Baby sign language

My sister rented some baby signing DVDs from a library in Portland when my nephew Alexander as almost a year old.  He seemed to love watching the DVDs and started picking up signs quickly.  

We started signing with Nola when she was just a few months old and have recently come to see the fruits of our labor.  

I felt silly signing to the slobbery bobble-head doe eyed infant that rarely even made eye contact.  I got some eye rolls from skeptics, but I kept at it, unbothered.   

Now my almost 15-month old is picking up a few new signs a week and is consistently using 8 basic signs.  Of course, when prompted she will demonstrate the sign but she is starting to use the signs she has learned to communicate on her own accord.  

We purchased the baby signing time collection and have found it incredibly helpful.  Here is a link to the full Baby Signing Time DVD set.  You can save money by purchasing the digital collection or by purchasing it used.  It is not necessary to buy this set to sign with your baby, obviously, but it really made things easy.  I do refer to you tube for quick references for certain words I can’t remember or want to learn quickly.  I usually search “sign language + (word I’m looking for)”.  

Here are a few tips I have found helpful:

  • It’s never to early to start, like reading 
  •  Be repetitive.  Consistency is key. Every time you your give baby milk, say and sign milk
  • Get all or as many caregivers as you can involved, like potty training. It takes a village
  • You have to be willing to learn it to teach it
  • Every baby and child will learn at a different pace.  Be patient 
  • Have fun!! Make it more like a game and less like boot camp 

I am by no means an expert but I’m happy to answer questions and share what works for us! 

I felt that it made sense to introduce a few signs at a time and gradually add new signs as I learned them.  

I’ll try to remember to get more videos of her signing and post them, but here are a few that I have! 

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