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to sign or not to sign?

  1. #9
    mamaS is offline Registered User
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    I bought the book, and signed religiously from 6 months, baby was so good in signing, he managed to know everything from 10 months up, my concern was he did not talk early unlike other kids (i know all kids are different), at 1 yr he can only say daddy, not even mama. To make the story short, he only started really saying words from 22 months. I stop signing him at 1 1/2 yrs as i was worried already.

    Will i use baby sign for my next baby? definetely NO, i have given away all the baby signs books and CDs. Like other moms, i'll just stick to normal signing like milk, bye bye, but not necessarily all the words in the book.

  2. #10
    Koan is offline Registered User
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    We sign. I never bought any books but downloaded some baby signs from Auslan. We don't use many, just milk, bath, more and a few others. My 10mnth old son signs 'milk' a lot. It's useful because I don't understand anything that he says. ;-)

  3. #11
    Buckeroo is offline Registered User
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    Thumbs up A vote for signing with your baby

    We've signed with both our kids and it's been an amazing journey for us. When we started out (at 8 months), it wasn't because of wanting our baby to be "smarter" or anything. It was more purely for the fun of it as I have always been interested in sign language. We signed not because we were expecting anything out of it other than the fun of being able to communicate a bit earlier (hopefully) with our baby. Much to our delight, our son signed back at 9.5 months and the experience that we had of being able to communicate effectively with him led me down the path where I went on training in the US and am now teaching sign language to other families (another story altogether).

    Contrary to what people might think, signing with your baby is NOT hard work at all. When we started, my husband had zero signing experience and he was able to sign with our babies in no time. Many of the signs used in the Baby Signs(r) Program are very "iconic" and are very easy to remember.

    Over 20 years of research has shown that signing with your baby does NOT impede speech development. Our son spoke his first meaningful word at 11 months and by 14-15 months, he was SAYing 2-3 word sentences and at 18 months, he was talking in full sentences.

    As a Baby Signs(r) instructor, I can only say that the decision of whether or not to sign with your child/ren is a up to you and is a very personal one, but as a MOTHER who has signed and is still signing with two very verbal kids, I really recommend it for the enhanced emotional bond that it creates. Signing with your baby really opens up a window to your baby's world that you otherwise might not get a glimpse into before he/she is able to articulate his/her thoughts, feelings, wants/needs, and interests.

    PM me if you are interested to know more or I'd be equally happy to answer questions here on this thread. :)

  4. #12
    JWLS is offline Registered User
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    Great signing experience

    I had a wonderful signing time with my son. I started out with him when he was 8 months and after 2 months he picked up his first sign. Started out with some resources from the internet and later purchased some 'formal' material.

    It was a great experience and after that there was no turning back. I enjoyed the whole adventure with him. The best thing I liked about it was that signing gave me a window into his world. There were times he could 'tell' me certain things that I didn't know he knew or was aware of. We also shared funny experiences together. For instance, there were times when he saw an octopus and he would sign pig (just because it was pink), and at times when he saw a bear and would sign a dog. Without signs there would be no way for me to know this.

    My son became very interested in talking when he was 18 months. That's when he dropped a lot of his signs. I was quite sad to see the signs go yet happy and looking forward to another journey together. He speaks well and I believe that signing had a big part to play.

    Language delay is a great concern among many parents. As a parent I too wouldn't want that to happen and would be worried if it did. For those of you who have tried and thought that this whole signing thing wasn't a good experience, just think about this - what if you didn't have signs to use with your child, your child could have acquired speech even later. And if yes, aren't you grateful that you had signs in interim to communicate with your child.

  5. #13
    miaka is offline Registered User
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    we had a good signing experience. since my daughter has a speech delay, sign have become very helpful because we avoid miscommunication tantrums for basic stuff like milk, more, water...etc. we didn't do a lot, just basics. i borrowed a baby signs book from the library. i bought the potty training package from baby signs. it worked really well for communicating potty needs before my daughter started talking.

