Five, Six, Seven & Eight Months Old
We begin signing to babies when they are as young as five and six months old though infants usually do not respond to us until seven or eight months old when they have the hand control.
The most thrilling moment was when my daughter caught on. I was repeatedly doing the sign for “more” (you can find online or make up your own) then passing her a single piece of oat cereal. Suddenly there was a look of comprehension in her precious little face and she did the sign for “more.” I passed her another tiny oat and we went back and forth for many minutes and many, many oats. She was thrilled and her enthusiasm was contagious. Soon she was signing when she wanted a drink, needed a diaper change and even making up her own signs like moving up and down a pointed up forefinger whenever she saw one of many bunny rabbits on our park stroll. She never went through the terrible two-and-a-halves where frustration typically results from the intellect being greater than ability to communicate. For example, she was asking me, “Mama, four…four” to which I responded, “Sweetheart, I don’t understand what you want.” She repeated, “four, four” and then instead of frustrating she spontaneously made a kissy face and started sipping. “Oh” I delighted, “you want a straw!” and I gave her what she requested.
Nowadays, I give all my friends with infant’s sign language board books. Not because the research reports that it develops a more intelligent child, but because at EBIPS we are about the love, no rushing our children through developmental stages, just being with our children in beautiful, warm connection.