Baby Signs: The new frontier

As a first time parent, it is practically a prerequisite that I adopt as many baby projects as possible with enthusiasm and persistence as the over-eager go-getter that I am.

So what’s new with us in our home with baby Rose and her trio of adult admirers?

Baby sign language.

I’ve always loved the idea of being able to help give our baby words to communicate before her verbal skills develop so baby signing just seems to make a lot of sense. Of course you want your 12 month old to be able to tell you why she can’t sleep or what toy your 9 month old wants to play with next. Communication is key and even at Rose’s 6 months, we are starting to get a little frustrated by the guessing game that you inevitably play in response to the whine, cry, or high-pitched squeal (that last one is a new trick we know the neighbors enjoy too).

But of course teaching a baby sign language doesn’t happen by itself. You need to learn the signs, use them in context, and consistently teach the meaning and just wait for her to start using them to communicate back. We pulled together a list of routine signs (diaper, drink, milk, etc.) and some motivating signs (play, dance, book, etc.) and we are starting to integrate them into our natural daily narrations. I tried to explain it to my husband to make sure he joins our excellent nanny and me in signing and he just kept signing the following to me:

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This means “More Poop” 

Yep. Clearly he has a slightly stunted sense of humor but I have to admit it was sort of funny and definitely distracting from my little sign language lecture he was getting over dinner that particular night. 

We have close friends that have had such a great experience with signing and it is so cute to see their little one signing train with enthusiasm along with many other signs that allow him to communicate more than his words would allow him to do. Hopefully we’ll have the same successes.

I’ll keep you posted on our progress, we have barely gotten a wave out of little Rose so we know we all have a lot to learn. It will be fun, especially with a potty-hand-dad in the mix.

I’ll leave you with a final sign, one that will likely become widely used, even if it is just my go-to sign to my husband.

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2 thoughts on “Baby Signs: The new frontier

  1. Very funny post, I use lots of signs secretly with my hubby! Keep up with the signs, it can takes weeks or months to see signs back, but little Rose will probably start understanding your signs much sooner.

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