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Thread: Baby Sign Language- Experiences Pls

  1. #1

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    Post Baby Sign Language- Experiences Pls

    I am interested in baby sign language. Has anyone on this site used this and what were your experiences of it? DS is 3 months old, is that too young to start? Does it delay normal speech? Are there any books you can recommend on the subject?



    Im really interested to know how people found baby sign language and if they would say it is a worth while exercise.

    Thank you in advance for your stories.

  2. #2

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    Hi Isabel,
    we tried to do the baby sign language, but it did not really seem to work for us. We probably gave up too early, but DD did start to learn one sign, "milk" but did that for everything and did not seem to learn any other signs, we also found that a lot of the signs seem like normal behaviours for a baby, so we were confused whether she was attempting a sign or just pointing to her mouth or waving her hand or whatever.I hope this helps. Good luck!

  3. #3

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    ive seen alot of really interesting things about baby signing, i try it with DD but probably dont use it enough, i think you have to REALLY stick at it! DD is 7 months and just looks at me like im a crazy person waving my hand about before i give her a BF....''like just give me the boob, never mind the hand flapping'' and she hasnt caught on yet. Im only trying the sign for milk atm. i think its worth it, apparently it doesnt delay speaking and can actually mean they pick up words quicker when they do start to talk. and can help avoid tantrums as they can get thier point across to you without having to scream!
    HTH. there are some interesting videos on you tube of young babies signing!

  4. #4

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    Yep we're doing it, TBH it's been more useful > 1 year than it was before then. But even so DD consistently used signs for 'booby" and "more" "hungry" and "milk" before then, which was useful at times.

    Now it's great because she will see or hear something and use the sign (before she has the word for it) so we understand her in some situations when she might otherwise just be jabbering on to herself, kwim? It's fun for other family members too.

    And no, it definitely does not delay speech - you speak the word every time you sign it and if anything that reinforces their spoken language skills.

  5. #5

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    I had a friend who used it really consistently with her DD & by 18 months she had 75 words! (either signed or spoken). Her language skills are well above others her age (she is now 2.5) - but I don't know how much that is just her & how much it is the signing.

    I tried it with DS for "eat", "drink", "all done" - we started when he was 6 months (when we started solids) - but he never copied the signs & I gave up eventually (maybe at about 11 months), becaues he developed his own way of communicating (eg he points at the bench if he wants a drink).

  6. #6

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    I come from deaf parents & am fluent in Auslan sign. I started signing to my baby a few months ago, just basics, milk, more, finish, bed, mummy & daddy. My niece was also taught like this though was close to 12months old when she actually started doing the signs. IT WAS FANTASTIC... She would tell you she was finished, wanted more or wanted to go to bed. It was sooo easy. I would definately be persistant with it, it does pay off. She was also a great entertainer at parties lol. At 1 year of age she could sign about 20 words. We would ask her how do you say Aunty, then she would sign it and so forth like that. It was very impressive

    Here is a link to Auslan - Signbank Just punch in the word you want to know how to sign & it will show you.

    Feel free to PM me anytime if you want any help with it.

    I say give it a go for sure. Now is definately the time to start though It will take time before your DS will respond to it. Show the sign first, repeat it, then grab his hands/fingers & get him to do it. At other times just make sure he is watching you, say it, do the sign, then repeat. It's also a nice way to spend time together.

    I can't say I know of any books out there but I'm sure there is.

    It definately does not delay speech. If anything, it helps. My niece is now a very, very intelligent 3 year old. I don't think it's the sign that made her that way, but it obviously didn't hinder her developement.

    Good luck.

  7. #7

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    Does baby signing use Auslan? I remember being surprised when I worked with hearing impaired kids in NT that each country has their own sign language.
    I met a woman at a baby shower who has written a book on baby signing and is an expert on another baby forum (think disposable nappies) She was very interesting to talk to but I am afraid I was a bit cynical cause she doen't have any kids LOL

  8. #8

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    interesting...i think im going to stick at it and try introducing a few more signs.

