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Signing With Baby

Do You Sign With Your Babe?

Most baby stores now carry sign language merchandise from books to DVDs and flashcards to placemats.

I only taught my lil one the sign for "more," but my friends have been more diligent in their efforts. Advocates say that children who sign are less likely to throw tantrums since they can communicate earlier. On the flip side, others argue that signing can delay speech development as tots learn to rely on their hands.

When it comes to sign, what's your stance?

raieven raieven 9 years
"I don't have any kids yet, but when I do I will definitely be teaching them this!" me too! on a related note some friends of my sister taught their son sign language and he speaks wonderfully (and is super advanced, tho' that is prob coincidence)
Zero_Cool Zero_Cool 9 years
My niece did this when she was younger. I remember her doing a sign for drink, food, nap and home. She would do that and try and say it, but it just came out in babble. So her being able to tell us she was thirsty or hungry was great! My sister in law always made sure to speak it when she signed it, so I think that helped. I will definitely be teaching it to my kids when I have them! And my mom is a speech pathologist as well and thought it was a good way for my niece to communicate her needs. She also said it was good that we both signed it and spoke it, so my niece would do both as well.
graylen graylen 9 years
My nephew (22 mon) was taught to sign from the beginning, both from his parents and daycare. It was fantastic. He could do nurse, play, diaper change, more, please, all done, milk, eat, sleep, etc. It was great to really be able to communicate with him at such a young age (6-7 months)! We spoke and signed at the same time. I don't think it has slowed his communication skills. I have also heard that even if it may slow speech, it is growing their language core. Similar to how many kids who are raised in bilingual households don't speak until later, but start by speaking two languages. He can say all of those things now (and many more) and often signs and says them at the same time.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 9 years
Hey, LA Mommy712 I love that you are teaching your son Mandarin, that is so admirable. Especially since lots of parents (regardless of the culture or language) neglect to do this (as well as not teaching the kids to read or write in the language) and also to many people nowadays wrongly think that being bilingual or knowing some other language first will delay speech...but it only seems that way at first, after awhile they language ability really grows amazingly!! I think what you're doing is soo cool. :)
LA-Mommy712 LA-Mommy712 9 years
I'm trying to teach my son Mandarin (I'm a Mandarin speaker) by speaking it exclusively to him. My husband speaks English to our son, and of course he hears a lot of English around him during outings and from our friends. So I'm bypassing the whole signing thing because I feel like that would be too much to add to the mix. Also, frankly, I just don't have that much time with Jack (I work full-time) to teach him a third language ... one that's going by the wayside once he learns how to talk. I feel like that's a lot of effort for something that we'll use only for a few months. But that's just my perspective ... the bottom line is, I feel like any effort on parents' part to communicate with their kids can only be a good thing!
fsquaash fsquaash 9 years
We didn't do it with our kids, but I don't really see the point. Even when my kids couldn't talk, I could tell what they wanted by the way they grunted or pointed. Also, most of my friends' kids who sign do seem a little slower using language--which seems to negate the benefit of early communication.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
"I don't have any kids yet, but when I do I will definitely be teaching them this!" exactly what I was going to say!!!
gossipqueen7 gossipqueen7 9 years
my daughter is 6 months and we started teaching her sign language 2 months ago. She has yet to pick up on it, but they said to start at 4months because a baby can start signing by 6 months. She watches me intently everytime I sign. I hope she picks it up soon!
Jessie-M Jessie-M 9 years
I dont have any kids yet, but when I do I will definitely be teaching them this!
macgirl macgirl 9 years
My husband and I are looking into this right now as our little guy is 2.5 months and you can see in his eyes how much he's trying to figure everything out. I had heard that kids could sign what they wanted before they are able to speak it, so I figure it's worth a try.
SugarKim4203 SugarKim4203 9 years
I'm in my very very last semester as an ASL Interpreter. Say what you want about children not speaking as quickly as others because they use sign, here's what I know (and you should take into consideration) 1) There are ton of hearing children that are born to Deaf parents. They speak perfectly fine as adults and have the added benefit of knowing a second language growing up. 2) Children develop skills in their hands sooner than they develop the skills that require speech. 3) It won't make your children speak any sooner than normal, but it sure as hell can make it easier for your child to communicate that he/she is hungry, tired etc! OK, those are all the points I have. Luckyme is right, you really should speak and sign at the same time. With all that said, heck yeah I'll be teaching my children ASL.
luckyme luckyme 9 years
I hadn't even heard that people do this to speed up the language learning process. I know right now that she understands a lot of what we say (she is 9 months), but she is just learning to talk so she can't communicate back as much as she would like. I like using the signs for things like eat and nurse. Those are basic needs that she can now communicate. If she is fussy and wants to nurse, she tells me. In that aspect, it's great! However, I have heard that signing can actually impact language learning in a negative way. The book we have emphasizes that it is important to speak AND sign, not just sign.
schnappycat schnappycat 9 years
I'm intrigued by this, but really have no idea how to start. I noticed my public library has classes, so I might try that. I also get a Baby Einstein signing DVD for my shower that I have yet to check out. So, we'll see. It does sound like it might be nice to have my son communicate before he might have otherwise, but I'm not set on it quite yet.
Courtney82 Courtney82 9 years
i love being able to understand what my daughter wants without having to figure out what she is trying to say. it is also so fun to see her learn the sign than try saying it. I had watched a special about the two parents who are speech pathologist and have a 15 month old reading words at 15 months. they say it was due to signing and working on the words with her. so cool!
karlorene karlorene 9 years
I'm actually a Speech Pathology major, and while teaching your baby to sign certainly can't hurt, it really doesn't help making learning a spoken language any faster. My teacher talked about this in class before- a lot of people are trying to make money off of this, because parents think all of the sudden they need to teach their babies to sign too in order to help them develop language faster... not true at all. so if you want to do it, go ahead, but if not, don't worry!
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