Misty is the chief editor of Baby Sign Language. I, personally, never did sign language with my kids. I have read several articles on it though and have friends that have done it. It sounds very interesting. When Misty approached me and asked if she could write an article for my blog I thought it was a great idea. If you're interested in baby sign language, check out the website for more info.
Making Life Easier With Baby Sign Language By Misty Weaver
I am really a simple girl. I don’t multitask well and I don’t thrive on chaos. I like peace, calm, and quiet. Can you believe I have children? It is a constant struggle to keep up! I simply admire those of us who have six kids! Wow!
Thank God for Baby Sign Language. When I started, I was just doing it because I thought it was something I should do, something that would be good for my baby. But it evolved into a lifesaver.
The first sign that my daughter learned was “milk.” Whenever she was hungry, she would make the sign for milk, without crying. She would smile and squeeze her little hand, and I would oblige.
Not long after, she learned the sign for “eat.” When she wanted to eat, she would simply bring her hand to her mouth and I would get her a little snack. Simple. Peaceful. Easy.
Her favorite sign was for “more.” More crackers. More juice. More reading. More crayons. And with her father, more candy please.
And as she grew, we added more signs to her repertoire. She learned how to sign for hurt, and whenever she fell down, she would make the sign for hurt near the part of her body that hurt. This took all the guesswork out of it for me, which was great, because I’m not a gifted guesser. (I won’t tell you that she didn’t cry with this one – she most certainly did.) When she fell off our deck, I nearly had a heart attack, but she signed that her hand hurt. I asked her if her head hurt. Nope, just her hand. I asked if her shoulders hurt, her back? No Mommy, just my hand, I told you once already. Big sigh of relief. I could deal with a hand injury.
When she was teething, she would make the sign for hurt near her mouth, so I got her some pain relief teething gel. I’ve got to be honest – she was screaming, she was sweating, her nose was running, and I never would have thought of her teeth if she hadn’t told me.
Signing helped with potty training too. By the time we were attempting the potty, she was able to say a few words, but when she had to pee, she would panic and not be able to say “potty.” But she could make the sign, and I would quickly usher her over to the potty. She found this to be a fantastic game. She signs – mommy runs – she gets a sticker. But it was an okay game with me because she was going in the potty!
I also taught her to sign for “please” and “thank you.” While this may not sound like it has a lot of practical implications, it sure made me feel like my life was easier. I love it when she says please! It just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And “please” was one of the very first words she ever spoke, and I attribute this accomplishment to signing.
Mothering is tough. There’s a lot to it! There is still chaos in my house. But there is a lot less confusion thanks to Baby Sign Language. I am so grateful, I am signing “thank you” right now.
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