Communicate with your baby using sign language
Communiquez avec votre bébé en langue des signes
At what age can I start signing with my baby?
There is no special age to start signing with your baby. He is one month, one year or more, it’s never too late. Though, the ideal time would be:
- Start signing with your baby since his birth. Like the children who have deaf parents, we can start signing with our baby just like we talk to him, from his birth. The baby will go through a time of observation and will reproduce the sign he saw since he was born, from the moment he will have the ability to.
- Wait until your baby is 6 or 10 months to start to sign. Most of the parents start signing when the baby is between 6 and 10 months. Generally, we know a baby is “ready” (to start signing, not to start watching the signs) when he starts waving bye with his hand or showing with his finger what object he wants. The advantage: Being able to see faster the result of this learning and not getting discouraged. Some babies starts signing back when they are 6 months old, other between 8 or 14 months.
Can baby sign like us?
As the learning of verbal language, your baby won’t make the sign perfectly from the beginning. The important is that you may understand him. He will sign better with time, if you continue, you, to do the signs correctly.
By what to start?
There is not really a method to follow : you have to take pleasure to do it and includes the signs to your daily movements. The words repeated, associated with the actions and signs will permit your baby to understand their signification, assimilate them and soon, imitate them.
Most of the time, we start with 4 base signs : milk/sucking, more, sleeping, eating. When the baby start signing, it means he well registered them. Then, parents can start adding more words, little by little. It depends of each parents and each baby.
Each time you pronounce the word, you have to make the sign, repeatedly, for your baby to understand what sign fit with what action.
Is it complicated?
No. We don’t mean to show the entire Sign Language, but introduce little by little the signs which fits with the daily needs and interests of your child: teddy bear, spoon, toy, nappy… Since you sign and talk in the same time, your child learn both communication method in the same time. Once he will start talking, he will stop using the signs by himself.
And you, by what sign did you start, and at what age?
Personally, I started signing with my baby just before he turned 7 months. I started with the sign : sleeping, eating, sucking milk, more, finish and dirty nappy. All these signs are very easy to learn and to reproduce (at least in LSF (Langue des Signes Française)), so it fits perfectly with our needs. I do it every time I pronounce the word, which I say a lot at each moment. I started only a few days ago, he observes a lot and I can’t wait until he signs back.
Where can I learn the signs?
Online, you can find free dictionaries. Be careful though, sign language is not international! Each country have its very own language. You can also find many books to teach Sign Language to your baby. On youtube, you can also find a lot of videos, but here are a few dictionaries which I particularly appreciate:
A few more words about it
Remember that your baby’s brain is like a big sponge, he can learn as much as you teach him! So why not to give it a go and take the opportunity to communicate more with your child, if you can? I invite you to check the category “videos” of my blog, where you can see a lot of amazing videos of mamas signing with their oh-so-young little babies.
If you liked it, I invite you to share/reblog it, so more parents can be aware that it’s actually possible!
Sources: Languesdessignes.com, Signe avec moi by Monica Companys, signingwithbabies.com / Translations by withheartshapedeyes.tumblr.com
Image: Our little son having fun with his father being 3 months old, nothing sign language related.