When I first heard that people were teaching their babies sign language, I was skeptical. Like a lot of parents, I thought that teaching your baby to sign would slow their speech development.
But I had also read that it worked.
When I was building my registry I came across some books on how to teach sign to babies and so I looked them up on my nook app and read the samples. It was starting to sound like a better and better idea. So I added a book to my registry, and it was actually one of the first gifts I received.
I’m not unfamiliar with sign language either. As a kid, my mother taught me the alphabet and we used to spell things out to each other all the time. Whether we were somewhere where it would be inappropriate to talk or if we just wanted to share a secret conversation across the living room. I enjoyed this bond with my mother, and appreciated the skill.
After Colt was born and I started learning to read his little movements, faces and grunts. I got out the book to see when we should start signing to him. The recommendation was 4 months old at the earliest. If you start signing to your infant during conversation, it could be as early as 10 months old that they start signing back.
The book also answered that daunting question I had about hindering Colt’s speech and it turns out that kids who are taught to sign actually have a greater vocabulary than those who don’t. And that they’ll actually have more words to say sooner.
An added incentive to start learning the signs myself, was that the day care that Colt will be going to teaches their infants one sign a month. I looked up a few basic words and started using them where I can. I’m really good at signing “change” while Colt is laying on on the changing table. Another sign I’m good at is “daddy” and I use it when Mike gets home from work. But I’m not so good at working “milk” into the conversation yet as I tend to have my hands full.
I’m going to keep working signs into our conversations, and I’ll post back if I see any indication that it’s working.
Have any of you taught a baby sign language or knew a baby that could sign? Was it successful?