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Old 09-06-2006, 07:32 AM   #1
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Signing with baby

Has anyone done/tried/use signing with your babies? I'm thinking it's a good idea but I don't know much about it. Do you use instructional videos or books to learn the signs? When is a good age to begin?



I'm excited to learn myself!

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Old 09-06-2006, 08:45 AM   #2
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Re: Signing with baby

Yay! I love baby sign language! We haven't used any videos yet, but I've asked MIL to get some of the Baby Signing Times ones for DS's first birthday. We started signing really early, maybe 3-4 months old? DS is 9 months now and can do the "eat" sign, and understands the "milk" sign but prefers to just try to rip my shirt off rather than actually do the sign.

We decided to pick about 10 signs to start with and use them regularly: eat, milk, mom, dad, please, thank you, change diaper, dog, ball, more. I've been slowly adding a few here and there like "help", some more animals, and the colors and numbers.

I'm hoping he'll start using more signs soon - I think 9 months is about when they start picking them up. I have a friend with a 15 mo old who knows TONS of signs and it's so neat that they can talk with each other!

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Old 09-06-2006, 08:58 AM   #3
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Re: Signing with baby

I have been signing since before dd was born and it took a while to get the hang of it but once you do it just comes natural. Ds is 14 months and responds very well to it also our dd 4 still uses it daily to speak to her brother (very cute) We do have the Signing Time box set and it did help but i have learned the most from using the ASL Dictionary http://commtechlab.msu.edu/SITES/ASLWEB/browser.htm HTH!!! If you have any questions pm me
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:26 PM   #4
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Re: Signing with baby

So, Signing Times are DVDs that you watch and then teach baby or do you do them together?
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:31 PM   #5
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Re: Signing with baby

You can definitely get the videos at most public libraries--there are also a TON of books available on the subject.

I didn't use either! LOL! I know some sign language, and used the internet as a resource for the ones I didn't know. My baby is 19 months old and does quite a few signs. My (almost) 4 year old love to do it as well. In fact, he can do the whole ASL alphabet (he learned that last week), and a TON of signs.

I'm not totally dedicated to doing it---meaning that it isn't a strict regiment or anything. I didn't start super early with Camden, probably about 9ish months? You'll be surprised how quickly they will pick it up!

Good luck!
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:46 PM   #6
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Re: Signing with baby

Get ready for a long-winded response:
I'm a teacher for the Deaf and did a study on baby signing in grad. school. Results were that kids who were signed to (basic signs like you mentioned) early on (10 mos is usually when they start to respond, so before that) their language development was close to 8x that of their
non-signing peers. Of course, by the time they settle into
preschool or kindergarten, they level out w/ the other kids, but that's a good few years for them to be able to communicate more effectively than usual, huh?
I used it while helping to raise my nephew and 3 signs in particular stand out for me: He used to whine and stare at me when he wanted some of what I was eating, so I started signing 'more' and saying 'moooorre' before giving him some. At first he'd just put his pointer fingers together, then eventually signed it pretty accurately. Next, he'd sign and say 'mooooe', then could clearly say 'more' and dropped the sign. WAY better than whining (and so
cute, too!) Another was the sign for 'finish.' When he was done w/ his food, he'd throw the bowl onto the floor. We taught him 'finished' and he'd flap his hands to let us know he was done, so we could swipe the bowl away. The last one I remember is 'bed'. When he was tired, he'd cry and flail himself around during
cuddling. I taught him to put his hand on his cheek to sign 'bed' and he'd do that when he was tired so we get him straight to bed right away. After my sister took over, she didn't do any signs w/ him, but those 3 were nice while it lasted.
Currently, (DD is only 5m) we sign 'butterfly' before pulling the string on a light-up butterfly above her changing table. Now we can sign it w/o speaking and she looks to the butterfly and kicks her feet excitedly. We sign 'brush' before brushing her hair, 'feed/nurse' before BFing (I can't bring myself to sign 'milk' because it relates to a cow and I'm sensitive enough about my baby weight , 'pretty'(she smiles, but I'm not sure that it means anything toher), 'diaper' before changes, 'bath'...I started right away, butthat's just because I didn't have to learn the signs or anything.
I'm excited to see her make her first signs in a few mos.
I suggest using actual ASL signs instead of the adjusted ones in some baby sign books. I know they're easier for babies to do, but you'll know when they're attempting to make a sign and it just makes sense to me to teach them real signs instead of made-up ones that aren't universal. Lots of preschools, etc. use ASL, so baby'd have a head-
start.
If you choose to do the Baby Signs system, there's a pre-order (read: coop pricing) on it here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CradledinCloth1/ They have everything from board books to DVDs to flash cards to music CDs!
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Old 09-06-2006, 10:50 PM   #7
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Re: Signing with baby

