As hard as it was in the beginning to persevere as a mother trying to teach her 5 1/2 month old baby boy sign language, the benefits are greatly paying off 4 months later! It’s never to late to start parents, and the results are so rewarding!
This past month, J’s signing has generalized all on his own from signing at mealtimes, or when he wants milk, to so many more opportunities…
Signing “more” for extra tickles, hugs or kisses.
Signing “apple” when reading and seeing pictures of apples in books.
Signing “more” for one more book before nap time.
Signing “more” for extra singing (even if it is straining everyone else’s ears ).
Signing “eat” when seeing others eating in books or in person.
Signing “milk” when seeing a bottle in a picture or during play.
These are just a few of the scenarios fresh in my mind. By no means is this post meant to toot my or Baby J’s horn (okay, maybe Baby J’s a bit ), but more to encourage parents to try Baby Sign Language!!!
Every baby develops at his or her own pace, as with all developments. Believe me, it is difficult to remember or continue signing in the beginning period when baby doesn’t respond much at all. It’s hard to get others on board with you to sign with baby. But stick with it, please, please, please! Remain enthusiastic and positive as best you can. Once baby begins to attempt to sign, reward and encourage! Stick with the positive praise and you will soon have yourself a little communicator!
Not only is is so rewarding and awe inspiring to see your little one communicate with you, it’s so sweet to see your spouse, parents, in-laws, friends and relatives signing with baby! After the many early months of trying to guess what your baby wants or needs when crying or fussy, you are now beginning to see him/her actually tell you! How great is that?
Last night, as bath time was winding down and my husband pulled the plug on the tub, Baby J quickly turned around to face the drain and faucet and frantically signed “more” over and over with his little raisin fingers, not wanting bath time to end. Matt and I looked at each other, laughing and making pout faces at the same time. Being the sucker that I am, I say, “He signed! How can we not give him a few more minutes??” Matt gave in and added some more warm water to the tub and Baby J began happily splashing once again. A few minutes and yawns later, Matt decided it was time to be “all done.” We waved byebye to the water and J once again began signing “more.” Knowing another few minutes would set us into cries during changing time, we put on a stiff upper lip, distracted Baby J and stuck with the “all done.”
Our little one sure does know what he wants, and just how to get it! Look out mama, those heartstrings are getting tugged and you are in trouble!!
Next challenge: Setting boundaries and learning when to say “all done” or “next time” despite the adorable fingers signing “more.” How to continue encouraging signing, if sometimes denying requests?
I’m thinking since baby J is generalizing certain signs, he really has them down and setting boundaries is okay. I’m thinking it, but my heart feels otherwise! Any tips or experiences from other baby sign language parents are greatly appreciated! Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below!