Easy ways to introduce sign language to your baby even if you have never signed before. Sign language is a great way to teach your baby how to communicate before they can speak. We have teamed up with Sign With Me Box for this blog post. Sign with me box is an AMAZING subscription box that focuses on teaching your baby how to sign! See our Intro Into Sign Language PART 1 here.
Michaela from Sign With Me Box says "A lot of parents ask us when the best time to start signing is. I think now is the best time, whether your baby is a few days old or a few years old! If you start when your little one is a few days or months old, you have lots of time to practice learning signs yourself and practice using them in your interaction with your sweet baby. If you start around 6 months, you'll get to see baby show that she understands pretty quickly through her smiles and laughs at your signs. If you start after the baby turns one, there won't be much time before the baby is signing back to you! You can start signing at any time and your baby will love it!"
For us learning new signs we've found some amazing resources on Youtube! But another FUN way to brush up on some signs is through signing books! They are a fun way to incorporate learning signs along with cozy reading time. Our subscription to Sign With Me Box came with two amazing books. She loves the Signing Time book 'Good Night, Alex & Leah' that came with this subscription. It is a full story then at the end has a sign guide for parents to brush up on the signs they can use throughout the story. Sign With Me Box does a great job curating products for these boxes!
4 Tips That Helped Us With Signing!
Each time you use the word USE the sign. Being consistent will help your baby learn and help them associate the sign with the action.
Example: Each time you give the baby milk make sure you do the sign for 'milk.' You can also ask your baby 'do you want milk' while signing for 'milk.' Eventually, your baby will sign 'milk' all on their own without prompting.
Personal Experience: When we did this with Mattie it took her a few weeks to learn her first sign. But we were super consistent and made sure to sign each time we did that action or said the word. The cutest thing was her signing 'milk' in the middle of the night when she wanted to nurse. I loved being able to also communicate with her if someone else was holding her, especially if she was starting to get fussy. I could sign 'milk,' and if she signed it back, I knew it was time for me to grab her back so she could get a snack.
When first starting to sign with your baby, don't introduce every sign under the sun. Your 7-month-old isn't going to learn who to sign full sentences in the first few days of signing unless they are some baby genius. Most babies do best when introducing a few signs at one time.
Example: Pick a few signs to start with that are practical and would help your baby communicate with you the best. Signs like milk, all done, and more are great ones, to begin with.
Personal Experience: We started with three signs and added more once she got those down. You can add more than, but I felt like for me I was still learning signs too so this was an easy way to slowly both learn together without getting overwhelmed.
Your baby likely will alter the sign a little bit. It might not be perfect at first, but it'll get there. They will perfect it over time. Just keep signing the right way, and they'll catch on in no time. Just be sure to be on the lookout for when they do start signing back to you because it might look a little different than what you were trying to teach.
Example: Sign for please is a circle rub on chest. Baby might rub their belly instead of the upper chest area.
Personal Experience: When we started signing with Mattie she was kind of all over the place. Her all done was two hands up instead of a flip out motion. Now she's got them down pat, but it took a little bit for her to figure out how the flow of the motions worked. Monkey see monkey do she picked up in no time.
Get Everyone Involved:
Likely family members and other caretakers of the baby will be intrigued by signing. Teach them the signs you are working on so they can use them with your baby too! The more your baby sees the sign done, the quicker they'll pick up on it. Plus once they start signing it's great for other people to know that they are signing for something if you're not around.
Example: Make sure your partner knows the signs too! So if they are watching the baby, they know what to look for as well as what to sign when offering or asking the baby things.
Personal Experience: Signing was excellent for my Husband when he watched her while I went to work. He was able to know when she was hungry, all done eating or wanted some milk. Signing for us has cut down on a lot of crying because she has a way to communicate with us before it gets to the point of frustration.
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Stay tuned for Communicate With Your Baby | Intro Into Baby Sign Language PART THREE & If you missed PART 1 check it out HERE