Quote:
Originally Posted by beenwaitingalongtime
Get ready for a long-winded response:
I'm a teacher for the Deaf and did a study on baby signing in grad. school. Results were that kids who were signed to (basic signs like you mentioned) early on (10 mos is usually when they start to respond, so before that) their language development was close to 8x that of their
non-signing peers. Of course, by the time they settle into
preschool or kindergarten, they level out w/ the other kids, but that's a good few years for them to be able to communicate more effectively than usual, huh?
I used it while helping to raise my nephew and 3 signs in particular stand out for me: He used to whine and stare at me when he wanted some of what I was eating, so I started signing 'more' and saying 'moooorre' before giving him some. At first he'd just put his pointer fingers together, then eventually signed it pretty accurately. Next, he'd sign and say 'mooooe', then could clearly say 'more' and dropped the sign. WAY better than whining (and so
cute, too!) Another was the sign for 'finish.' When he was done w/ his food, he'd throw the bowl onto the floor. We taught him 'finished' and he'd flap his hands to let us know he was done, so we could swipe the bowl away. The last one I remember is 'bed'. When he was tired, he'd cry and flail himself around during
cuddling. I taught him to put his hand on his cheek to sign 'bed' and he'd do that when he was tired so we get him straight to bed right away. After my sister took over, she didn't do any signs w/ him, but those 3 were nice while it lasted.
Currently, (DD is only 5m) we sign 'butterfly' before pulling the string on a light-up butterfly above her changing table. Now we can sign it w/o speaking and she looks to the butterfly and kicks her feet excitedly. We sign 'brush' before brushing her hair, 'feed/nurse' before BFing (I can't bring myself to sign 'milk' because it relates to a cow and I'm sensitive enough about my baby weight , 'pretty'(she smiles, but I'm not sure that it means anything toher), 'diaper' before changes, 'bath'...I started right away, butthat's just because I didn't have to learn the signs or anything.
I'm excited to see her make her first signs in a few mos.
I suggest using actual ASL signs instead of the adjusted ones in some baby sign books. I know they're easier for babies to do, but you'll know when they're attempting to make a sign and it just makes sense to me to teach them real signs instead of made-up ones that aren't universal. Lots of preschools, etc. use ASL, so baby'd have a head-
start.
If you choose to do the Baby Signs system, there's a pre-order (read: coop pricing) on it here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CradledinCloth1/ They have everything from board books to DVDs to flash cards to music CDs!

Wow! I knew you were one awesome mama, but I had no idea you were THIS awesome!!

That's some great information! I'm glad I've been signing with my boys!
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Old 09-06-2006, 11:45 PM   #8
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Re: Signing with baby

I care for my friend's 19 month old and he doesn't talk (other than uh-oh, whoa, and GOAL! ) so I started signing with him in the last 5 weeks. He's already picked up please, thank you, more, milk, cup, sorry... a few more that I can't remember. I tried to teach him cookie, he seemed to lose all other signs for the day. I think I overloaded him. He's back to normal now, but still can't do cookie.

It's important to remember that just like talking, kids aren't going to do all the signs correctly. As long as you know what they mean, it's working. i.e. Landon actually uses the "more" sign for "cup." His "more" just looks like him doing his "cup" sign confused.

I've heard 6 months is a good starting age for infants. DS is 5 months old and still doesn't pay much attention to them when I do them, so I know he's not really ready. Still it doesn't hurt either so I tend to do it anyways.
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Old 09-06-2006, 11:46 PM   #9
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Re: Signing with baby

Oh, and we didn't get a DVD or anything. Just used what I knew (we had a deaf friend at church a few years back and learned a lot from him), and then bought a children's book with basic signs in it. We just use the basics. Please, thank you, sorry, more, cup, milk, diaper, eat, etc. Stuff I NEED for him to know right now.
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Old 09-07-2006, 12:10 AM   #10
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Re: Signing with baby

We love signing with our boys! I learned ASL in college and started doing simple signs with my eldest when he was a couple of months old. For awhile I wasn't sure if/when he'd start signing back to me.

When he was about 10 months old he started signing "milk" when he wanted to nurse. After that, his signing vocabulary increased dramatically and he learned a new sign every few days. My husband and family also learned the basic signs so they could communicate with him. It was incredible to communicate with him even when he couldn't speak; he has very few tantrums because he can let us know what he needs. He's 2 now and knows 200+ signs!

As he's gotten older and learned to speak, he's dropped a lot of the signs but there are some words he ALWAYS speaks and signs at the same time. It's really cute.

Signs we found most helpful at the beginning were: milk, potty, tubby, help, mommy, daddy, get up/get down, hurt, sad, scared, happy, good, food, drink, water, sleepy. When he was 16 months old he "invented" his first sign...he saw a geyser at Yellowstone and made a sign for it!

Here's our eldest and some of his signs:
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