Saturday, April 11, 2009

Baby Signing

Before Ace was born I had these grandiose ideas that we would teach him sign language. I have know the alphabet for many years, in fact used it in high school to communicate across a room at church, school, wherever... it was the poor-man's texting in the 90s. I had some rudimentary knowledge of basic signs for mother, father, water, hungry, more, etc.. and for a while I was even attempting to learn it with a friend that is well versed in it.

My mother actually takes classes in her spare time and uses sign language with her kids at school (she works with the special need kids) She purchased a Baby Sign kit when I was in my early stages of pregnancy. I learned one new word at that time: milk. It's a simple sign just think of the motion your hand would make squeezing a cow utter and then repeat the open and closing of that hand and there you have the sign for milk. We began from the day Ace was born, my husband and I, to show him that sign every most of the time when Ace would want to eat.

My husband also has been relatively faithful in showing him the sign for diaper when we change him. I however have failed to recall this sign during the changing process as I am often more concerned with avoiding a shower or a second though of "I'm not done" with his business type extravaganza! So diaper isn't working out so well...

But I have to say how exciting it was the first day we saw Ace make the sign for milk! He was just around seven months old. It was right before we went to California for Grandma's funeral. He had started to get fussy and then made the sign. At first I didn't notice him doing it until I made the sign for milk and he looked at me like - duh woman that's what I've been motioning for this whole time. He already does the indignant look very well. (I know future trouble, right?) But I was so excited!

The milk sign though is not exclusive to milk, but more of an "I want" so it is when he wants milk, when he wants up, when he wants water, when he wants attention. :) So for now at least we know when he wants something and he doesn't have to immediately cry for it and if a baby sign works for that - absolutely! I'd teach it all over again! We are now expanding into "all done" "water" and "eat" and we'll see how quickly he picks those up.

But I am certainly a proud momma bear that my son can sign milk! Enjoy the picture that has nothing to do with the post, he's just too adorable!


Crazee Juls said...

My sister and I used to do the "alphabet" signing back and forth too when we were younger. I LOVE, Love that you called it texting...ha ha... I'll have to tell Rachel (my sis) about that. She'll get a kick out of it.
I have a friend that taught her kids to sign as babies... I didn't even think about it when my kids were babies.

MoodyMommy said...

It so was texting back in the 90s...that is how I use to communicate during lectures at school!!

I too often have great huge plans that fall by the brain works faster and better than the rest of body..I guess...

Happy SITStas Saturday

Alison said...

Good job! I'm always amazed at hoe quickly kids pick things up once they get going!

Melissa said...

I had baby signing books for my Aiden as well. I had it all planned out, but only ended up teaching him more and all-done. But you're right it is so amazing to see them sign something for the first time! And so cute too! Good luck on your new signs!

McMommy said...

That's fantastic!! We only ended up with two signs: more and all-done. Very helpful for both mom and baby!! (so funny about the "texting"!)

Carey-Life in the Carpool Lane said...

Yea for signing! I signed with both my boys (but much more so with my first) and it is great. "More" is probably one of the signs they used the most.

Now my boys are nearly 3 and just turned 4 and I use the sign for "toilet" when I don't want to embarrass them or me (i.e. asking them in front of their friends if they need to go to the bathroom or telling them that's where I'm going when they see me leave from across a crowded room). Just today my husband and I used signs (during a very crowded and loud local easter egg hunt) to communicate that I had one of our sons with me but couldn't find the other one. It was so handy (pun not intended)!

Congrats to you and Aiden for starting communication early. You deserve to be one proud mama!

Ter said...

here from SITS. I have a severe-profound hearing loss. That means I can't hear at all in one ear and ear very little in the other. I grew up oral, meaning without sign language. My parents did not want to learn it. I think it's great that so many hearing parents are teaching their hearing kids to sign, it shows that it's an important part of communication, no matter your hearing. :) Keep working at it, even if you only know a handful of signs, it's still improving your communication with your child. Kudos to you! :)

Also, I want to point out that often times people learning signs to teach their baby tend to want to learn all the signs, and get frustrated when they can't remember them. The trick is to figure out what words you would use most often. Milk, Want, Play, Eat, baby, mom, dad, sleep. In English, you may speak to your baby in all the words but there are some key words that your baby is going to hear the most from you. Pay attention to what those words are, and then practice the signs for those words.

Also, check around your area, there may be a Baby Sign Group. It's like a play group, but they sign. :)

Dirty Mouth Mama said...

I loved it when my girls signed. The first one learned more than the second, but potty was another one that came in handy, and once the sign for puke was handy in a restaurant.

Keep it up.

Found you through SITS...See you at my site sometime.


Kathy B! said...

You're right -- the pic *is* adorable!

My kids did some limited signing when they were babies and I thought it was great. Have fun with it :)