Monday, June 11, 2012

Baby Sign Language 101 - Start with 3 to 5 signs

Have you ever bitten off more than you could chew? Consider this tidbit when starting to sign with your baby.

My mom is deaf and she signed in abundance with me as a baby. I began signing back at 9 months old. My children signed at 4 months, 7 months and just shy of 2 months, respectively. I credit this in part to the fact that we signed a specific number of signs to them in the beginning, as not to overwhelm them.

The analogy is this - if you dump out a box of puzzle pieces that has 24 pieces on the floor for your 2 or 3 year old, it is going to take a LONG time for them to put that together to get the big picture. If instead you start with a simple 4 piece puzzle set it is easier to see how the pieces fit. It will also make it easier on you, the parent or caregiver in remembering to sign these specific signs. As long as you pick the right signs to start with, you will have great success in signing just these specific 3 to 5 signs in the beginning and build gradually from there.

Take away:
Start with 3-5 signs, this way you are not overwhelmed with the idea of "teaching" your baby to sign.

Joann Woolley is owner and instructor of Sign4Baby in San Diego teaching parents how to communicate with their pre-verbal baby using American Sign Language. With her in depth knowledge of ASL as her first language she takes you beyond just the basics in signing, also filling your parenting tool belt with parenting tips and tricks coupled with signing as a great boundary teaching tool for toddlers. Want to know which signs most parents start with but gets them stuck in the mud? I'll send you that hundred dollar tip for FREE.

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