  9. #9

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    MRSMAC No, the baby sign book does not use Auslan. She has just made up her own signs. Auslan is the Australian sign language. There USE TO BE different signs in different states, that's why Auslan was created. As I grew up in NSW, I do still sign some of the OLD WAY. I educate myself on the Auslan & say that I do sign mostly Auslan, the deaf people, when I sign to them, still understand me anyway. Sign is different in different countries, just like the language is. I guess one day there may be a world wide one.

    BECKOES If you've started, stick with it for sure. I think you're still a couple of months away, but your DD will start responding all of a sudden. It will seem like it happend just overnight.

    I just wanted to add that I would start teaching with about 4 or 5 signs that you do religiously, then also a few that you do when you think of it. Eventually once your LO is repsonding, you can start teaching colours & other things
    Last edited by Georgi; March 14th, 2009 at 10:32 AM. Reason: I just wanted to add

  10. #10

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    Yep we've done signing.. probably not as much as we could, but it certainly helps us get by and avoid frustrations of not knowing what they want! Knowing they're refusing a mouthful of food because they want a drink and them being able to say so is just fantastic IMO.

    As for speech delay.. It can have an initial delay, but then they are often way ahead in their speech once they start. Sigining starts the language connections in the brain and they can even sign small sentences.. my DD signs 'more please' for eg. Whereas she isn't saying many words yet. But all she needs to do now is work on her speech vocabulary and she'll be off. Hope that made sense. Dr Sears was talking about it on The Drs the other day actually.. he was all for it and said they can often be about a year in advance with their speech.

    Definitely keep signing at this young age.. but don't do too many signs. They usually start signing back at about 9 months.. DD was a bit older than that tho when she started signing back.. and I thought it was funny, her first sign was bird LOL. I would have thought most kids would pick up on milk first! LOL.

  11. #11

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    Wow, thanks for the advice ladies. Def sounds worth it. Im really excited now and DH and I are really keen to give it a go. Georgi how would you teach more and finish and thank you for the offer of help, i will def PM you with lots of questions im sure.

    For those of you that have had success with baby sugn language what are the words that you would suggest to start with initially and when would you start adding more??

  12. #12

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    I use more after he comes off the breast, before putting him on the other side and when I am spoon feeding him, I stop between mouthfuls & sign more then give him another spoonful. Once he starts finger foods I will use it when he has finished whatever he is eating then give him more.

    I pretty much do the same for finish. Once his food is all gone I say/sign finish. Also after we finish playing on his mat I say/sign finish. Just look up the signs on the Auslan link.


    The main ones I start with are Milk, Finish, More, Bed & Bath. I also teach mummy & daddy on occaisions. I will then introduce food eg biscuit, animals & colours when he's a little bigger.

    I also sign songs. Twinkle twinkle little star is a favourite plus I sign an ammended version of Mary Had a Little Lamb, it's fleece was white as snow. It goes like this Byron Was A Little Man his hair is white a snow (etc) I sign the main words of this - eg Byron little man, hair white snow (of course I sing all the words). This actually is how the deaf communicate. They only sign the main words.

    Hope that helps some what

  13. #13

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    It's recommended you only do a few signs at a time, and once they start signing back, they learn new signs pretty quickly.

    We start with milk, eat, more, please/thankyou (have never distinguished between the two) and usually book or ball is one of the early ones. Animals are something my kids have enjoyed signing, like bird, cat, dog, fish etc. I've never needed mum or dad, coz they usually say it. I have thought about making up a sign for "Tallon" but I haven't got around to it heh.

    You'll find they ask you for the sign, or how to say something with their hands.. so we've also done light, fan, open, close etc. Some signs come naturally to you like up & down, and all gone/finished.

    Enjoy it, just don't do too many at a time in the beginning

  14. #14

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    I've never actually heard about it and never tried it, but by baby number 3 I was pretty much well in tune with Lyta. I knew what each cry was, when she was hungry, tired, needed a new nappy and could act on it without needing for it to get too far. Unfortunately though this did take her need to speak out of the equation so she didn't bother trying to talk until she was 2yo.

    Now we can't shut her up.

    I did say what I was going to do and she responded to it, so she recognised the words and what they meant - just didnt repeat them back to me until she was 2. She enunciates clearly now (and has done since 4yo) so hopefully that can give you some peace of mind.

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