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Have any of you tried baby signing?


We did baby signing with DS1 (now 2 and a half)- we did the Tinytalk (just cos that was available locally)- we went to three classes and I bought the Signing pack and DVD. We started doing it at about 10 months. He didn't learn loads of signs but those he did learn were very useful- 'all done', more food, milk plus some of the animals. I have started doing Signing by myself this time with DD (now 11 months)- she has just started 'milk' signing.
Personally I wouldn't bother again with the classes- they were nice but at £4 for a lot of nursery rhyme singing ( which we do quite a lot of at home) I thought they were quite a lot (compared to a parent & toddler session- rather than 'expensive full stop'). Ths signing pack alone would be sufficient- couldn't recommend the DVD it was cringeworthy…...
That is my experience anyway….

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I've signed with all three of mine, I use sign language at work anyway so I didn't need to learn anything new, just teach it to the babies!  I did buy a book specifically about baby signing when my eldest was a baby, I think it was by Practical Parenting.  I went to a couple of classes at the Hay Festival this year with DD, they were quite good fun but I'm not sure I'd bother going regularly even if we did live close enough to one.  You can do it just as easily at home.  All three of mine have talked well quite early, and my eldest is still ahead of his peers verbally at nearly 5.  I don't know if this is down to baby signing or just because they are chatterboxes! wink

I signed with bub and went to classes.  I agree, you don't need the classes, but they were quite fun.  I used several books from the library and the only thing I would suggest is ensure that they use British Sign Language as some of them were using American.  This doesn't matter a lot, but it does make more sense to use BSL.  My sister in law uses Makaton for work and it was so handy that she could understand bub's signs when bub was at her house  smile

Bub didn't use loads of signs, but we both found it wonderful that she could express her needs / discuss what interested her with me before she could talk verbally.  To be able to say to a crying child who is pre-verbal, 'tell me with your hands what is the matter' and have her respond, wqas wonderful.  Occassionally, she'll still use a sign (at age 2) when I don't understand her speech, wich clarifies matters.


Hi- I love baby signing!!!- Emily took to it amazingly- we taught ourselves from the "sing and sign" dvd's as there were no classes round here (and also from the british sign language web site as she would often ask what the sign was for new things)- I signed to her from 7 months- and she signed back from 10 months- started with the basic "milk" "all gone" "tired" and rapidly progressed to her signing full sentences- at about 14 months we were having breakfast and she signed "black bird eating toast"- and when I looked out the window there was!!!! :o couldn't believe it worked so well- definatly reduced tantrums (she was going crazy one day and then signed that her teddy was upstairs- we had just fitted the stair gates) and she had about 200 signs by 2 years old- when she rapidly learnt to talk in full sentences- I'm sure that was due to the signing allowing her to understand how language works before her vocal cords physically allowed her. It is also so useful in "quiet" situations- we have survived several weddings by signing our way through books!
Tomas is starting to get the hang of it too- just about got "more" "milk" and "gone" but I think it may take him a bit longer as Emily is bombarding him with so many signs that he dosn't know where to start! I would strongly recomend all parents to give it a try- even if they only get the basics it is so rewarding to know what your baby is asking for rather than the guesswork of hungry- tired- thirsty- bored…And it was an amazing insight to the mind such a young child- the things that she noticed was lovely (manically signing "bee" in town and repeating it when I said there was no bees- then I noticed the "busy bee" bus was parked near us with a bee painted in the side!)

I signed with my dd, I just used a book and looked for extra signs on line. I would not bother with a class. She picked up a lot of signs and it did help prevent a lot of frustration when she was preverbal.
She also started talking early and is quite advanced for her age but again i am not sure if it is the signing or not

i have never done baby signing, i have to say i've been very skeptical of it as i failed to see the point! i always found my children were generally able to get the ponint across but i see what you are all saying about reducing frustration etc, so perhaps have changed my view a bit.  Have to say where the affecting talking is concerned my eldest was speaking in sentences way before most of his peers, could put a sentence together at 17months & not long after this for my youngest so i have to say i think this is just down to the child.


