Kids & Company Blog

Communicating with your Little One: Sign Language

I was never very into the idea of baby sign language. My son, Mac, has always been very vocal and through his sounds, few words, and cries I felt like we communicated quite well. Having worked in the Kids & Company centres for years, I am relatively familiar with basic signs such as “milk”, “more”, “water”, and “hungry”. Though I know these signs, I never implemented them into our daily routine at home. I also always wondered if children using signs would have delayed speech if they were overly comfortable using their hands instead of their voices to communicate.

Mac started going to "school" at 11.5 months old. He has been there just over two months and is doing very well. A few weeks ago when we were feeding him dinner, we noticed he was doing the sign for "more". We were all in shock; we had never introduced any signs to him and he had only been in child care for about two months, yet he knew exactly what he wanted and how to tell us. It was a very proud moment for us and we were so happy to see the things that he was learning in his days at child care. Now, he pairs the sign with the word "mo" for more. So, that whole idea I had of sign language slowing down my child’s speech progress was totally in my head. More recently he just says "mo" and if we ask him if he wants more, he breaks out his (modified) sign for more. The same thing happened with the sign for "done", which came probably a week after "more". It is definitely his own modified version, but now when he yells at me to take him out of his high chair at dinner, I'll ask him if he's all done and he uses his sign to show me that he really is. Done is also now being paired with the word "duhn", so again I know he has a voice and won't just be a signing wonder!

I'm sure he'll be bringing home more signs for us to gawk over and enjoy as he learns and develops every day at school, and I am so excited with what will be next.

Parents tend to have a lot of questions about signing with their children (which at Kids & Company, we start with our infants and continue right through to Preschool), so I'll share this link to the Wee Hands FAQ page. On this page they touch upon the idea I mentioned of signing delaying speech, which I can personally refute due to experience with Mac and research in other articles, when to start signing, and why.

And of course, here is a picture of Mac asking for "more" at dinnertime.

Mac Signing

We will be sharing some signs through social media so you can work at home with your children as well and you can understand what they're learning at school!

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