For the last month or so I have been slowly introducing baby sign language to Pebble. I knew I wanted to try this before I had her. I think that it gives babies another avenue of communication and helps relieve some of the frustration of not being able to speak English.
Pebble is verbal – she tells me that she’s upset with a ‘mameeeeeeeeeeeh eh eh eh’. She tells me that she’s had enough of an activity with a high pitched ‘ah!’. She tells me that she’s happy with a gurgly, sing-song in varying pitches. And, of course, that goofy, cute laugh of hers.
Pebble also communicates with her body. She tells me that she wants to be picked up from her tummy by straightening all her limbs into stiff points and arching her back. She tells me she wants a toy by reaching out for it. She tells me she wants me back when she leans her whole body out of somebody else’s arms and into mine. She tells me she’s tired when she rubs her eyes and snuffs and snorts through her nose.
However, hopefully the baby sign language will help her to communicate even more. As I said, we’ve started very slowly, and so far I’m working on just one sign - ‘eat’. It seemed appropriate as it’s a sign that she can use to tell me she’s hungry, so she will be motivated to use it. It’s also something that we’re doing a lot of lately, as she is very quickly getting used to solid foods twice a day.
We’re using Australian Baby Hands, and got a good deal with their end of financial year sale. I got the book, flashcards, and DVD, which are all very easy to follow. Some of the other signs I’ve been thinking of starting next are ‘finished’ (which I already used with children at school), ‘more’, ‘ball’ and ‘book’. If you’re interested in trying it, you can get a free chart with a few simple signs from the Australian Baby Hands website.
Have you every tried baby sign language? How did it go?
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