Will It Be Too Confusing to Teach Baby British and American Signs?


I've been using ASL with my 4 month old since she was 2 months (mostly to get me in the habit of using the signs).

She is indicating that she understands what milk, diaper, and daddy mean now (ex. she was fussing earlier today and i asked her if she wanted some milk. She immediately stopped fussing and looked expectantly at my breasts.

She also gets excited when I sign daddy, and will lay calmy when I sign diaper (i havent learned the sign for change yet ).

Anyways I took her to a class the other day and the signs are British so there are some similar but some are different.

So now I'm wondering will it be too confusing to teach her both? or should I scrap one and keep the other?...

I want to get the signing time dvds as a friend of mine has had such success with them.. but again they are ASL. ...

Response From Babies and Sign Com:

Hi there!

Thanks for writing in.

First, of all congratulations in your success with baby signing!

As for your question: the short answer is that, no using two different signs will NOT confuse your baby.

And seeing that your little one only uses a few signs right now, it would not be hard to start introducing British signs according to what your baby sign language class teaches in the UK.

It's like your daughter hearing the word 'cap' from you, and then 'hat' from her daddy. She knows they both mean the item that fits on your (or her) head!

This is pretty much what it would be like, if she learned two different signs for 'cracker' in ASL and then learning the sign for 'cracker' in BSL (British Sign Language).

Also remember that there are lots of babies who are raised bilingually where one parent speaks only one language to their baby and the other parent speaks a different language. Their child typically grows up being able to switch back and forth between both languages like it's no big deal!

On the other end.. Now, also keep in mind, that if you think AT ALL that your baby will be using BSL later on, with Deaf children at her school, or a similar situation, BSL would of course benefit her better for such a case.

But if you are using baby signing for your own family to communicate more clearly amongst each other, then feel free to go ahead and get the Signing Time Videos - which are TERRIFIC by the way!

Here's a great starter set below:

Baby Signing Time DVD Gift Set 1&2

I hope this information has helped you!

Again, congrats on your signing success and here's wishing you continued success on your baby sign language delights!

Babies and Sign Team


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