I think I need to write a whole blog about this b/c it deserves some attention. In this house, we have been signing for the basic needs (milk, more, water, eat, all done, play, bath, sleep, & a quite a few more) since the kids came home from the NICU. It started w/ milk. We figured that would be an important one since that was all they had for the 1st 5 months of their lives.
As we introduced solids, we started signing the word eat as well as "all done" & "more". I think these were the most important b/c they could tell us if they were full or wanted more.
Now, don't think that my kids were signing from the beginning b/c the truth is I waited a long time & was very patient to finally see a real sign. It was Gabi & the sign was milk at about 9 months old.
Just like verbal language, it takes a while for them to connect the sign to the actual meaning & then get proficient in using them. It has been an amazing process to see unravel. Ian, being that he hasn't really busted out w/ any real words except mama, dada, & da (which he uses for every other word in the English language), knows more words in sign language than he does English. This is very important to me b/c that tells me he does know how to communicate & understands the meaning of language & communication.
Gabi has gotten extremely good, able to sign things such as mommy, daddy, friend, chair, & swing as well as the other words we have taught them all. This has been done w/ help from 2 videos, both are Baby Einstein & go through all the major signs. They are entertaining & I have been able to learn along w/ them.
How do we do this? We sign every time the action occurs. For instance, any time they got a bottle, we would sign milk before, during & after the bottle. Same thing w/ eat, more, all done & any other sign I can remember along the way. We are expanding our vocabulary & I am having to learn new words.
I need to get more videos of them signing. Here is a picture of the kids at the table & Sofi is signing for milk.
I honestly think this is part of the reason we don't have as many temper tantrums. They are able to tell me when they need something to drink or if they are hungry. It is great! I would recommend this to any new mom & dad out there.
By the way, did you notice how many hits I have???? Over 200,000!!!!!!!!!