Welcome back to another week of Intentional Conversations! Today, I want to talk about how to have intentional conversations with your babies.
I’ve found it surprisingly easy to teach Samuel simple baby sign language in order for him to clearly communicate his needs. I started showing him signs when he was about seven months old. It seemed silly to start so early, but I thought, “Why not?” I’m glad I went for it. I think through continuous repetition, he was able to more quickly begin to communicate with us.
To give you perspective, Samuel first signed “hungry” around 9 months. The next sign he learned was “all done,” which he began doing around 10 months. These were the only two signs he would do for a while. However, they were his basic needs, and I was thrilled that he could tell me. After his first birthday, he began to sign “please” and “thank you.” In the last week, he’s picked up “more” and “eat.” I think these were entirely instinctive for him, as I had not shown them to him since he was about 9 months. We are currently working on thirsty/drink. This one has been tricky for him, and I’m trying to modify it to make it easier.
My focus is not on perfection, or even correct signs for that matter. My focus has been on showing him a way to communicate with me, as well as a way to teach him a few polite manners. Through careful observation of my toddler, I’ve learned that toddlers know and understand far more than we give them credit for regardless of their verbal skills.
In the following video, I run Samuel through a string of baby signs that has mastered – eat, more ,all done, please, thank you, and hungry. Again, they may not be 100% correct, but we are able to communicate basic needs, and we’re continuing to teach him new signs along the way.
(If you’re having trouble viewing the video, then click here – Teaching Your Baby Sign Language.)
Do you use baby sign language?
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