Baby Signing!

Once upon a time, in the early days of parenthood, where I was naive enough to try and run 5 errands a day with a 6 month old, I attempted to do baby sign language with Noah. I was so cute, you guys. If you recall my child is/was very silent and he prefers to observe {and judge, low key} than participate in a conversation. And so....after making absolutely no progress, I gave up. I returned all my books to the library with a heavy heart and my child and I learned to communicate in the vaguest of grunts and sounds but nary a sign.

However a couple of months ago, I was over at my friend, Hope's house for a movie night. I got there early and was visiting with her and her baby girl, Lydia, while Hope finished making the popcorn and Lydia finished up her dinner. Hope was busy grabbing something in the kitchen, when Lydia started to fuss. Hope had mentioned that they had been working with Lydia steadily with signing and since my brain remembered a few of the words, I signed, "All done? or More?" to Lydia. I didn't expect a response in the slightest, but I almost fell off my chair when she clearly signed back, "More!" I left the house that night determined to work at it with Noah, who had then just turned a year.

Within 2 days he had gotten down the sign for "more"{which has been unbelievably helpful during mealtimes}! Now that we are working on adding more signs to his vocabulary, I'm seeing so many more benefits to baby signing! For one thing, when it comes to communication, signing cuts down the amount of frustration on both sides. Noah is able to express more clearly what he wants, and I can actually understand instead of having to guess frantically all 32 possibilities of what it could be.

Another thing, it proves to me how smart Noah is, and how much he actually understands of what I'm saying. Lots of parents say that their child is oh so smart; but there are few parents who can prove that on command. I love watching him learn new things on a daily basis and then be able to communicate with me about those things.

I will admit that the learning process of new signs can get a little despairing sometimes when he doesn't pick it up right away, or worse, when he doesn't seem interested in using it at all. But at the end of the day, knowing that he is that much closer to expressing himself all by himself is so reassuring.

I definitely recommend these books for any research on baby signing that you might want to do for yourself: Baby Signs: How to Talk with your Baby Before Your Baby can Talk and Teach Your Baby to Sign. Both are full of illustrations of signs and lots of tips and encouragement. Check it out and see if signing is right for you and your baby!


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