Toddlers and Sign Language - Sometimes, little is more...

by Aileen & Oscar
(Ireland)

Everything I did with my baby was different to what people in my family background did.


I was the first to breastfeed after two generations. I did 'Baby-led weaning' contrary to what had always been done before.

I chose his weaning foods for their high nutritional value. He slept in a hammock and then with me and now in a small bed beside me (he's 13 months now), as opposed to a cot from day one.

I didn't set out to be oppositional and I don't think there's anything wrong with those other things...I was just determined to exercise choice in a way that previous generations had not.

I was 35 years old when I had him and he'll probably be my only child. I had a chance to think about what really felt right for me to do with him...and that he would benefit from. Baby-signing was a part of that.

For mothers and fathers that don't feel wholly committed or don't feel that they have the time...I used a few signs whenever I thought of them from about 8 months on.

Now at 13 months my son can ask me for a drink or food, or more specifically fruit, and a bath. He can tell me with signs that he's tired or ask me if he's allowed to touch something.

It doesn't sound like a lot but it really impacts on our communication in a good way. He points a lot and improvises signs because he knows he'll be listened to.

I find he only really bothers with a sign if he is really motivated to use it. If I respond too quickly to his wants, he is less motivated to use his signs.

I will definitely be expanding his signs in the future...I'm hoping they're going to help both of us through the toddler years!!

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Do You Sign with your Toddler?.