When our daughter B was a baby, we taught her some simple baby sign language, following the example my sister-in-law set with her boys. It made sense to teach her a few basic signs while she figured out where her voice was. And really, who can argue with teaching your kid “please” and “thank you” at 9 months old!?
In the case of Baby G, his XXXXY Syndrome causes general delays in things like gross motor skills and speech, so using baby sign language with him was a no-brainier. He seems to have picked up a few basics so far, and we couldn’t be happier. He works each day to develop and produce different sounds, and along with that has come these common baby gestures:
“All Done” – We’ve been working on this one with him for a while now, at the end of each meal time. We will raise our hands overhead and ask him. “All done?” And he’ll raise them back, indicating that he’s finished with what he’s got, or is just ready to play.
“Please” – The sign for “please” is rubbing the belly with both hands. We encourage him to say “please” when he’s eating and wants his milk, or his fork, and especially when we give him a cookie. He’s only just started this one, but I’m sure he’ll pick it up more and more.
“Thank you” – We haven’t started much with this one quite yet, but it’s definitely on the list. The sign for “thank you” is a hand to the mouth and release forward into the other hand. Unfortunately, it’s quite similar to “blow kisses”, but meh, whatta you do?
“Milk” – The sign for milk is an opening and closing of the hand, as if milking a cow. Baby G has used this one only on occasion, and it seems to be going away, the more he learns to use his sounds.
If you’re interested in learning and teaching some baby sign language to your little one, you can read up about the benefits of baby signing, or check out some baby classes in your area. I bet you can even find some basic signing on YouTube. It really is a great way to jump-start their communication development, and to let them start reciprocating all the love you’ve shown them.
As for Baby G, we’re continuing to work with him through the development issues that come with XXXXY Syndrome, and every day we’re seeing more and more of his sweet little personality shining through
Have you even used baby sign language with your little one? What worked or didn’t work for you?
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