Learning to Use Sign Language with Our Baby: A Book Review

I mentioned a few months ago that one of the things my husband and I are looking forward to doing with our daughter is using sign language, since children often are able to sign before they can speak. Originally, I went to the library and checked out a few resources, which were great introductions to signing and that gave us some key signs that we practiced. (You can read more about one of those baby sign-language resources here.)

As we practiced though, we found ourselves wondering, "How do you sign 'dog'?" Or, "I wonder what the sign for 'scared' is?" I tried looking some of them up online, but realized that would get cumbersome after awhile, especially when we're well into the throes of parenting and have enough vying for our attention.

However, I received a review copy of The Baby Signing Book (Second Edition) by Sara Bingham that is the perfect, all-in-one resource for parents interested in signing with their baby. Like the other book I got from the library, this one includes a lot of background information on why signing can be beneficial, as well as answering a lot of parents' questions about whether it will impede their child's ability or desire to speak. (It won't.) It also gives lots of tips and tricks for getting started with your baby (or even your toddler), as well as what to expect at various stages.

But where this book excels even more is that the bulk of it is an illustrated sign-language dictionary that teaches 450 different signs that are likely to relate to life with your baby. Signs range from everyday objects like "yogurt" and "coat" to directions like "come" or "help." The thing I especially love about this section (that I never found with the online resources) was that each sign includes a thorough description of how to make the sign as well as details to help you pair the sign with its meaning. (For instance, the sign for "cat" is like tracing a cat's whisker on the side of your face.)

There's also a section about signing with songs and some ideas for implementing signs into those childhood favorites.

All in all, I'm really excited about adding this resource to our arsenal, and can't wait to sign with her more. (They recommend starting around 6 to 9 months; you can always start earlier, but that's about when babies will start to comprehend and put two and two together.)

Find The Baby Signing Book (Second Edition) on Amazon.

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1 comment:

  1. We started signing 'too early' because we didn't watch a video or read about it until after we had already started. Of course, it's never too early to learn! At 2 1/2 months I started using the sign for milk. Not all the time, but about half the time. At 5 months I could tell she recognized the sign. Now at 6 months she gets so excited when she sees it (if she's hungry) and starts lunging toward me to try to get to her milk! I'm excited to start adding more signs into our signing vocabulary. I'll have to check out that book!


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