Baby Sign Language

michie1September 2, 2002

Has anyone found that this has helped in the stages prior to a child being able to verbally communicate their needs?

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All kids give non-verbal cues from birth, if the parent knows what to watch for. Once past infancy, my child was able to verbally and non-verbally tell me what she wanted. Instead of practicing the baby sign language technique, which I had heard about, I practiced another technique, in which you respond to your child when he verbally talks to you. The result is a bit of a back-and-forth babbling on, and the key is to stop your answer, and give the baby a chance to babble back.

This makes the baby more comfortable with trying new verbal sounds. We also attempted to be bilingual with our child, which can result in a delay of speech, while they listen, and take everything in. But in our case it did not. She still started talking words and sentences right by the milestones expected. And she used some words from both languages.

The biggest key is do not ignore baby, when she babbles. Show interest, let her experiment. Make her comfortable in her new verbal world.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2002 at 11:22AM
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My baby is a a big babbler. It almost sounds like she's talking her own launguage. She also has a 20-30 word vocabulary (a couple of 2 words phrases too), but it's mostly when she wants to use the words. She has lately been getting frustrated & that's 1 of the times she seems to whine allot. I don't want to give her what she's whining about b/c I heard & have even seen kids who end up delayed speakers b/c the parents never insisted they speak & always deciphered everything they wanted. I was wondering if sign language just got rid of some of that frustration in them by teaching them to communicate in another form that might be easier until they eventually get a better grip on language.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2002 at 7:52PM
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We are working with are daughter teaching her some basic signs. She does babble alot and she does do some things and we just know what she wants, but she gets very frustrated when she can't let us know what she wants. She crys, hits herself in the head, bangs her head, pulls her hair....not regular tantrum stuff. Since we have been working with her she is doing better. We're teaching her basics like the sign for "more" alon with the word. Now when I'm singing to her and I stop she puts her fingers together and says "more". Good luck.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2002 at 8:51PM
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I remember how difficult it was. My ds has had to take zantac since he was born, since his pyloric sphincter didn't develop right or finish developing, something like that. Until we knew what was bothering him, I would say, Oh how I wish he could communicate what is wrong! Any way you can communicate is probably a good thing.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2002 at 10:29AM
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Well we never ended up doing anything with this. Since she did have a very large vocabulary at a very early age (her 1st words were "bye bye" on the video camera at 7 mos.) so it was just a couple of mos of this period where she'd get frustrated with not knowing how to tell us things, even though she already had the words in her vocabulary. She just needed to know how & when to use them, which came on it's own. She's now already pretty good at telling me what she wants herself.

My sister is a speech pathologist & tested her verbal skills recently. My daughter was 16 mos at the time & we stopped the test at 23 mos - she was able to say or demonstrate she understood EVERY item tested for, which means she test for at least what a 2 yr should be able to do & probably more, but we didn't know since we didn't continue the test.

I told my husband when she was born that she'd speak early if we constantly spoke & sang to her. I think it's paid off.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2002 at 12:18PM
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Our son is 18 months old. He can sign over fifty signs pretty accurate. He also speaks two languages (one by each parent) and we both use sign language to communicate. We started at birth. Every word we said was followed by the American Sign Language sign. If I remember correctly, his first sign was "medication". These days he speaks and signs at the same time and at times I have to catch up with signing practice.
My wife and I believe it was a great move. He cries less, he is more relaxed and at times signs to others as well.
On a five hours flight we took a few months back, he exchanged signs with a deaf person for nearly two hours - saved the flight... :-)

    Bookmark   December 16, 2002 at 9:16PM
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My niece is a premie (born 1 pound 10 oz) and is now is 17 months. My stepsister has taught her some basic signs (because she's a premie, she's behind in walking, talking, etc.) and they communicate very well with them. I think it's a great idea!


    Bookmark   December 24, 2002 at 5:13PM
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When we went to seminary, most of the young mothers taught their babies to sign. It was great except when I kept the nursery and they were telling me they wanted to drink and I had no idea they were signing. LOL

    Bookmark   January 29, 2003 at 11:02AM
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We did baby signs with both of our kids. There is a book called "Baby Signs" and "Sign with your baby". WE LOVE THEM. I think it helps them talk sooner b/c we can communicate and understand each other already. DH was very skeptical with DS1 but was quickly won over. Also, DS1 taught DS2 alot of signs, AND they could communicate early. They would sit at the table and DS1 would say, "Zachie, what does a fish do?" and Zach would pucker his lips. VERY fun.

You can go all out or just use it for things that help you. Such as.... all done, more, please, thank you... and of course, all animals!!

good luck!!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2003 at 4:35PM
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We have taught our two children to sign as well and it greately reduced the frustration and anger they would show when we don't understand what they want. With our three year old, she just stopped signing when she could verbalize what she needed. Now that our 18 month is signing, our three year old has picked some of the signs back up and uses them when she is far away and knows when my wife and I can see her or when my wife and I are involved in a conversation with someone and she does not want to verbally interrupt.
Many of our friends have also taught their children sign, from basic to advanced and none of them have delayed speech because of it. It seems that they are happier children, being able to communicate without pointing and whining.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2003 at 2:30AM
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