Quantcast » Blog Archive » #19: Baby Sign Language

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008...3:11 pm

#19: Baby Sign Language


Best Parents have only one speed for their children: accelerated. And what better way to provide a head start on that rugrat race of life than teaching their newborns how to communicate in sign language — well before they can talk, walk, or even hold their own heads up for more than a few seconds at a time.

This is because the Best Parent is better than you. And they have the studies to prove it. But, the non-best parent asks, don’t these people realize that the average six-month old only really needs to express three things: “I’m hungry. I’m tired. I just pooped myself.” Beyond that, what kind of extended conversations do Best Parents expect to have with their infants? Perhaps a literary discussion of the underlying themes and metaphors of the latest pop-up book they’ve teethed on.

The typical newborn, just a few months earlier, was little more than fallopian caviar. Now they’re deeply immersed in the shock and awe of simply being alive. That seems like a much more profound thought to dwell on than how to twist their index finger, pinky and thumb into the love sign for parental approval. Unless of course, those parents are Best ones, who require constant reassurance that they, and they alone, are the single greatest beings in the entire universe.

So take that, hearing impaired people of the world! Your once vital form of communication has been co-opted by the shameless and virulent ambitions of the gung-ho Best Parent attempting to fast-track their spawn. Just try to say that in sign language. You can’t. And that’s why the Best Parent is better than you.

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  • lol i love the so take that!!!! this is why you’re one of the top blogs :)


  • “fallopian caviar” LMFAO
    I would make that my phrase-for-the-day if it wasn’t 7 in the evening and I didn’t work @ a library!
    {just cannot figure how to work the quip into conversation here, will write back if I figure it out}

    Those books and DVDs go like hotcakes here and of course so do the children’s books…once we shell them out we all go home to our white kids and have a glass of wine

  • This is a great post again, I have taught sign language to my kids in an effort to get them to communicate by some other means than whinning and pointing at what they want. We teach them please, more, and thank you. By the time I can get them to say Duck, Banana, or anything more complex they were both talking anyway.

  • Maddie&livysmommie
    April 3rd, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    “Fallopian Caviar…” Brilliant! This is the black-white parent again. There is nothing I detest more than sign language. But here is how I’m better than the “non-white” parent: I had my 2 year -old sit through a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation to reassure myself that she was a little bit more genius than I had assumed. I now have documented proof that all of the books, structured play, themed parties, hand-picked peers, no TV, blood, sweat and red wine have paid for themselves ten-fold.

    My documentation will be carefully handed over to some school administrator when I convice them that my child has no business learning with children of her own age, but must be advanced to the next level.

  • A photo of my Black son signing: http://health.discovery.com/centers/kids/babyfingers/babyfingers_02.html

    Does that make him white?

    Please advise.

  • Just make sure to ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS speak to the baby while signing…I heard many parents worry about a child’s speak development delay because the child rather would use ASL than talk. Always talk with the ASL and the child’s language development will continue on track.

  • I agree … the term “fallopian caviar” is brilliant! My kids didn’t sign back until 9 and 11 months though :)

  • jersey– the problem is that “baby sign language” is not standard ASL, it is a series of gestures that was created by child psychologists. personally, I don’t understand the need for “baby sign language.” infants have communicated need perfectly for the past 2000+ years, why confuse them with something they don’t even need?

  • Hey, don’t knock it til you try it.

    I started signing with my son at 4 months and by 7 months he was signing back, ‘more’, ‘all done’, ‘up’, ‘outside’, ‘book’, ‘drink’ and a few others. It was fantastic to see the satisfaction on his face when I showed I understood what he wanted and was so much more effective than grunting, squaking and screaming fits to try to get the message across. Now at 13 months he’s using more words and the signing is falling by the wayside but I’m so thankful for the boost it gave to our early communication.

    It takes an effort but it’s worth it.

