!! Have fun with it....but don't feel like you have to give her everything she wants just cause she signed for it! Good luck!

betty_joanne 03-28-2007 08:52 PM

Re: I taught dd the sign for eat but now she uses it a bunch
Well she doesn't really speak yet(only a couple words) and we do a couple of signs with her. She has understood the sign for eat for many months but now with her signing it to me on her own the tables are turned(but in a good way). I just didn't know how to react to her doing it all the time. I have told her no and that it isn't time to eat a couple of times. So, i am thinking that it is just the newness of the sign and her realizing that when she does the sign she gets something. She did do the sign for "more" today when i asked her if she wanted more to eat and showed her the "more" sign. Pretty sure she was just copying it and she doesn't know what it means like she does with the "eat" sign. Thank you for the help.

beenwaitingalongtime 03-29-2007 02:01 AM

Re: I taught dd the sign for eat but now she uses it a bunch
Yeah, keep giving her alternatives to those signs--and offer her choices. 'Did you want to eat, or drink?' My DD is 12m and can choose between 2 options and give me diff. signs ea. time. She seems to sign 'eat' all the time, but that's because she's most fluent at signs located around the lower part of her face--many times she's saying 'Mama', 'water', 'phone', 'kiss', 'silky' (her playsilk lovey), etc. That and milk are some of the easiest to do--and the most motivational.
I DO reward DD for signing, even when it's sometimes inconvenient. Up until recently, if she signed 'milk', I'd stop what I was doing and nurse her. It keeps them wanting to learn/express more.
Maybe aside from 'drink', teach her 'finished', 'all gone', etc. Sometimes DD gets all excited saying 'more' and 'eat' during dinner that it'll go on for 2 hrs. and she'll just keep taking the food. Finally I'll say 'Are you finished, or do you want more?' and she'll say 'finished'. She just needs to be reminded of other options.

(Oh, and you'd be amazed at what she knows/understands--w/in just a few teachings of 'more' your DD will get it. Mine is starting to use signs for multiple meanings--I taught her 'sleep' and when I ask her if she wants to go to bed, she signs 'sleep'. She's also putting 2 words together like 'fish eat' when she wants to feed the fish. There's a LOT of understanding in their little heads starting around 10m--they just can't vocalize it yet. Give her the handshapes for the words and she'll tell you all kinds of things :)

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