She said it with her Hands
Sunday marked a huge ‘mommy moment’ for me. My mom-in-law (I call her Milly, for short) was playing with the baby in her room when I came in to bring her a bottle. At first sight of the bottle, the baby’s eyes lit up with joy (eating is NOT a game to her, lol) and she started her usual “I’m about to eat dance,” where she kicks and shuffles her little feet with excitement. Before giving her the bottle, Milly signed the word “milk” to the baby. That’s when it happened.
I swear, as sure as my name is The Princess of Geekadonia, that my little C.C. signed “milk” right back! Milly and I both froze in disbelief!!! Could it be???? We were so excited!!!!
I’ve been signing American Sign Language to C.C. since she was one month old. Teaching ASL and/or baby sign language to an infant gives them an opportunity to express themselves before they are able to speak. According to babysignlanguage.com, the benefits of signing to an infant include increased parental bonding, reduced fussiness (because the baby has a way to communicate their needs to you), and enhanced development.
Typically, parents start teaching signs after the 6 month mark – when babies’ brains are growing at their most rapid pace. But there are some that advocate for signing from birth to increase familiarity. As I mentioned, I started introducing basic signs, like milk, mommy, daddy, and I love you to C.C. when she was one month old. I never expected her to emulate them so soon.
Granted, it’s quite possible that this was all a fluke, because it’s not common for babies to return signs so early. But, it just seemed so real! And I had a witness! Both Milly and my husband are on board with showing the baby signs, so it’s been a team effort for all of us.
I consulted with an expert on Twitter about it (follow her @sign4baby), and she said, “if you think they did it, then they did.” Now, that was enough affirmation for me! We’re definitely going to keep practicing with C.C. and let her lead the way.
How about you? Any tips, suggestions, or stories? Please share!
In the meantime, check out this awesome video illustration of baby sign language!