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baby sign language !! Lock Rss

hi all !!
did anyone see the discussion on tv about baby sign language ??
what do u all think ??
i think it is stupid !! i think you we should teach our babies to talk instead signing !!
love to hear what everyone thinks!!!
Hi Silvia,
I saw that on TV last night and I didn't really think much of it either. I think we are much better to keep teaching them to talk rather than sign. We taught my daughter to speak and she did great and I'll be doing the same with my son. It just means if we were all teaching our babies to sign that means all our relatives/friends would also have to learn these signs otherwise they would have no idea what your baby wanted or was talking about and to teach everyone this skill wouldn't be easy.
But good luck to all the people that do want to do this new Sign Language skills with their toddlers, but I know its not for my family!

Hi there smile

Just wanted to let you know that we have been teaching our son baby sign since he was about 5mths old. He started signing back to us at about 7mths. We have found it to be really great for us as it has helped him to communicate some things that he would not normally be able to (especially before he started forming words). We actually think that it has also helped him in his speech development as we are reinforcing the word with the hand signals. He is now 13mths old and knows about 10 hand signs and about 20 words.

I agree with the fact that you need to teach other people the hand signals, but we found that those people that spend time with him picked them up easily and have no trouble in understanding him.

It may not be for everybody, but we figured that a little bit of extra effort could only be a benefit for him as it certainly does not hinder him in any way smile

Linda - mum to Riley 13.04.04 (#2 Due 29.12.05)


I am sorry but I am going to bite!!!! This ' baby sign' is actually not a language or a developmental milestone. I am very passionate about this, and I really think that this is a FAD!!!!!! AUSLAN is a recognised language of the deaf. I am a mum of deaf daughter and I have to use it, not because it's somehow in vogue at the moment or that its easier, because its not. I don't have a choice. If we are going to teach our children 'baby sign' then it should be a formal language that they can then actually use in a useful way instead of us as parents wanting our kids to grow up too quickly. Children will talk when they are good and ready!!! It's us that need to be patient.

Sue twin mum 19 month olds Tom hearing, Madeline hearing impaired

Susan twinmum boy/girl Oct 2003

Here! Here! Sue

I agree 100%
I'm a teacher and think it's a load of bollocks. Fine, teach signing, but make it AUSLAN and something that may benefit them later in life. (I teach my kids at school the alphabet every year. Might take them a while to have a conversation, but at least it's better than nothing)

I find it as annoying as people teaching their kids the 'simple' words, instead of teaching them the correct word from the beginning, eg 'bot-bot' for bottle.

My 'personal' opinion is that people should grow up and stop jumping on every band-wagon that passes them by.

Dette, DS 06.03, DS 10.04, DD 03.06 & Due Sept 07!

gee my baby is 11 months now, and I never really tried with the sign language, but now I would be really happy especially if he could tell me when he was hungry,

I'm worrying that I am not feeding him enough!


Liam Evan, 2

Today, I tried the "hand to the mouth" sign with my son (12.5 month old) to ask if he wanted food and all he did was laugh at me!!! At least I got some sort of reaction. Ha ha

Twins' Mum, VIC, E & A born 4/04


I did not see the program to which you are referring, however there have been a couple of reports on t.v. , in Practical Parenting, and Brisbane Child, in the recent past on this same topic.

I came into contact with a book called "baby signs" when my child was quite young, bought it, read it, and began to implement the ideas - teaching my child to baby sign...

Not long into the process i switched to using AUSLAN signs, the Australian language of the deaf. As a teenager my best friend was deaf, so i knew a little bit, general signs, the alphabet, some songs, - so it wasn't too hard to pick up a sign dictionary and remember the signs. Sign was new to my husband, but he didn't find it too hard.

I am really passionate about the benefits this language strategy can have on children. At 12 months old children are generally not saying too much, but because my child could sign, I could understand her requests and our lives were so much easier. The idea of teaching your child to sign (refering to the baby signs book) is not instead of to talk but rather as well as...It is just one piece of the language puzzle.

My daughter just turned two in Feb. and she uses 6-7 words in a sentence. A lot of her sentences are quite complex, and some of the words she uses just dumbfound me (like crocodile - that's a really hard word for kids!). Looking at other children her age in her groups at swimming, kindy, Gymboree play and music she is well on the way, and certainly her language seems to be quite advanced. When people say to me, "wow isn't she a good talker" I just reply "yeah she talks all day...I think it's because I taught her sign language when she was younger"... Honestly it is the only thing that I did differently to all these other parents.

Another benefit which just blew me out of the water was potty training...Ashleigh was fully trained for daytime before she was two (even her day sleep). I know that most children don't train until they're three, and muscles aren't meant to be developed, but she told me she wanted to use the toilet, and refussed using nappies..."no mummy, Ashleigh do wee wee on toilet".... So she did, and two days later she's using undies and keeping them dry.

