When Charlie was around nine months old I started researching this concept called Baby Signs. Baby signs is teaching babies basic signs for their basic needs before they can talk. Charlie picked up most of his signs around fourteen months. He signed words like, eat, more, please, thank you and all done. These basic signs eliminated a lot of crying in our house because he was able to communicate with us what he needed.
The Baby Signs program bases most of the signs on ASL (american sign language), but some signs are tweaked or simplified for babies. What is important to know is that what your baby uses as a sign is not as important as you knowing what it means. As long as you and your baby now what it means, that's all that matters!
Eventually I was trained by Gymboree to be a Baby Signs instructor. I loved teaching Baby Signs. One of the main concerns of parents was, would teaching baby signs delay the child's verbal skills. Actually, the research proved opposite. Research shows that baby signs babies excel in their verbal skills. I have seen this in my son, we constantly are hearing from others about how verbal he is (some times too verbal for us!). The analogy that I love for baby signs is that signing is to talking like crawling is to walking. Baby Signs bridges the gap between cooing and talking and really eliminates a lot of the frustration during those in between months.
All of this comes off the excitement we felt when Gracie mastered her first sign this weekend, please. She is all about "please" now!
If you have any questions or stories about Baby Signs leave us a comment!
I will leave you with some pictures of Charlie doing some baby signs when he was about 14 months old.