  6. #14
    Buckeroo is offline Registered User
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    The best thing I liked about it was that signing gave me a window into his world. There were times he could 'tell' me certain things that I didn't know he knew or was aware of. We also shared funny experiences together. For instance, there were times when he saw an octopus and he would sign pig (just because it was pink), and at times when he saw a bear and would sign a dog. Without signs there would be no way for me to know this.
    JWLS --that's exactly what I love most about signing with our kids! :)

  7. #15
    ueblich is offline Registered User
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    Signing is a good way to communicate with babies!

    At the beginning I was quite skeptical, whether signing with with babies is a good idea. Curious as I am, I went to a Baby Signs(R) Parent Workshop here in Hong Kong.There I heard about the research for the Baby Signs(R) Program and all the benefits for the babies. A result of a long term study was, that Baby Signers were on average talking more than non-Baby Signers. So there shouldn?t be any concerns that using signs will interfere speech development.

    But what me impressed most was a story of a young baby that woke up at night and signed the sign for hot, so the mum recognised that the baby had a fever.

    I see signing as a bridge to communicate with my baby as long as she cannot speak. My baby is now 8 month old and I started signing 2 month ago. Now she is already signing the sign for bye-bye and I can see how proud she is when people recognise what she is signing/saying.

    I definetly will stick to signing with my baby.

    - Vanessa

  8. #16
    LisaSmith is offline Registered User
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    A comment for MamaS

    Hey MamaS...I just wanted to share my experience with signing as it was similar with yours...just with a different ending. I have signed with all 3 of my girls, and all 3 of them waited until about 22 months to start talking. This didn't concern me, however, because once they started talking, I noticed immediately that they were already advanced in their communication skills. They were using multiple word sentences, had a larger and better vocabulary compared to kids their same age, and if they ever mispronounced a word, we could usually use a sign to clarify, and therefore encourage proper pronunciation.

    I know as a parent it can be very worrisome if our child is doing something later than other children. I know that I felt the same way with my first daughter...especially since most signing books talk about "kids who sign, talk sooner". I have found, however, that the incredible communication skills that result from signing are well worth the wait. My daughters have always known at a very young age that they can tell me what they need and I will respond (no tears needed), and that they can tell me about the things they notice around them. It is incredible to be able to have a 2 way conversation with a 12 month old.

    I have two stories I just have to share. Sorry for being so long winded! When my oldest daughter was 13 months old we were taking a walk through a park. In the distance was a man playing with a soccer ball and his dog. Laura pointed and got excited and since most kids are attracted to animals I said "That's right! There's a dog". She gave me this look like "what are you talking about?" and signed BALL. This was the first moment I truly understood and realized, that as a parent, I would not always know what my daughter was interested in! Thank heavens for signs so that she could tell me what she wanted to hear about, so I could fill her head with information about the ball...and not the dog which she couldn't have cared less about at that moment.

    And my last story is about my 3rd daughter when she was about 13 months old. Natasha had thrown up in the night, but didn't cry so I didn't know. So when I went into her room in the morning, her and her bed were dirty. I said and signed to her "Uh oh Natasha! You are all DIRTY. Looks like you were sick while you were SLEEPING. Let's go have a BATH." So I gave her a bath, reinforcing the signs. About 45 minutes later we were all eating breakfast, talking about other things, and Natasha put down her spoon and signed BATH. Here is how our mini conversation went:
    N: BATH
    Me: That's right, you had a bath this morning.
    N: DIRTY
    Me: That's right, because you were dirty.
    N: SLEEP
    Me: Yes, you did get dirty while your were sleeping!

    Satisfied, she then picked up her spoon and resumed eating. She had something she wanted to talk about, and she was able to with no hesitation from me. For me...that's what signing is all about!

    MamaS, I am sure you also have a gazillion stories of positive experiences signing with your first child. I encourage you, before you throw signing out the window, that you consider the other benefits you experienced, and evaluate if you are willing to lose those moments with your second and other children.

    Good luck!

    ~Lisa

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