Monday, September 6, 2010

13th Mommy Mondays - Guest Post

Today I have a guest, Misty, Chief Editor of Baby Sign Language. She's here to share four steps for beginners in baby sign language. Thanks so much Misty!

Please leave a comment, if you'd like to read more guest posts from her about baby sign language!

Four Steps for Baby Sign Language Beginners
1.Choose which words you want your baby to be able to “say” using Baby Sign Language . Most moms start with “milk,” “eat,” and “more,” but other mothers choose to include: juice, hurt, bed, help, diaper, please, and/or thank you. It doesn’t really matter so much which signs you choose, but it will be easier for you, if not for your baby, if you start with just a few! Keep in mind that signs that represent nouns, such as “milk,” “banana,” and “blanket” will be far easier to teach than signs that represent abstract ideas such as “please,” “more,” and “sorry.”

2.Once you have chosen the signs you plan to start with, it is time for you to learn them! The signs employed by baby sign language are the same that are used in American Sign Language. You can find pictures and videos of these signs on several websites. At Baby Sign Language , you can print out pictures of these signs, which are called flashcards. Then hang these flashcards in your house in spots where you can readily reference them. Don’t worry, it won’t take long before you know the signs cold and you can take the flashcards down and file them in the baby scrapbook.

3.Redundancy, redundancy, redundancy, redundancy … now that you (sort of) know the signs, it is time to introduce them to your baby. How do you do this? You guessed it! Redundancy! Every single time that you say the word to your baby, you make the sign. When you ask, “Would you like some milk?” make the sign for milk. When you hand him the milk, or when he muckles onto your breast, you say, “Here comes the milk!” and make the sign. Do this with each word you are trying to teach, every time you can use the word! And be careful you don’t take the sign out of context. If you make the sign for milk, and you don’t produce the milk, that could confuse your baby! And if you ask him to sign for milk in front of your mother-in-law, and he gets no milk, well, he just might remember that!

4.Have fun! This is not supposed to be stressful. This is not supposed to be complicated. Don’t drive yourself (or your baby) crazy with goal setting and success charts. More than anything, this is a way for you to bond with your baby, so make it feel like bonding! Play games with your signs. Babies can learn the sign for “banana” fairly quickly when you play hide and seek with a banana! Read your baby stories that feature the words you are trying to teach. If you can’t find a book that meets your needs, substitute a few of your own words into the story – baby will never know! Relax, laugh a little, and sign a lot.

REMEMBER please leave a comment, if you'd like to read more guest posts from her about baby sign language!
Check out the site too, lots of useful tools to start teaching your baby sign language. Or follow Baby Sign Language on Facebook.

1 crafty contributions:

Hannah said...

Wow I had never heard of this before! Basically its like speeding up the process of communication, before a baby is able to speak English. How neat! I also like that the baby will be learning some real sign language at the same time too!