thread: Who uses Baby Signing?

  1. #1
    Registered User

    Oct 2009
    Bonbeach, Melbourne

    Who uses Baby Signing?

    Anyone here use baby sign language? Without really knowing much about it (aside from the milk sign) I taught DD to sign milk at 9 months old. It's great, she'll sign for milk and let me know when she's hungry...and it's super cute. So I decided to look into signing more, and was pleased to find there are kits, books and DVDs you can purchase to help you teach bub to sign. Has anyone used any of these kits (I'm looking at the Baby Signs Australia one)? Did you enjoy it and get much out of it? It's pretty reasonably priced, so I thought we may as well give it a crack. Anyone else?

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    Oct 2009
    Lalor, VIC

    We bought it all for Ianto, taught ourselves some signs, then never got around to using it with Amelia. She does make a few hand signs for different things, but no actual sign language. I'm actually starting to teach myself some more basic signs, and will do an Auslan course when Amelia's starting school/homeschool, so bubs #3/4/5/... will most likely have some signing going on

    I can lend you my Baby Sign book if you like, I got it from an expo

  3. #3
    Registered User

    Oct 2008
    Newport, VIC

    My parents are Deaf so they use AUSLAN for the boys. My oldest knows a few but we've slacked off lately. He picked up "toilet" first when I was pregnant and going to the toilet all the time. I was doing the sign for toilet without realising.

    One of my favourite moments with DS1 was when he was about one. We were on holidays and all the Deaf people sit in a circle down by the river and talk all day. He was standing in the middle copying their signing by touching his hands together.

    We've got a great iPhone / iPad app which escapes me. It's an Auslan one, as opposed to baby sign, but it's designed for babies and children. You'll be able to find it in the app store if you are interested.

  4. #4
    BellyBelly Member
    Add xXHopeXx on Facebook

    Jan 2010
    Penrith, NSW

    i actually have the baby sign kit from the learning ladder, i've never really gotten around to using it, i've tried, but i think i unknowingly seemed to be trying the more difficult signs. lol. i might just get the kit out again and have another look-see.

  5. #5
    BellyBelly Member

    Sep 2007

    I've used baby signing with DS1 and DS2 is just starting to pick up on the sign for eat. I just googled what sign I wanted to use and did it from free stuff on the net. It is great! We only taught a limited number of signs: eat, drink, finished, thankyou, book and sorry. DS1 will still sign most of these words (which is great because his speech is really hard to understand!).

  6. #6
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber. Love a friend xxx

    Sep 2008

    We did with DD and are signing at 8 month old DS - who is watching and appears to recognize, but not imitating yet. We loved it with DD. Saved heaps of frustration when DD could get her simple requests across and I credit it with her early speech development. We didn't get any specific books or vids, but I knew a fair bit as I have a close friend who is deaf who has taught me auslan. If we didn't know a sign for something, or it didn't exist (eg. For a specific toy), we'd just make up a sign that made sense to us and DD could manage with her level of motor skills. After all (unless of course your child does have contact with deaf people), it doesn't matter if it's the 'right' sign, as long as you and your child understand each other.

  7. #7
    Registered User

    Nov 2010

    We use makaton with our 4 and as they get older it will change to Auslan.

  8. #8
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jun 2005
    Blue Mountains

    Yep! I got a kit from an expo (talking hands? or tiny talk? something like that). TBH I didn't use the kit much. We ended up just using the basic signs.. milk, eat, drink, book, ball, dog, cat, light, hot, please, thank you etc. You can probably just google them and go from there for nothing.

    Signing can actually speed up the talking process, so once they started using words, the signing dropped off. The kit had loads of words, but we didn't need it to that extent at all.

    It's been great for communication up to probably 2yo. After that they were talking a lot more. I remember the older two had a vocab explosion around 19 months.

    Alyssa as you know is signing milk, and has been doing so for a while now. She does the same sign for 'more' atm as well as 'bird' lol. But it's common for them to use a known sign for everything for a while.. it's a sign they know to communicate with their hands. Once it twigs, they can start learning quite quickly.

    Enjoy it. You'll find you naturally use signs or gestures anyway that they will pick up on. This is just more deliberate

  9. #9
    Registered User

    Mar 2009

    We do. My DD1 is 3 and has a speech delay (verbal dyspraxia) so I'm so glad we have this way of suplementing our communication while her oral ability catches up. I use the signs with DD2 now also. Even though she is low risk for following the same path as her sister, a child can usually sign long before they can talk so it can be super helpful!!

    It isn't baby sign language because she needs more formal and universal signs as she might need them for kindy/school and such. We learnt it through early intervention and her speech therapist.

    I think baby sign language or even just using your own signs is a great idea and like somebody said, if only you (and other primary carers or whatever) need to know it then it can be anything.

    ETA: we use Makaton.

