Along with diaper freedom / elimination communication which we’ve started this week, we’re also introducing baby sign language (ASL). Some parents begin signing immediately after the baby’s born, others wait until they’re 6 months or older. We decided to start now–since Calvin is able to maintain eye contact with us.
My mom-friend Allycia recommended The “Sign, Sing, and Play” Kit (Baby Sign Language Basics)
by Monta Z. Briant. Her 14-month-old loves it! The kit comes with colorful ASL flashcards (one side has a photo of the image for baby, the other side has a photo of a mom illustrating how to complete the sign for that object/word). The kit also includes a book, a CD with “Songs for Little Hands”, signing melodies, and an ASL activity guide.
I’ve also heard great things about a DVD called Signing Time! Volume 1: My First Signs DVD – Revised Edition(Two Little Hands Productions) from Baby Sign Language video reviews to other mom friends. We’re interested enough to put it on our baby registry.
Additionally, I discovered a wealth of free ASL and Baby ASL resources on the internet. As a result, I’ve created a category on the sidebar devoted to these sites
. I like Babies and Sign Language which features baby sign language in multiple languages (British, French, Italian, etc.). This site has lots of free resources for parents interested in baby signing such as a glossary of terms with photos illustrating signs. It also discusses the benefits to baby and to parents. For the novice, there’s even a page on the best method to begin teaching your baby to sign.
Another site chock full of links and resources is Signing with Your Baby. If you’re interested in an ASL dictionary browser, that’s available, too! For those who really want a whole gamut of ASL information available to them, check out the ASL Pro site which features a Baby ASL dictionary, conversational ASL dictionary, religious ASL dictionary, and more.
Although we’re starting to demonstrate signs to Calvin now, we don’t expect him to be able to respond in kind for at least 2 more months. Once he begins, it’ll be awesome for him to be able to tell us what he needs or wants instead of a frustrating guessing game. My Bradley Method instructor taught her 3 children sign language. And even now, when her 4 year-old gets too tired to talk, she’ll sign how she’s feeling instead of crying and getting frustrated.