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Friday, January 15, 2010


Since hearing about teaching babies American sign language (ASL), I knew I wanted to do it with my kids. We got a signing book for Christmas, The Baby Signing Book (thanks S&L&R!). This book is very thorough - it includes an introduction about the history of sign language and how to go about teaching your baby, a dictionary of 350 signs that will be used the most, and a list of resources.

I read the book while feeding Baby J and picked the signs to start with (MOMMY, DADDY, TIRED, HUNGRY, CAT and GIRAFFE) and excitedly told J all about it. The key to teaching your baby to communicate using signs is to be consistant. I think that will be the hardest part.

Babies are great mimickers and Baby J is at the age where you could probably teach him anything. I decided it would be fun to teach him to stick out his tongue. So I asked him over and over if he could stick out his tongue and stuck mine out. I don't know if my teaching coincided with him being able to stick out his tongue or whether he actually is mimicking me, but now he sticks out his tongue all the time!

It's super cute and I just hope that people don't take it the wrong way. I can just imagine getting a phone call from the school about how Baby J got in a fight with another kid and it all started with him sticking out his tongue. We'll deal with that if it ever happens.

I like the idea that babies are moldable (unlike turtles) but it's a little scary at the same time. I spend most of the time with a little guy looking at me and might eventually mimic my actions. No picking my nose in front of my baby! But hopefully if I sign often enough he'll learn to greet J when he comes home with more than just slobber.

Are you signing with your baby (or would you if you had one)?


  1. I never did it but know people who've had great success with it. I do wish no that I had done it with Ethan (especially where he had difficulty with speech). I don't know why I didn't do it with Karington though. good luck, I am sure it will be really helpful, especially when it comes to asking for a drink or snack!

  2. It sounds like an exciting experiment! :D

  3. I will probably do it when the time comes. Hopefully I'm not too lazy to be consistent with it. ;) I sometimes wish our cat could sign. But he can't.