My baby can talk! (With his hands!)

by Lauren
(Pittsburgh)

I felt that I had a good idea about things that I did and did not want for my son, because I had been working with kids my whole life!


I knew that I wanted to breastfeed my son. I knew that I wanted to be able to stay at home with him, etc.

I had never given teaching my son sign language a thought! I still can't even remember how I heard about it, but around 5 or 6 months, I started bashfully signing mom and dad to my son.

He of course just stared at me! That lasted until around 10 months. At that point, he still hadn't signed mom or dad, but I showed him other signs.

I still remember when he first signed "dog". It was an exciting day. He is now 18 months and sign about 20 different signs that basically take care of everything that he wants and needs in a day.

It is amazing to me how fast he learns signs now....so fast that I have to do research all the time for new signs and then practice them myself.

Honestly, I think that he could learn quite a few more signs than he already does, but 1.It is hard for me to keep up 2. He has enough signs and sort of limited ability to really get the details of some signs so they seem confusing sometimes. It is similar to using words like meet and meat verbally in that I need to find out what he wants to say by seeing what context the sign is being used in.

One thing that had worried me is that he still doesn't talk a lot. He can say "dog", "dad", "dat?" for "that?"...That's about all.

My family thinks that we need to stop signing and teach him to talk, but I think that what we're doing works for us.

Plus, I thought about my ESL teaching background and realized that this is just like any other second language....talking is going to take longer for my son just like anyone else that has a first language to rely on. I have tell myself that is okay...and I know it is!

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