Giving Up Baby Sign to Learn 65+ Signs

My favorite signing moment was when we went to the L.A zoo! Mason was 2 years old and able to speak but still unable to say the animals’ names correctly. I will never forget this day because as we saw each animal, he signed to me, “giraffe,” “monkey,” “elephant,” “zebra,” “tiger,” “mouse,” and so forth WITHOUT me showing it to him first! We had learned animals at home, but it’s a completely different feeling when you’re out and about and your baby signs to you without you showing them first.

My name is Jessica, and my son is Mason. He is currently 2 years old. We started signing at 6 months. I started with “more, milk, and all done.” After 2 months of signing to him and getting no response back from him, I gave up.

It wasn’t until he was about 11 months old that I decided to give it a try again with “more”. He immediately signed back. From that point on, we were hooked. He learned about 3 signs at a time. Once he knew them and could sign them, we added more.

The first time he signed, I literally jumped for joy and giggled like a little girl! I couldn’t believe my dream of teaching my children sign language was coming true! It also showed me how truly smart babies are and how fast they can pick things up!

While teaching Mason to sign, I learned that it was not only was increasing his IQ and making him use his brain more but that we can also truly communicate before he could even talk! I learned how much he enjoyed the one on one connection we had together as my husband and I could communicate with Mason. Mason loves learning new signs, and practicing until he gets them correct!

I feel that sign language has helped me grow as a mother because when he was unable to communicate to me what he wanted (or I was unable to unscramble his baby jibber jabber), I would say, “Use your hands, and tell me,” and he would! I feel that us using sign language has helped prevent meltdowns by about 80%!! Instead of crying until I realized he’s hungry, he can just sign it without all the drama.

Aside from boosting your child’s IQ, I recommend other parents to teach sign, so they can have that special bond with their baby—communicating their needs and wants to prevent meltdowns. It’s also so much fun when you go out and instead of you trying to spark a conversation that your child is uninterested in, they can sign “dog!” It’s at those moments you can then have a conversation that your child actually wants to have!

Plus, when you teach sign language, you say words more often. For example, “Look a flower! Does that flower smell good? What color is that flower?”  When your child hears the words more often, they can learn the sign and word faster. Signing has also caused my now 2 year old to be way more vocal than most his age even though was born 2 months premature. Specialists said that he would be delayed in all developments of crawling, walking, talking, etc.  He’s not only NOT delayed, but because of sign language, it’s increased his vocabulary. Professional doctors have tested him developmentally, and he scored 5 months ahead of his actual age!

We gave up signing, only to jump right back in full force! We started with one and don’t have plans on stopping! At 2 years and 2 months old, Mason currently knows 65 signs. We simply started as a baby and have continued to grow!

Check out tons of cute videos of Mason signing at Jessica’s Instagram! She is a great signing Instagram friend to have as well.

Thank you so much for sharing your signing story, Jessica and Mason! If your baby has turned two and you would like to share your story, email me at adelaide (at) notanexactscience.com

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free baby sign printable

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