Back in May, little H and I started going to Sing and Sign classes in our local town. Sam had heard about baby signing and thought it could be a good thing to try with H and a friend had been enjoying the class. Whilst as a parent I found the classes quite repetitive, H enjoyed them from the start, taking a real liking to the songs and hand signs.
We’ve been practising our signing at home since she started. I’m certain that I could have been a bit more consistent than I have been, but certainly over the last 3 months I try to sign as many things as I know. For some time there has certainly been some understanding of the signs since signing and telling her “finished” or “all gone” when I took a toy (or more likely the remote!) away from her stopped being met with crying and stroppiness. But we could never see any obvious signs being made back to us.
Then the other night as I was getting her changed for bed, her little hand scrunched together in to a fist – the sign for milk. In disbelief I asked her “Milk?”. She smiled and scrunched her fist again several times. SHE’D SIGNED! I told her “In a minute” and she carried on chattering and playing. Over the days since then she has signed milk during every milk feed, either bottle or breastfeed. Every time I repeat it back I can see the joy in her little face.
Our teacher told us when we started that when a baby realises a sign is being understood, she’ll often start using it for everything. H is now doing that to a degree so I am now praising her and signing back the correct sign to her for whatever we are doing. Hopefully her confidence will continue to grow and she’ll start to sign more now!