Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Baby Sign Language

Brian and I went to our first sign language class on Saturday! The concept is that infants are able to comprehend and use basic language before they have the ability to actually verbalize those concepts - but they're definitely able to use their hands earlier. By using some simple signs consistently, a child will ideally be able to communicate basic needs (eat, milk, change, etc.) much earlier than they will be able to speak. And that in turn can reduce both parent and child frustration. Sounds good to us!

There's a class offered at a number of local hospitals called Hop to Signaroo, so we enrolled and started over the weekend. What we didn't realize was that we're the only people in our class who actually don't have a child yet! Awkward. It seemed like a good idea to me - learn all the signs and the methodology before our lives get a lot busier with the arrival of a new family member. (As long as we don't forget it all by the time a placement actually happens, that is.) Anyway, we quickly explained that we're waiting for an adoption placement, and so everyone nodded knowingly and stopped looking at us like the creepy childless guys sitting in the corner by themselves.

So the class was actually a lot of fun, and I now can punctuate a few words with signs! (Have a diaper that's wet and needs to be changed? I got you covered!) The class is using actual ASL signs, which could potentially end up being useful outside of the context of raising a child. And we came away with the handy flashcards to practice on our own before next week. We'll be signing like pros in no time!


  1. I had heard about "baby signing" before. I think it's so cool you are taking a class in it. Maybe you could share some signs with us grandparents so we can "talk" with our grandbaby ayap ("as young as possible")?

  2. "More" and "milk" were great ones when Emily was little. I really do think it helps reduce their frustration.

  3. I was skeptical about this a few years ago, but in the intervening time, I've gone 180 on it.

    I can't believe how much happier signing babies are. It significantly reduces child frustration and therefore crying and tantrums.