I am a massive fan of baby signing. If I had to choose one baby class to recommend as helpful, musical, entertaining and fun- I’d definitely say ‘Sing & sign’.
I joined the wonderful world of baby signing when Rosie was about 6 months old and we started Sing & Sign classes in Leeds.
I’d seen how helpful signing had been to some very good friends of mine – they used if with their son Jamie from about 6 months old. I’ll always remember Jamie’s mummy coming back from a walk, beaming with pride as she told me how her little boy at just 18 months’ish had actually had a little signing conversation with a deaf man in the park. She said the man seemed really happy and amazed at this tiny little boy (who can’t talk yet) being able to communicate with him – obviously at a very basic level! But still .. I was super impressed and decided I’d definitely be putting baby signing at the top of my ‘things I must do while baby is small list’.
So I joined a class and pretty soon within just a couple of months Rosie was signing a few basic and very helpful words! ‘more’ ‘milk’ ‘food’ ‘drink’ and ‘open’ were her her first signs. At just 8 months old I could figure out some of her basic needs really quickly by using these simple signs. Before she turned one Rosie was signing loads of things ..’change nappy’ ‘ouchy’ ‘all gone’ ‘cake!’ And many more words.
I found the class was a great way for me and Rosie to learn together – the songs were really easy to remember and the official Sing and Sign DVD was (and still is) a fab tool to help babies really learn their signing. The main character in the songs is a little cat called Jessie- we actually bought the Jessie soft toy too – which again is still a favourite toy in our house.
If you really want your babies to learn signing you have to remember to try and sign as many words as you can all the time really. It feels a bit odd and ridiculous at first when you don’t get any interaction or reaction back from your tiny 6 month old baby -but I promise you if you persevere the rewards and results can be pretty fabulous!
With Ruby I haven’t actually taken her to classes but I still remember most of the signing and we’ve been reusing the fantastic and hypnotic DVDs again (super handy if you need 5 mins to get some jobs done or just have a simple luxury like have a warm cup of tea)
Ruby is also a massive fan of Mr Tumble – she’s learnt a lot of signing from him too. It’s also helped a lot that my husband and my mum have been signing with Ruby – even Rosie is now enjoying helping her baby sister to sign.
My mum actually confessed to me that when I first said I was going to learn baby signing with Rosie (nearly four years ago now) she thought it was a bit of a strange thing to do – and that she’d feel a little silly signing to a baby!. But soon she became as much of a fan of it as I am when she started to see the amazing results! It really isn’t a daft fad .. It’s awesome.
I think that signing as many words as possibly with my girls and making sure I say the words I’m signing clearly every single time I sign – has been the key to both my girls learning so quickly – they have also both started speaking at a really young age too.
If we are not sure of certain signs for something -we just make something up. Rosie enjoys helping me to make up signs for her baby sister too.
You have to keep remembering signing with your baby is a fun thing to do, that’s there as a tool to help you communicate with your children. It’s not aiming to make you or them in to ‘signing’ professionals! Just keep it fun and enjoy it.
Some people think signing could delay their children’s speech – I think quite the opposite. But each to their own and all that!
Would love to hear about your baby signing experiences too.
Thanks for reading x