A sign of the times

In my field I have worked with many children who have used some basic signs to help aid their communication when they are unable to do so with their voice. So, when Princess Peach was born I knew immediately that we would be signing with her. From birth The Hubster and I have been signing “milk” pretty consistently. When she was 5 months old we took an 8 week sign language class to expand our knowledge beyond “milk” to help facilitate her communication. This class enabled us to add “bath”, “more”, “play”, “all done”, “finished”, “I love you” to name a few to our sign vocabulary. Not surprisingly her first sign was “milk” because when crazy people look like they are milking an utter every time they pull out a bottle eventually you are going to copy it right? I say people too because we got everyone on board! My sister, my parents, in-laws, nieces to name a few. Too bad the dogs can’t sign because she would be all over that.

The first time she signed we couldn’t believe it. We were in quite shock. Princess Peach would stick her arm and hand out, milk the utter and wait for one of us to see it. It was the cutest thing ever.  But we would have to watch for the sign. She hadn’t yet used the sign by looking at us and signing at the same time as in “I’m hungry mom, please feed me already!” One day in music class it was as though the sky parted and the angels were singing. She turned to me, made eye contact (yes, I’m big on eye contact because I work with children with autism) signed milk, I echoed back “you want milk?” took out her bottle, and she crawled over to me and drank it. All the other moms looked over. I was shocked and amazed all at once.I could not believe what just happened. It was one of my proudest mommy moments. We fully just had our first conversation. I totally understood what she said. She told me what she wanted and I could give it to her. Amazing. How cool?!

Here is a great sign reference poster of commonly ( can’t write commonly because who uses “frog” or “horse”on a daily basis) used signs with baby.

                                                         photo credit www.signingtime.com

Have you used sign with your baby or child? Was it successful for you?


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