Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

I'm really enjoying my time at home with Baby these days. She is so busy and interested in everything. Her communication skills have advanced so much and I'm amazed at what she understands and what she can "tell" me now. She only actually says 3 words consistently (Mama, Mommy and baby) but she is so eager to tell me things and show me things and sometimes explain in great detail what she wants or what she's doing.

We started sign language with Baby at about 1 month. I've since learned that it isn't actually necessary to start that early and that starting around 4 or 5 months is probably fine. At about 8 or 9 months she started signing "milkies" (our word for nursing) but it wasn't always consistent. I was thrilled however and immediately showed her the "more" sign a couple of times. She literally picked that one up immediately. However, "more" became her sign for everything and she stopped doing "milkies" for a couple of weeks. Then she started doing "milkies" very consistently and dropped the "more" sign altogether. She still signs "milkies" when she wants to nurse and she seems to understand the word too. We also introduced "change" for changing her diapers and it's actually made diaper changes more pleasant lately. She is so busy and hates laying down to get changed but if we explain to her what we're going to do and sign it, she doesn't always put up quite so much of a fuss. She signs "eat" sometimes but not as consistent. That could be because she doesn't eat a whole lot these days. We don't push her and have been doing baby led weaning since the beginning. The next sign we're going to try is "drink" and "thank you."

It makes a big difference that she is able to sign to us what she wants rather than screaming or crying and us scrambling about to find out what the heck she wants. It must be so frustrating to not be able to express yourself to someone when you have something important to say! She is already showing signs of being very chatty and I can't wait to hear her little voice chattering away at us.

If you are in the Vancouver, BC area and want some formal help with sign language, Aimee from Adar Birth Services teaches workshops as far as I know. Aimee is amazing and ended up being one of two doulas that attended Baby's birth. We had never met her - she was the back up doula when our doula was late getting to us. So yeah, she's also a doula if you need doula services!

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