Category Archives: Baby Signing

Baby Signing Pt. 2

Harper said his first word “eat” a little over a week ago. I was unsure if he was really saying what I thought he was saying, so I watched him for a week just to be sure. He already says things like mama, dada and baba, but he doesn’t really use them properly just yet. When he said eat or “eeeeeeeeeee” it was always at the right time, and most of the time he would also do the sign for it. Still I wondered.

After watching him for a week, I realized he was in fact saying it. How he said it depended entirely on his mood and how hungry he was. If he’s a little hungry, he just points at his mouth and says it. If he’s very hungry, he doesn’t bother with the pointing, he just whines “eeeeeeeeeeeee” over and over again.

Anyways, my friend Misty requested a video of this, so here it is:

Some of you may remember my first post about baby sign language. I’ve been sort of lax on the signing here lately. I still do it, just not consistently.

Close to a month ago, I went to my friend Theresa’s house to hang out for a bit. Her daughter is about two months older than Harper and very active! She started walking at nine months (correct me if I’m wrong on that Theresa)! Wow!

Anyways, whenever she wanted something to eat, she would walk up to Theresa and point to her mouth. It looked like a super easy sign to teach Harper, so I decided to try it. This time I threw some consistency into the mix 😉 At all of his meal and snack times, I would just point to my mouth and say “Do you want something to eat?” and then I would hand him whatever it was he was eating. It took about two weeks for him to catch on. And there’s a possibility that he was doing it before then and I just didn’t realize it!

I’ve always tried to talk to him like an adult, and it seems like he’s really beginning to pick up on what I’m saying. It’s so neat and it should make signing even easier for him to learn. And vice versa, I also think that signing will help him expand his vocabulary. I believe that if I had just said “eat” without doing the sign, he wouldn’t be saying it yet.

Baby Sign Language

Forewarning. This is a shameless bragging post.

I forgot to update about Harper signing for the first time! He did it about a month ago while we were staying at my mom’s house. I started signing to him (at about 3 mos.) whenever I would give him a bottle. I used the sign for milk instead of the sign for bottle because it’s just easier. I was just beginning to wonder if he would ever start signing back and had actually thought about quitting (it was a bit tiresome to sign E-V-E-R-Y time he ate). And then he did it.

He wasn’t due for a bottle for another 30 minutes. It was around 11:30AM so I decided to go ahead and eat lunch and then feed him afterwards. When I sat down and began eating, I noticed that he was looking very intently at me. He began to look back and forth between me and my plate and started doing the sign for milk. It took me a minute to realize what he was doing. I asked ‘Do you want a bottle?” to which he replied with a whimper (aka YES, MA!! FEED ME NOW WOMAN!!). It…was…amazing! and so exciting!! I’m so glad I didn’t give up!

We are in the process of teaching him more signs (mommy, daddy, nap, finished, diaper, more, etc), but it has been great being able to communicate with him with just that one sign! A couple of weeks ago, he started waking up a lot at night. I wasn’t sure if it was teething or just a growth spurt, but he answered the question for me by telling me he was hungry at 2AM one morning. I assumed maybe he had soiled his diaper, but when I went in to change him, he started signing for milk. He did this two nights in a row and then started sleeping through the night again. Growth spurts are fun. Not.

So yeah…the signing thing is AWESOME! Right now he thinks the sign for milk means food – he doesn’t realize it’s just for milk. If he wants puffs, he’ll do the sign. If he wants a bottle, he’ll do the sign. If he just wants more, he’ll do the sign. Etc. Here’s a video of him asking for more puffs:

If you’ve ever thought about doing sign language with your baby…DO IT!!! It’s crazy cool being able to communicate with them even though they can’t speak. I downloaded an app on my iPhone that helped me. It has over 300 signs – it’s called Smart Hands! 🙂