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Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign
I think baby signs are the best idea EVER. Okay, I seem to have developed a new fondness for shouting out the word ever.

Anyway, I'd read enough about it as we waited for Sera to know that it was really popular. I decided we'd give it a shot. We started out with three signs: go to sleep, eat, and drink. She picked up eat and go to sleep pretty quickly. Go to sleep made her cry at first, but eat was all good. Drink took a little longer, but she definitely has that down now. It's wonderful. I don't have to guess or wonder why she's fussing. In fact, she doesn't have to fuss. She gives me the eat sign, and I give her some food.

The first few days we worked on eat, I made sure to keep some puffs or something handy. I wanted to give her the food immediately so she'd associate the sign with the result. Now when she gives me the sign. I put her in the pack 'n play to keep her safe and head to the kitchen. I tell her I'm getting her food and she understands and waits patiently, usually. Sometimes she'll shout to urge me on.

Drink was a little harder for her, but she's got it now. She can be quite insistent, too. Now I want to work on specifics with her. Yesterday she kept signaling that she wanted a drink, but she would push away her sippy cup of water. I've been working on the water and milk signs with her. I guess I need to learn the juice sign. I have no idea what that one is. We are also working on more.

She even uses the go to sleep sign. In fact, she used it this morning. We had a lazy start to the day. We were all up way too late last night, but that's another post, so we slept in. When she woke up and had her bottle, all three of us laid in bed watching The Wiggles and Higglytown Heroes and played, mainly played. She started acting sleepy and ready for her morning nap, but she couldn't find a comfortable position to sleep in. She's a wiggler and likes lots of room. I got out of bed and she crawled across the bed to get to me. I picked her up and she gave me the go to sleep sign. I took her to her room and put her in the crib. She smiled at me, plugged in*, and was out in virtually minutes. I know, I'm spoiled.

I'm not concerned about please or thank you. Those can wait until she talks. She's already saying thank you. It's the cutest. Whenever she hands me something, I always say thank you. About two days ago, I handed her something and she said, "ache oo." Jim and I looked at each other and said, "she said thank you!"

What other signs should I learn though? I see this as a method of communication to help us until she can talk. I want signs that tell me what her needs are at that moment. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears, errr...eyes, errr....you get the idea.

*That's become our term for her thumbsucking. She only does it when she's falling asleep. She never sucks her thumb when she's fully awake and rarely when she's completely asleep. It's just her way of getting to sleep.



Blogger Colleen said...

She is one smart little lady!! Good for you for teaching her the signs - I want to do the same.

Funny how you say "ever"! I do the same!

Blogger Kate said...

Hmm... it's been a while now. My Emily (now 7) started speaking at 6 months and had complete sentences by a year (!!!) so we never really got around to signing.

My son, on the other hand, didn't say a single word - not even Mama - until 15 months. At his 15-month checkup, the doctor started talking about speech therapy, but I blew him off because I knew that (a) he understood every word I said, and (b) he signed around 20 words. By 18 months he was speaking in complete sentences and the doctor referred to him as "advanced." Whatever.

Moral of the story is, I'm all for signing. I just can't remember which ones we used. There's a site somewhere - through some college, and how unhelpful am I? - with very good video clips for learning signs, I found it through a search. We signed "more," "please," "thank you," "milk," "cat," "mother," "father," "hungry" ... that's all Willem and I can come up with for now.

Blogger Kate said...

I found it! A friend remembered it was Michigan State! Yay!


She also suggests the Signing Time videos - we never used them, but lots of people swear by them (albeit silently!)...

Blogger Pauline said...

I work with toddlers and I use sign language with them. For Juice i use the milk sign but under the chin. Hope that helps. I love following your blog. Sera is so cute and you guys are very blessed

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