Monday, 1 March 2010

Baby Sign Language?

Heard before about teaching babies sign language, and up till now my thought was - very nice but I think I'll pass. Just seemed too much effort for me.

I very much want to do elimination communication with her, or nappy/diaper free or infant potty training as it is also called. Basically [very very basically that is..] it is about babies doing "their stuff" in a potty rather than in a nappy. There are many advantages to this method (like environment; cash; etc), but for me what's drawn me to it is the communication part. In order to succeed, you have to be in tuned with your child, to communicate with her. That's why I prefer calling it elimination communication and not infant potty training. Anyway I know this involves a lot of work (hopefully it gets easier with time), and being a single mother I'll probably have enough on my hands, so I am going to give it a go and try my best, but I won't feel too bad if I don't succeed.

So doing also baby sign language - that really seemed too much for me. I will (hopefully..) have some communication going on between us using EC. But then tonight I was reading in a blog post about using baby sign language while doing EC (she actually prefers the other term - IPT..) and how much more helpful it could be, if there were not only cues you are supposed to pick up (cues that tell you baby needs to pee/poo) but baby can also tell you herself when she needs to go (of course never counting just on baby's signs..). And suddenly I started thinking that it might not be a bad idea.

But then, I have completely no idea how (the above blogger linked to a book she recommended, but can you learn such a thing from a book, I wonder), and I'm feeling right now like there is so much stuff still to do, to learn, to read [things I'm more concentrating on now, like birth, and things I'm leaving for later, like vaccinations] and time is not standing still and while I wouldn't call myself stuck (because I am reading a lot), I'm still far from being ready, and can (should) I add more?

Again, the thought of using baby sign language is very raw and maybe tomorrow morning I'll wake up and think it's not for me, but right now I'm kind of loving it..

9 comments:

Hera said...

Billy -
When I was a kid I thought Helen Keller was the bomb so I tried to teach myself sign language, I did okay, but didn't get far. Bottom line - it's easier than you would think as a lot of the words look like what they are...if that makes sense. Considering you won't be having in depth conversations with your baby via sign language, I bet you can do it! Just my thoughts....

Jess said...

I have been thinking about doing this since before I got pregnant. Although it seems complicated. Hopefully it wont be.

For the Long Haul said...

I use a very brief form of it and it is easy and great. I don't bother with all sorts of signs, just use the ones that are helpful to me. Did this with both my kids. Daughter is 10 months and is now signing back, although she has understood what they mean for a while now. The only ones I use are "all done," "eat," "nurse," "more," and "sleep." They are very basic and if you casually do them before you do the thing (aka sign nurse before you offer the boob) she will get it. It is really nice to have her eating dinner and sign "all done" and know not to try and shovel more food into her mouth.

You have some time. No need to start signing until they are at least 4 or 5 months old, so don't stress. But I would use a few simple signs as it is a really nice way to be able to communicate with your child before they can talk.

tireegal68 said...

My sister in law's 6 month old baby made up a sign for momma milk out of two signs - momma and milk all by himself. My other sister in law has used it with hard to reach kids and is currently doing it with one who has no challenges and from age 5 mos to 13 she now knows about sixty signs. I'm definitely going to do it, though I don't think we'll do EC.
It's exciting !

The Turning Of Paige said...

This is a very cool idea! I think you'll be happy either way you chose to go.

battynurse said...

Good luck with both of them. I know of another blogger who did the elimination communication and was mostly successful with it. I've also seen quite a few others doing the sign language.

Anonymous said...

I tought both my sons sign language. My first one got it at about 9 months, but my second didnt start signing until about 1 1/2 years. He now signs and talks the same word. I would start it early and keep doing it. Sign "eat" then say "eat" then feed. Sign "all done" say "all done" then clean up. It was fun and we were soooo excited when the GOT IT. And no it hasnt stalled speaking at all. Some people will say that if you teach your child to sign they will talk later. But that has been refuted.

DRMOMOFTWO said...

I used some very basic signs with my kids. Mostly, they picked it up at daycare, and I followed through. I really did find it helpful since they couldn't verbalize what they wanted. I think you can get by with just a few signs - more, milk, stop or no, tired...things like that. I don't think it's necessary to have a full conversation!

S.I.F. said...

I'm a big fan of baby sign language and saw a lot of luck with it when I worked as a nanny, and also with my friends son when I was living with them. It's kind of amazing to see your little one sign "please" for something... Good luck!