Consistency IS the Key!
When signing with your baby the most important thing is to be consistent. I’ve had parents say to me, “I’ve been signing with my baby for months and have had no response.” I ask how often they are signing and they tell me, “I try to sign a bunch of things throughout the day… if I can remember.” Aha! That’s the problem, no consistency in their signing routine! How is your baby going to connect the sign to the word if they aren’t always used together? It will take your baby much longer to ‘get it’ if you aren’t consistent. I always tell parents to pick two-five signs that you are going to do EVERY TIME you say the word. It’s not for the baby’s sake, it’s for the parents. It is easy to remember to do two signs until you get in the habit of signing and your baby signs back. Once your baby signs back to you it will be easier to remember to show him signs because he will want to know them. It’s getting to the first sign that is the hardest for parents. Once your baby ‘gets’ that his or her sign means something and elicits a response then he will tend to pick new signs up faster.
So how do you begin? As I said in my previous post I always suggest starting with MILK this is the sign that is easiest to teach because it is such a big part of a baby’s life in the beginning. Make sure that every time you offer a feed that you sign ‘MILK’, say to your baby, “Do you want MILK?” really emphasizing the word MILK in the sentence. Then when your baby is drinking you can sign MILK and say to her, “you are having MILK” again emphasizing the word being signed. Also, you can take her hand and gently open and close it to show her how it feels to make the sign. When you do that, say in an excited voice, “yes, that’s MILK”.
So, what is the word for today?! CONSISTENCY! Be consistent when signing and you will have better results!
Feel free to post questions in the comment section, I’m happy to address readers questions in my blog posts.