  • Amused Onlooker
    June 4th, 2008 at 9:01 am

    LMAO at fallopian caviar! We do use sign language. But it’s ASL, not “baby sign language.” Mostly dh and I use it to make fun of people in public. Our 1 year old daughter has picked up some signs in the meantime. She is definitely well-versed in our sign for “rollerpig.” That’s a fat lazy sack of crap who needs a Rascal rather than walk on their own 2 feet. (For the politically correct: glandularly enhanced-feces receptacle who chooses to use a motorized means of conveyance rather than utilize their lower appendages.)

  • […] We taught Lauca baby sign language, wanky white parent thing for sure, but can’t recommend it […]

  • My DD is such a smarty pants! She is signing “milk” now! YEAH! I thought she wasnt going to pick up on but now I know I am going to continue using signs with her! Right now I am using these signs: milk, eat, drink, all done, more, please, sit, and bath! I am thinking she is going to pick up on more of them!

    Anyways here is a great resource for teaching your baby to sign and for you to learn also! Sign Language for Babies and Beyond
    I enjoy using sign language so much because it creates a way for me to communicate with my baby. My goal when I wanted to learn was lessen her crying fits and knowing what she wanted with the basic signs. I know some of you moms or dads will love this! I also know this helps with there literacy skills! YEAH!

    Well I hope you consider checking it out: Sign Language for Babies and Beyond

  • First of all, Racists… Yeah, you who says that sign language is a “white baby” thing. Sign language is not a white thing or a black thing. In fact, it is the third most widely spoken language in America!

    Secondly, I have taught my baby sign language and it is the best thing I have done for our entire family. She has been learning sign for nearly 5 months and she knows about 35 signs, including NON-USELESS information like “hurt,” “hungry,” and “sleepy”. I mean, imagine, these little things we call children might have a thought or question about the world around them. Can you imagine being dropped on a different country and not even being able to tell someone if you are hungry or tired or hurt? What if you liked something and wanted to know what it was? I bet that would be frustrating. Now imagine that you are there for two years and everyone around you ignored everything you wanted or needed? Crap, now that would suck! I bet these non-believer parents would not last a week in that situation. Yet, they poo-poo tried and true techniques that would allow them to truly communicate with their children for over 2 years.

    I don’t think teaching sign language to babies makes me a better parent. However, it make it easier to be a parent when my baby can tell me she is sleepy and wants a nap. I became a believer after I had been showing my baby sign language for only 3 weeks (she was 12 months when we started sign). She was crying – I mean SCREAMING – and her dad had gone to the kitchen to get her a bottle of milk. I showed her the sign for “daddy” and “milk” and told her that daddy was going to get her milk. Immediately, she stopped crying, folded her hands in her lap, and waited quietly until he returned with the milk. When he returned, she was so happy that we understood what she wanted she took to sign language like a duck to water.

    Moreover, the idea that baby sign language is just a mix of made up signs is WRONG. Please, so your research before you give advice on what you do not know. There are certain schools of sign (followers of Linda Acredolo, PhD) like Baby Signs that says that children will make up their own gestures for things (often called home signs). The ONLY problem with this is that although people with the same household know what the baby is saying, others in the signing community have no idea what the baby wants and how to assist them. The other schools of baby sign language are followers of Joseph Garcia. This curriculum focuses on using only American Sign Language signs and recommends that when a baby makes a home sign, you reinforce the correct sign to them by always demonstrating it correctly – eventually they will catch on. Garcia’s approach is used in courses like (Garcia’s own) Signing with your Baby, and KinderSign.

    Plus, the whole family is now learning sign. Hello, can I get a little culture in the room? My God, just imagine, I might even be able to carry on a conversation with a hearing impaired individual one day. Even more exciting, so will my baby.

  • I love sign language! right now i’m learning how to sign with my baby on MindBites: http://www.mindbites.com/person/84-MySmartHands

    The author’s name is Laura Berg and she teaches baby sign language classes (you can sign up online, google search: Mysmarthands) as well as how to make your own baby sign language flash cards. I’m loving her baby sign language video on dictionary terms and I hope she comes out with a DVD soon!

  • I’m teaching my 2 yr old baby sign language because he is not talking at all. It makes life easier for both of us. That said, I love your blog and this entry made me LOL