Baby K is learning so much! In the past couple of weeks, she has really impressed us with everything she can do. It's amazing.
One thing that was very important to me when thinking about raising my child was being able to teach her to communicate before she could talk. I took some sign language classes in college and have tons of mom friends that taught their children to sign. I saw how beneficial it was to the child to be able to ask for things before they were verbal and knew I wanted to implement signing into Baby K's development.
We tried to sign with her when she was about 6 months old, but we didn't have much luck. She was learning so many other things (like clapping) and I was concerned that she would get confused because the sign for "more" looks similar to clapping. We would occasionally try to teach her some signs, but didn't push it until she was right at 1 year old.
My sweet friend Robyn recommended Baby Signing Time that she used with her daughter, so we checked it out on Amazon and watched some videos with Baby K. We concentrated mostly on the eating video as that is where we really wanted Baby K to be able to tell us what she needed. Just a quick warning, the videos are totally designed to entertain the baby - not the parent - so get ready to be annoyed that the songs will stick in your head!
Over the next few weeks, each time we wanted Baby K to sign something to us, we would repeat the word and sign several times. We added the words into our daily routine and constantly found new ways that we could use the words with her. Then one night while I was in Texas, Tolar said all of our repetition just clicked. He and my parents had taken Baby K out to dinner and she was signing like crazy. And now, she knows so much!
She can sign:
and she can blow kisses
The cool thing (which my friend Robyn mentioned to me as well) is that once she understood and signed a couple words to us, it just clicked and didn't take her long to add more. "Please" was one of those words. After I saw how well she understood the other signs, I showed her please. I really only showed it to her about three times and she had it mastered! That warmed my heart, my child already has manners!!!! All I have to do when she starts reaching for something is say "can you say please?" and she will sign it for me. I am so proud of her.
The repetition of using the same words and having her see (and pay attention to) the signs was really helpful. When she has had enough food, she doesn't have to cry and we don't have to wonder what she needs. She can sign "all done" and I know to clear her food. The same with "more," if she wants more to eat she knows how to do it. Her signing is super cute too.
Here are a couple pics that I snapped of her with my iphone (which explains the photo quality and why she has ghost hands).
To the parents out there, did you try to teach your children some signs before they could talk? Do you have anything that you would recommend?