Use baby signs – it’s not too late.

Apparently, once your baby can wave “hello”, he can begin signing other things, too. If you’re convinced that your baby has something to say, but just doesn’t have the words, consider getting with the signing program.

The experts on baby stuff, say that you should start signing a few things consistently around 8 months. I followed this advice, but also want to debunk it.

Norrie signs HelpWe started with “more” and “eat” and “nursing”. Julian started responding around 11 months by doing these signs back to us. I have to admit that his “nursing” looked very much like “bye-bye” and sometimes I thought he was telling total strangers that he wanted to nurse.

At 14 months, his vocab was still limited to about 5 words, so the signs were really amazing. Our number one favorite baby sign is “help”, which is tapping both hands against one’s chest, like our friend Norrie is doing when her walker got stuck in the picture above. Our Rookie Kids all used this “help” sign to tell us that he wants us to open a drawer, help with a toy, or reach something that he can’t reach. MUCH MORE CIVILIZED THAN POINTING AND GRUNTING!

Rookie Moms Unpopular Opinion #49: You don’t have to start signing months in advance to get your baby to catch on.

If you show her the sign, right when she needs it, a few times over a couple of days, she may try it out herself. I have heard so many parents say that they “messed up” in someway and didn’t teach their baby the signs, and I don’t mean to sound like a crazy hippie/signing evangelist, BUT, if your baby is still not using a lot of words, why not try signing for a few days starting now? I’m guessing most one-year olds will catch on to the “more” pretty quick if you do a little Pavlov’s dog-style experiment with them. (Uh, no, do not blow a whistle or give your child doggie treats. Use something a little more exciting than cheerios – say raisins – and show your baby how the “more” sign earns her more raisins.)

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