I found it wonderful for tiny pre-verbal toddlers and babies who wanted something specific.  It utterly decreases the wondering time and also is amazingly satisfying to be able to communicate without words.  The lack of frustration on their part is worth it.  Their smile when you get that they are thinking about, wanting an 'apple' or can see an aeroplane or want 'milk'  (the most used sign for us I think!)

My mother is a communicator for the loacl deaf community so signing was an easy thing for my children to learn.  They are much better than I am!  I took the time to learn the basics and that was it!

I have done baby sign this time - less from a desire to give her an extra tool to communicate and more because languages are so much easier if learnt in infancy!  I would love for her to be bilingual and I'm far more able in sign than any other language.

I haven't attended any classes but I had used the sign for drink a few times before feeding Morgan and she had copied it once or twice when in a good mood but feeling like trying her luck on the milk front.  wink  Then I got a really simple basic baby sign book and started using milk instead, and immediately she started using it and has done so ever since that first feed with the sign.  Usually she latches on and gets comfortable, then sticks her hand out and signs frantically when the letdown starts.  It's the funniest and cutest thing ever.  smile

I had tried to persuade Jenna (nearly 3) to learn some signs and she had totally resisted.  When she saw Morgan do it she made me show her every sign in the book and a whole lot more besides.  Within an hour she knew at least 50 different signs by heart and has since showed them to anyone who will watch her.  I was blown away!

Living, loving, learning, laughing, growing, with
8yo Jenna (August 04)
6yo Morgan (December 06)
4yo Rowan (April 09)
and toddling baby Talia (December 11)

GP LETS number 17

We do but you know that already! R has just started signing finished consistently and bird… he's like his brother though and very lazy as he hasn't started signing until he can attempt the verbal too  ???

Lucy - I'm skeptical about it improving language too, but I don't think extra tools for communication are ever worthless.  I learnt to sign with a close friend as a teen and found it helpful - to sign last minute stuff as she got onto her bus, to comment on the game accross the basketball court, to just talk when I couldn't be bothered to deal with other people butting in and being loud.

Plus it's fun.  And very satisfying to have another tool for connecting.  smile

Living, loving, learning, laughing, growing, with
8yo Jenna (August 04)
6yo Morgan (December 06)
4yo Rowan (April 09)
and toddling baby Talia (December 11)

GP LETS number 17

I did Sing and Sign with my second, and am starting signing, although probably won't go to classes again now. I thought it was brilliant, I thinkthat communication was easier, frustration much less (although obv tempraments come into play too). What I did find when P started to talk was that her vocabulary was big straight away. She is nearly 3 now and still signs at times, to emphasies, back up what she is saying, or if she is particularly upset or has hurt herself and is too busy crying to talk! I would recommend it to people.  ;D

HI there.  My BIL is deaf so signing to Jacinth just seemed like the obvious thing to do.  We tell her when it's time to change her nappy, ask her if she's got a poo in there (she smiles or laughs if she has) and sign food, drink, finished….......

Today, for the first time she clearly told me she had finished her main course and smiled like mad when I signed the same thing and put the food to one side.  She's just turned 10 months. 

It's a bit hard for us too as my 'mothers aid' changes every so often* and they have to learn signs and remember to sign it to Jacinth with each food / change etc.

I find it so hard when she's upset about something and can't tell me what it is.  We don't do enough signs to cover every possibility.

(* I have a carer as i'm disabled and they help to care for me and Jacinth too.  Also the reason why we can't get to any classes!)

Hi Chantelle (good to see you back- hope you're doing ok)
I know what you mean about not being to help when they are upset- the hardest time was when Emily learnt to sign "help" but couldn't tell me what she wanted help with- I felt terrible.
She did learn "hurt" which was useful- if she hurt herself when I was out of the room (she was the most active baby ever!- could climb onto the sofa before she could properly crawl, and was often found on the coffee table at under a year old! :o) she could tell me what hurt- and what she hurt herself with
It'll be lovely for your family too, as Jacinth will be able to talk to your BIL- I found it very aquard as a child to talk to my nearly deaf Grandmother and never got to really know her.

Its good to hear that many of you have managed to sign without attending classes. I didn't go to classes, there weren't any in my area plus I was already a fluent signer.

I set up a baby signing website to support people who want to learn to sign without attending a class.  smile :

That's a great idea Chell, what's the website address?

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