My Daughter Can Communicate with Signing!

by Jennifer Hochstetler
(Dalton, Ohio)

I am a first time Mom and two of my friends had children several months before me and I saw their children learning to sign so I look up a few key words that I wanted to teach my daughter such as milk, eat, more, all done, and potty.

I began signing to her at 5 months old and had her grandmothers (who watch her on the few days I work) sign also so that she was getting consistent communication. The first sign she picked up was milk as it was the most often used sign and she saw immediate response to it.

She started to sign around 7 1/2 months with milk and followed shortly with eat. As we continued to sign to her she was able to pick up on the rest of the signs quickly because the first two she learned were ones that required a response from us.

She was thrilled to be able to communicate with us and tell us exactly what she wanted. This is great because at 11 months I can ask her if she is hungry and if she wants milk or food first and she will tell me!

We are working on signing please and thank you so that she can learn to be polite and not just whine if she wants something!

I am also a mom who wants to begin potty training my daughter early to minimize the two year old attitude of not wanting to.

I started to introduce her to the potty at 7 months after she could sit up and would take her when I could catch her going. Each time I would take her I would sign potty to her.

At 10 months she began to sign potty and each time I would take her so she understood that it meant mommy knew what she was saying and sometimes she would go! I was amazed!

Now at 11 months she will sign potty if I am using the potty, but will also sign potty if she needs to go or is currently going in her diaper. It is great to have this type of communication which will only get better as we continue to potty train our daughter.

For all the (baby sign) skeptics who think that signing delays their communications skill, you are wrong!!

My daughter has picked up signing and loves it because she feels she can talk to us when she can't say the words yet! She loves to be able to communicate!

At 11 months, she is saying more and more words each day! She will say hi and bye and also wave with each. She is even starting to put two words together such as "hi dada"!

My husband was not sure of the signing at first, but is now impressed at how quickly she has picked it up and how much easier it is for her to be able to tell us things! He is so proud that when we are with a group of people he asks her to do certain signs!

They cannot believe that an 11 month old can sign and then when she opens her month and says different words they are surprised as well.

I think that it is important to start early with the signing and keep it consistent!

Pick a few words to start with and once they pick up on those, add new words into the mix. I tried to pick words that would be used everyday and that are things that my daughter would want to communicate!

I believe that signing has helped with her verbal communication as she understands that by signing or speaking we can understand her needs and respond to them quickly! I am amazed at how quickly our daughter has picked up on communication and would recommend signing to babies to any new parent!

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