When I began baby signing with my eldest kiddiewink, lots of people around me were sceptical…” Wouldn’t it stop them talking because they won’t need to talk?” “What’s the point?” ” you can sing to them at home and youtube signs” My mum in particular was dubious, as was my hubby. But hubby changed his view when he saw kiddiewink 1 signing for the first time.
There are lots of baby signing classes about, but I loved my free trial of Tiny talk and when kiddiewink 1 was about two months old we started a Tiny Talk. We continued until she was about 2.5 years old (toddler class), I continued for a bit longer with her than I might have done, but there was no space for kiddiewink2 in the baby class, so he also joined in with the songs, usually with kiddiewink1 singing them with him. Very cute.
Tiny talk was my favourite and I am excited about starting with kiddiewink 3 in September.
Tiny talk,when we went, was a mixture of singing, instruments and story time. All included learning different signs. Now I believe there is also a fun sensory element. Kiddiewink 1 learnt the sign for more and milk by 4 months and quickly learnt other words, she enjoyed using them to communicate and as an adult, you say the word as well as signing, so it really does reinforce the spoken word too. The classes had a lovely friendly relaxed feel, with free play and snacks for the last twenty minutes or so. It was the only class I have ever done where you feel like your child and the experience is more than just a number through the door. Jenny the teacher is amazing and genuinely wants to get to know all the babies and toddlers.
One particular time signing came in handy, was when kiddiewink 1 was 9 months, she woke screaming at about midnight. She had not needed a milk feed at this time since about five months, so we just cuddled, checked nappy and put back to bed. She just kept screaming even when we got her back out and cuddled her. Then I noticed she was doing the more sign repeatedly with her hands. We made her an 8oz bottle, she downed the lot and went straight back to sleep. Without that means of communication, she would have definitely had a bit more upset before we tried a bottle.
At six months, she would do the doggy sign when at my mums and she very quickly learnt ‘daddy’ and used it to tell me she was missing him. One day at about 7 months she came over whimpering and did the daddy sign, I told her and signed back with ‘daddy’s at work’, she then stopped whimpering and went back to playing.
Baby signing is well worth doing even if you just do a few signs, I bought the packs to continue with kiddiewink 2 at home, but tended to just use the ones I had learnt in class. Seeing them communicate at such a young age is fascinating and enlightening, and probably saves a few tears and tantrums along the way.
Kiddiewink 3 doing the more sign
We tried to catch it on video, not the best quality but you can get the idea