When my daughter, now 6, was about 9 months, all she did was whine and cry for things. I was taking a basic signing class at our local library and the teacher suggested I teach her to sign. I told this to my husband and we decided to try it. we got board books from the library as well as baby sign videos and started teaching her.
We could see she understood things we were saying to her but she did not have the words yet to talk back with us. Within a few weeks she was signing EAT, MORE, DONE, SLEEP. We were so excited we continued even when she got her words. She knew her alphabet and numbers to 20. She knew several signs, including bird, dog, cat, tree, flower, car, airplane, helicopter, and we used them daily on walks and other things we saw around us. If there was a word we did not have a sign for we made sure to look it up if she inquired about it.
With 3 more girls after her, we continued to sign, unfortunately not as diligently as with her, to our regret. Our youngest daughter is now 14 months old and signs EAT, MORE, DRINK, BANANA, and a slew of others and we voice what we are signing to enforce what we are saying.
There are times that I turn off my voice to make sure my girls are paying attention. We are by no means professional signers. We just have some of the basics under our belt. It it amazing to be able to communicate with our daughter who chooses not to use too many words as her sisters drown her out.
I recommend it to all parents. It is a great way for you to communicate. My 14yr old son never got that from me as a singe mother, however he has picked up on the things we have taught our girls and at the park when we are out I can communicate with them without screaming my head off and looking like a crazy lady. Except for calling their name, when they do not see me wave for their attention.
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