Baby sign language

Today I’ve been ruminating on a comment made by Ian, that he wondered if his youngest (3 or so weeks younger than Sir A) had the ability to sign an emotion. Not being her mother I can hardly experiment on her to find out, but I can experiment on Sir A.

We ‘started’ our baby sign language journey when Lord B was maybe 10 months – seemed a great idea. Only it didn’t really happen. The only time we’re 99% sure he actually used a sign was once, to ask for more ice-cream.

This wasn’t our fault. We were consistent with use, we only used a couple to start off, and we were even super patient, but he just wasn’t ready to sign until he’d already started talking.

We had plenty of plans to get Sir A started young, which didn’t happen (surprise, surprise) amongst the mayhem that had become our life. Then, at some point I can’t remember, it occurred to me that such a thing as baby sign language existed and I started using a few signs. Very intermittently, so most didn’t take off.

Our two consistent signs are sleep and more. Actually, more doesn’t get used much anymore since, when you can say it, why bother signing? The sleep one is cute – generally used only in the evenings. I ask if he’s ready for bed and he smiles, cocks his head to one side with his hand on his ear, and toddles off to the bedroom.

A couple of weeks ago I’d fished out the baby signing book and stuck it by my computer. This is where I put things so I remember them, then don’t get to them and my husband tidies them up in exasperation at how messy it looks. Amazing system.

Anyhow, I actually picked up the book today and looked up a few signs, including angry and sad. Not because it’s at all hard to tell whether Sir A is angry or sad, but because I want to see whether he’s able to identify which is which himself.

Guess we’ll see what happens. He has quite a lot of words so may think learning more signs is beneath him, but it would be great if it works, so I can tell people that a 17mo can identify how he’s feeling. I’ll update when it happens or I get sick of trying.


PS: I forgot to say that we also have bath – a random rubbing of the torso accompanied by “barf”, and hot, backing away and blowing to cool it down. I really must introduce African Baby (Sir A) properly, soon. He’s super cute.

3 Responses to “Baby sign language”
  1. AfricanKiwi says:

    haha your system sounds so much like mine!Except Matt just moans about the mess instead of tidying away as he’s learnt his lesson the hard way when I’m trying to find something I KNOW I put by the computer. Even the boys take one look at the pile & walk away haha

  2. Nicola says:

    Maybe the baby signing is a bit of a boy/girl thing. Adam never really picked it up whereas the girls (Dani, Em and Charlie) have all used several signs. Aren’t girls supposed to be better communicators and all that? (Not true in our house either btw). 😉

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  1. […] ranted about how toddlers have feelings and can understand them if helped. Shortly after that I ruminated on whether I’d be able to teach Sir A to sign emotions so I could get some idea of how young […]

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