  10. #10
    BellyBelly Member

    Aug 2008
    anywhere and everywhere

    We do! My dd1 is disabled and uses makaton to communicate, dd2 just picked up on it, we weren't actually teaching it to her but obviously observing dd1 use it taught her. My dd1 is severely disabled and can only use a few signs (more,food,drink,sing,finished), and dd2 picked up on all of these, plus a couple of others we use that dd1 hasn't got the hang of (where, hot). It just amazes me how clever our bubbas are! I think it definitely helps with frustration where the understanding is there, but verbal skills aren't

  11. #11
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jan 2006

    yep. have used it very effectively with both my kids. We actually attended some local classes.

  12. #12
    Registered User

    Nov 2009
    Scottish expat living in Geelong

    I did it with DS1 when he was a toddler because he was speech delayed, and again with boytwin when he was young as we were given a diagnosis that he was severely deaf so I though it was in his best interests if he could sign. He didn't need it but the basic signs when the twins were little were great, just for milk, food, etc.

  13. #13
    Registered User

    Oct 2009
    Bonbeach, Melbourne

    Awesome, thanks guys! Great to hear such positive experiences O figure it'll be a really great tool for our family to have when the baby arrives, seeing as DD will be about 18 months.

  14. #14
    Registered User

    Feb 2008

    I did it really successfully with DD1, she was signing all the time really competently from 12 months old. I started using milk from 9 months but was a bit hit and miss. She didn't seem interested until one day she just signed to me at about 12 months and she was off and racing from there. It was like it clicked, signing was communication. Interestingly her use of signs exploded at the same time her vocab did (14 months) but it was still handy to have her signing when it was not entirely clear what she was saying. FWIW it certainly did not hinder her language development. She was very expressive and very early as a talker.

    I really felt that she got a lot out of it too. I think she had less frustration as she was able to communicate her needs really well. She really seemed to be proud that she had her parents trained to understand her

    As for DD2, I was even more motivated to use it. I started at 6 months with her but she never picked it up. She seemed to understand what I was signing, but she never used the sign herself. Once or twice I managed to coax a milk or more sign from her but she seemed frustrated or 'shamed' (for want of a better word) by her lack of coordination and would not ever do it again. Finally at 19 months (when talking well) she decided signing was cool and is now into it We do it for fun now.

    I did invest in a book - something from Ebay, but I wouldn't recommend it. I ended up just using the internet and searching the signs I wanted on the Auslan website. It is an awesome resource as it has videos for every sign. I thought this was a better way to go as it is using the Australian signs as used by the deaf and as we have a family with deaf parents in the neighbourhood I figured it would be better if we all spoke the same language! The other resource I used was Makaton sign. It is specifically designed for children and special needs as I understand it so the signs may be more appropriate for little hands. There is a huge crossover with Auslan though.

    Alternatively, I did see a baby hands kit at our local library so maybe you could start there.

    BTW have you seen the baby on youtube signing (My Smart Hands)? I highly recommend it. She is amazing and very inspiring! I think you will find her if you google "cute baby signing" as that is what her mother posted her first video as.

  15. #15
    Registered User
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    Jul 2008
    a slice of paridise, victoria

    we do. well try to with DJ and his issues. vic's picking it up too we use Key Word Sign (Makaton) and its really simple. i'm heading to a session on it tomorrow to learn more signs and normalise it for me. mind you every one has a giggle when i sign "drink" when asking for coffee/tea and food for bikkies LOL

    But its helped with vic as he can now ask for more and drink. and kinda "wash hands" but he's saying vagina as he's holding his hands too low atm DJ kinda gets it. look up Makaton or key word sign and the pic's a really simple todo!

  16. #16

    Oct 2010
    Baldivis, WA

    We are actually looking into this because Amelia was really premature and may have some speech delay.

    Sent from my GT-I9210T using Tapatalk 2

  17. #17
    Registered User

    Aug 2008

    We use Makaton. I did a course in Melbourne when I was working.

    DD signs "help" all the time. When she's frustrated, she will put down what she's doing and sign "help" rather than scream, which is awesome. But on the cuter side, if I'm cooking or something, she will toddle up and offer to "help" Very sweet.

    She can also sign the alphabet. Every letter is L.

    There's a few other cute ones. The sign for "eat" goes further and further into her mouth depending how hungry she is. She has just about choked herself once or twice. "Duck" and "Butterfly" are favourites, we see them a lot.

  18. #18
    Registered User

    Jul 2008
    summer street

    Yes, although I make up my own signs! We have two key ones in our house. Booby and finished () and ds mastered those at about 10 months. I am interested in hearing from others too.

    I know some people credit early speech to signs, but from my very small circle of friends who've used it I noticed a speech delay, because the kids were so good at signing why speak iykwim? But then again, once they started speaking it was mental lol.