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We started signing in earnest with dd (now 22 months) at about six months, using the first Signing Time video. She started signing back (with milk/nurse, dog, and Daddy) at 10 months. We now have the first 6 volumes of signing time...it has helped teach/reinforce letters, numbers, and colors, plus now dd has a great vocabulary. She had signing explosions at 13 and 16 months, but did not have one in speech until 19 months, so it was great to be able to communicate with her even if she did not have the "words." I stopped counting signs at 150.

Now we use it mostly for clarifications--toddler enunciation is not always the best ;-)

We've had a kick with it. It's a ton of fun, plus it provides (I think) an amazing window into what is going on in those constantly churning little brains!


I also love love love signing. Wayyyy back when I asked about her little temper tantrums and you suggested stepping up the sign. We'd been signing with her awhile and started to do more then and it made a huge difference in her general levels of happiness. I also really love the MSU ASL browser you linked to (Go Comm Arts!!). Very clear and easy to figure out. And I like the Signing Time show better than Maggie does (it's got far too little Elmo in her opinion) , but's an interactive way for us to watch TV and she came up with "play" yesterday almost immediately. And it makes a kind of fun party trick for friends without kids :-). She doesn't have that many signs but she's able to clarify for us what she wants pretty well. We started with "eat" "drink" "more" "sleep"" (which she refuses to do since she hates to sleep) and now she picks them up really fast, although her execution isn't always perfect.


I love signing, too. Just having my daughter know "eat" "drink" "more" and "all done" is a huge help! Definitely helps reduce temper tantrums when she can communicate what she wants to us.

The other day I was talking to an older woman at my work who was lamenting the fact that her son and his wife were doing signing with her grandchild because "the baby won't learn to talk, she'll only learn to sign." For some reason this misconception seems to be really prevalent where I live (the South), because I've heard it on various occasions. Certainly the research has shown that not to be true, and in my experience my daughter learns the word for the sign fairly quickly after learning the sign, and says the word and signs at the same time. It's a shame because it's also just so much fun. I remember the first time my daughter signed something, it was "eat" and she was being kind of fussy and I was trying to get some stuff done around the house and all of a sudden I realized that she was sitting there signing "eat" at me and I was like "Oh, you poor dear, you're hungry!" It was seriously THRILLING to be able to understand what she needed. And our reaction is always really positive (she gets lots of hugs and squealing when she breaks out a new sign)that she thinks its great fun and is always very proud of herself while signing. It's win-win as far as I'm concerned.


Thanks for the info! My wife and I were going to wait a bit to start signing to our baby, but after hearing your success story we're going to get right on it!

Her Bad Mother

This is so timely! I was just thinking this morning that it might be time to start thinking about signing, as Baby (5 mo)is really watching, and seems to be doing her own version of boobies/milk (hands outstretched, opening and closing fists). So, great post to discover while sitting down with coffee...

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  • My expertise is in helping people be who they want to be, with a specialty in how being a parent fits into everything else. I like people. I like parents. I think you're doing a fantastic job. The nitty-gritty of what you do with your kids is up to you, although I'm happy to post questions here to get data points of how you could try approaching different stages, because, let's face it, this shit is hard. As for me, I have two kids who sleep through the night and can tie their own shoes. I've been a married SAHM, a married freelance WAHM, a divorcing WOHM, a divorced WOHM, and now a WAHM again. I'm not buying the Mommy Wars and I'll come sit next to you no matter how you're feeding your kid. When in doubt, follow the money trail. And don't believe the hype.
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