Monday, May 05, 2008

Baby Signs

I just wrote a message about Baby Signs to some of my friends on dan&eric (a mailing list that, amazingly, is still around and grew out of a bulletin board from CMU made up of, well, me and Dan's friends and their friends long long ago). A lot of them are busy reproducing and this came up.

So here it is in case some person stumbles on my blog and wants to read about Baby Signs...

"Baby Signs" are cool and fun. The rule of thumb is babies can't do 'em until they're around 11+ months old. Your mileage may very. I'm also a little suspicious that when the babies know baby signs maybe they don't pick up speaking as quickly. Or maybe our kids are slow. :-) Anyway, you can start doing the baby signs to the babies any time, but usually the earlier you start the longer you'll be waiting to see your baby do one.

"More" and "All Done" are some great baby signs. And milk. That's a good one. Here are the ones that we taught Jonah and Ari. Good luck with my hilarious hard-to-understand descriptions of how to do each sign. Don't bother buying a Baby Sign book, they're a waste of money. All you really need is to pick like 10 signs to use, use them every time you say the word and there you go. Google "baby signs" and find text or picture descriptions of 'em. Or decipher mine. These are some good ones. :-)

More -- use one hand to point at other open hand and touch your pointer finger right there on your palm, like "Hey, put more right here already. okthxbye." (pretty much if they shove their hands together you'll know what they mean. Sometimes they might yell "MO!" like Ari or in Jonah's case "MA!" (short for Mas -- Got to love the Spanish!))
Milk -- Squeeze one hand a couple times like you're milking an udder
Cheese -- Twist both open hands together kind of like your hands are the bread of a sandwich. With your open hands parallel to the ground.
Banana -- Point one bent finger and pretend to peel it with other hand
Cat -- Hold fingers like an Okay sign and slide thumb and forefinger along cheek from mouth towards ear, like where your whiskers would be if you were a cat, or a furry.
Diaper -- Pat side once or twice
Mommy -- Stick out hand with fingers
spread, like you're going to say "nyah nyah" like that French guy in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Then touch thumb to your cheek under your eye twice
Daddy -- Same thing as Mommy but do it higher up, on your forehead.

Anyway, read a book to yer kid every day. Also, talk to 'em a lot. A running commentary of what's going on, what they're doing, what you're doing etc. Kids love that shit. Also. Singing.

Well, it's good for 'em so they can learn to talk and read and avoid being ne'erdowells.

* This is a cute one especially the first time they use it for a non-food thing. Like when you're tickling them and then stop and they do the more sign.

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