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    2013 - 02.06

    Just wondering if there’s anyone we know who has some experience with Baby Signs or Baby Signing.  It seems as though there’s a few different options out there, and perhaps a few schools of thought.

    The original book that started it all seems to indicate that you should see what signs your baby is already making when they are trying to communicate and to largely adopt those as the language you use (this is a gross simplification).  We probably all at times growing up either had secret languages, or fantasized about having them.  That said, secret languages are most useful not in communicating but in keeping secrets, and that’s counter to our goal here.

    Other advocates seem to use primarily ASL (American Sign Language which is the official sign language for English speaking Canada), which makes sense to me since it would be a larger life skill for both the baby and us, if we started to become fluent in it we could actually use it for something else, whereas the secret language wouldn’t provide this benefit.

    One thing that I found especially odd is that as far as I can tell none of the programs are endorsed or provided by Deaf organizations.  It seems at least on the face of it that would be a natural fit, good outreach and a valuable revenue stream.  Also the fact that those organizations don’t seem to be involved at all triggers some cynicism for me at least.  Regardless, at this point we’re still planning on going forward with it.

    So I guess the questions that we’d like answers to are:

    • have you tried signing with your baby, and would you recommend it?
    • what resources if any did you use?
    • did you use ASL based languages or something else?
    • did you take a course, and would you recommend it?
    • did you teach everyone in the family the various signs? how about baby sitters?


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    2 Responses to “Baby Signs”

    1. Auntie Jeannie says:

      Yes, by all means do sign language. Typical babies don’t us a lot of words as it is only a bridge between knowing and speaking. It curtails the frustration of baby not being able to communicate their wants. The library is a good source for a book of the simple ones like more, finished, want, milk, eat, play, sleep, please, thank you etc. When they do something similiar to what you are showing them, then that is what the sign will be for them. They are smarter than you think!!! Joining a baby group for signing is a lot of fun as you will meet other parents and babies too. It’s fun for everyone to learn. I used to have some flash cards but don’t think I do anymore, for parents not babies! It’s fun and useful! enjoy! Sullivan and KJ both did sign language.

      • Karin says:

        Whoops! Only just saw your comment. So now, we’ve signed Nadia up for baby sign, and since I already know a bunch of signs because of a student who couldn’t speak, and I swear right now that Nadia calms down when we say/sign “milk” to her, although that might be at least partly because she’s fascinated with the person’s hand in front of her face, haha.

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