My husband doesn’t get into signing much. He has never really seen anyone who signs full time or even anyone sign one conversation, so it’s really not something that he “gets”. He does, however, fully support my efforts with our son to teach him sign language. He insists that I teach him any new language before I teach it to our son, and that poses a problem at times. See, he doesn’t know as much Spanish, German, Latin, French or ASL as I do, and he doesn’t really want to learn that much. We have definitely found a helper for ASL though!
I am a huge fan of a product from Baby Signs called the Signs at a Glance Flip Guide! It’s a really cute little helper that is magetized. We stuck it to our standup freezer (next to the alphabet magnets), and my husband is actually happy with checking it to see the new signs I’ve been teaching our son! The words that are depicted on each page are neatly printed on both sides of the bottom of the page – so you can see it if it’s flipped up or down, so easy to navigate! The pictures of the signs are ones actually being done by babies – which helps Hubs a lot because he has a hard time matching up the “official” sign in our ASL book with the one our son is doing. The translation from adult hand to baby hand can sometimes be a bit strange.
I’m actually considering buying one of these for our babysitter that way she can tell what the kids are saying too. The Baby Signs program incorporates both ASL and natural signing (and they encourage parents to watch for their children’s own signs!), and I just think it would be a great reference for any babysitter – whether any of the parents are teaching sign language or not! On the rare occasions that we do leave the house, my sister-in-law typically comes over to watch the Tiny Tyrant at our house, and she’s also able to quickly flip to his new signs and prepare herself for his whole new world of language!
There are so many advantages to having a baby who knows how to sign. He is able to communicate with us much better, and it has actually proven to really display the bond between my son and his father. Hubs has been a bit miffed since TT was born that they didn’t have as close of a bond as TT and I do. But now that TT knows the sign for Daddy, we can really tell how much and how often he does want Daddy! He has been cutting teeth lately, and he’s been wanting much more play time with Daddy than cuddle time with Mom lately. My husband’s fatherly confidence has definitely been boosted!
I have yet to see any disadvantages to baby signing. I have heard the rumors that if you teach your baby to sign, they won’t learn to talk, and I’m here to tell you – that is complete bunk! I have known several parents who have taught their children to sign, and they had absolutely no problems learning to talk. Children who learn to sign often have a larger vocabulary, may start talking earlier and also tend to show at least a 10 point higher IQ than those who are not taught to sign. The ladies who started Baby Signs did lots of research, including a double blind study that tested children as infants and then as elementary school children with their abilities. They know what they’re doing, and they have produced some really awesome products for parents and children!
Check back later for the rest of my review series on Baby Signs!
Disclosure: I received complimentary copies of these materials for reviewing purposes from Baby Signs. I received no additional compensation for my review. These are my honest and true opinions.
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