Friday, February 1, 2013

The Real Magic of Baby Signing - a guest post

 The Real Magic of Baby Signing

A guest post by Kari

Kari is Mommy to Elodie, a rambunctious, joyful and goofy 2 year old. She loves to blog about her adventures in motherhood, drawing upon her experience as a preschool teacher. When she is not blogging, Kari can be found relaxing with a nice cup of tea, snuggling with Elodie or browsing Pinterest.

There are countless reasons to sign with your baby- and they are all good ones. We all want to help prevent tantrums and encourage cognitive and language development in our little ones.
Signing classes are fun and entertaining for baby, and allow parents to bond in classes as tiny tots begin their first friendships. I could go on and on and on...

But the real magic- in my opinion- was not in how it was useful, helpful or IQ-raising "baby sign language" was. Instead, I just liked being able to understand what my tiny infant daughter was thinking about.
Our first conversations were about the "light", "fans", and "shoes" at around 9 months old. It was not until she was over a year old that she used sign to ask for things she wanted or to tell me how she felt. (Though as a 2 year old, her signs are super helpful in understanding her budding speech.)

But I thought it was amazing! Elodie would notice small details around us that I had tuned out to. When I would catch her signing and respond to it, her face would light up. And I think that our special moments where she signed and I understood what she was trying to communicate to me further deepened our relationship.

Of course she was always dearly loved and attended to, but signing gave her a way to express herself and feel heard and validated at a very young age. I will always do my best to hear her out and respect her voice. Signing gave us a way to establish that foundation (that some parents and children never successfully forge) at a very, very early age.

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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