As a Mom of three, I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but one thing I got right was teaching my kids sign language when they were babies. It has reduced frustration and enhanced language development in all three of my children.
I’ll never forget the first time, my eldest, Ladybug, crawled over to me and asked for milk. The smile on her face when I understood and was able to give her what she wanted was brilliant. The joy of being understood was evident in her smile and the sense of peace I got from knowing that she was able to communicate with me was wonderful!
There were five major words that made my life as a Mom significantly easier that first year.
My daughter was able to tell me she hurt and point to where it was hurting. She could tell me she wanted to eat or drink and that she wanted more of something. She could also tell me she was ready to go instead of having a temper tantrum when we were out visiting with friends.
Her ability to sign was a sanity saver and a wonderful relationship builder for us!
Here she is today at 4 years old teaching our youngest to sign “eat.”
Here she is demonstrating “more” for her younger siblings.
As she got older and started to learn her manners it was also an easy way to help teach her to say thank you and please. When she was shy, she often wouldn’t want to speak out loud, but she would often sign. This worked well too when there were times that she needed to say she was sorry.
“Book” is also a favorite sign in our family 🙂
If I could offer new Moms three bits of advice other than making sure they got enough sleep and took care of themselves I would offer them this:
- Read aloud everyday.
- Go outside and offer lots of free time for play.
- Sign with your baby.
I’m not a big fan of exposing children to lots of screen time, especially those under two years of age. There are tons of awesome baby signing time resources out there, but several to most of them require a computer or a television screen.
I have found that learning the signs myself and then signing with them using Baby Sign Cards, while we read books, eat meals, and play to be effective and meaningful. This method requires no screen time and has the added benefit of one on one time interacting and communicating with your child.
Learning to sign “yes” with Grandma.
I used and continue to use Baby Sign Cards throughout my home to offer gentle reminders of some of the key signs for communicating with my babies.
Baby Sign Cards in My Home
I have baby signing cards hanging up in three key areas of my home.
- Kitchen and Dining Room Table
- wash hands
Leaving these cards in plain sight has also prompted involvement from other family members. Grandma and Daddy both sign with baby.
There is so much joy in being able to communicate and be understood!
The other children, now ages four and two also actively sign with our sweet baby. At ten months old, he regularly signs “more,” “book,” and “eat.” We are actively working on “hurt” and “drink.”
Here is my eldest teaching our youngest how to sign “drink” along with Grandma!
Signing together has proven to be a wonderful bonding experience for us as a family. If you aren’t signing at home, I highly recommend you give it a try. Baby Sign Cards are a great, inexpensive first step.
The image below is perfect for saving on Pinterest!