My daughter doesn't sign anymore, she began talking when she was ready, and as she spoke more and more the signs dropped down. I'm sure she'd remember them, but unless it's really noisy, like at the shops on a Saturday, we don't really have a need for sign.

I really do agree with "baby signs" philosophy and reasoning behind teaching the hearing child to sign, but I really strongly reccommend that parents take the time to teach sign as a "second language", and as we're living in Australia use AUSLAN.

I do acknowledge that it was a bit surreal when other people came over who didn't sign, but everyone she was familiar with did. When my friends saw my daughter signing they were so amazed, they didn't realise just how clever little ones could be. They too then taught their babies to sign, and they have found the benefits rewarding also.

Whatever choice you make regarding language - Goodluck...All children are different and you will know what's best for your little one.


mAy all yOur wiSheS cOmE trUe...

Thank you Dette,

Thanks for your support. as most have the posts have implied that its easier for the PARENTS to communicate. I still don't understand what the rush is. As parents are we too keen to put pressure on the kids communication skills? Won't kids talk when their ready. Can't we let our babies be babies instead of placing pressure on our kids?

If Maddy wasn't deaf there is no way I would be 'doing' AUSLAN. My god there are so many more productive things I would rather be doing with my babies. What about their cognition skills???

Next parents will be putting the captions on the TV to improve their kids literacy skills!!! Mind you, I shouldn't be putting thoughts into peoples heads!!!

Sue Twinmum Madeline hearing impaired, Tom hearing

Susan twinmum boy/girl Oct 2003


PS I know, this is supposed to be at the end, but just read over my post and though i should put it here as a warning smile These are MY opinions, and the ranting of a teacher who has had a BAD week at school!

God forbid my son learning to read the captions...that's what we use when there's something on we don't want him to hear!!! Or when he and his little brother are making too much noise for us to listen to the TV.

You are right, there is too much pressure on kids to do everything earlier. As a Prep teacher, i've often said that the kids are great, it's their parents who cause all the trouble! They put so much pressure on their children, and cause more stress than necessary. A couple of parents have yelled at their little ones for 'looking at the pictures' in their take-home readers instead of reading the words. What the [email protected] do they think the pictures are for!!! Why are illustrators paid so much if kids aren't supposed to look at the pictures to help them read?!!

I really wish parents would spend time singing and dancing with their kids, paying ball games and board games, teaching them the more valuable lessons in life, like, "You can't win everytime", and "Everybody is good at something different". Kids need to learn about sharing, taking turns, encouraging others and celebrating when somebody else wins, to be more focused on the fun of the actual game, rather than the outrcome of it.

Kids are becomming more insular, less caring, and definatley more 'full-of-themselves'. They don't understand that they can make mistakes without the world ending, and that they jusy may not be the best at everything. Basically, i teach 28 children with parents who think their sh!t doesn't stink!!! "My son wouldn't do that!" says the mother who's kid bullied 4 younger kids in the playground. "I want a meeting with you! Please explain why he had to stay in" says the father whose kid had a lunchtime detension for not completing homework 4 weeks in a row, a project, and for generally being a brat!!

"Wow, they can communicate with me and tell me when they're hungry". Big deal, focus on the things that WILL make a difference in your childs life.

Dette, DS 06.03, DS 10.04, DD 03.06 & Due Sept 07!

hi Lee!!
i really don't want to start an argument here but i'm still not convinced that your daugter is so advanced because of the sign language you teached her !!!
my first son also talked when he was two years old and he was potty trained too and i didn't use sign language !!! i just had normal everyday coversation with him and talked to him like i would talk with another adult !!! didn't use baby talk with him !!!
but i guess we all different and teach our children differently whatever works for you !!!
with my baby i do the same just talk normally to him and he will talk back when he is happy i'm not in a rush !!! i'm happy that he is well and healthy and that's all it matters !!!
but i guess for you sign language worked best but i think your daughter would of talked without the signing !!! anyway i appretitiate your opinion and congratulations for a lovely little girl i'm sure she flles your days with happiness !!! ah yeah my son is 12 years old now and still tales a lot and sometimes i wish he would be quiet a bit!!!!
ok i stop rambling now have a good day!!!!

My eldest is the same. Uses complex sentences and correct sentence structure, up to and sometimes over 6 words per sentence. Knows all colours and basic shapes. Often things come out of his mouths that just astound us. He turns 2 on June 19th and i have never done signing with him.

Have you considered the fact that maybe it wasn't the signing, but the fact that you obviously spent time talking to your daughter?! It really is the most important thing we can do to help them develop language, and it doesn't matter if they understand us or not.

From your post i can tell that you spend a lot of quality time with your daughter, sharing all different types of experiences which you no doubt discuss with her. Maybe her advanced language has more to do with you and your influence than signing?

Dette, DS 06.03, DS 10.04, DD 03.06 & Due Sept 07!

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