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to wonder if baby signing is a waste of time?

(118 Posts)
autumnlights12 Thu 20-Sep-12 19:13:56

I'm signed up to a class which begins tomorrow; seemed like a good idea at the time. Now, I'm sat here idly wondering why I signed up. Slightly empty diary at end of week, so wanted to start filling it up, probably.
So baby signing Mnetters, is it worth it? Does it help? Is it fun? Does it help them to communicate? This is my third baby and a friend made a comment today that she thought baby signing was: 'for keen first time parents who are in a rush for the next stage'. And frankly, if I'm to walk into a room full of people I've never laid eyes on before, god help me it had better be worth it!

pjmama Thu 20-Sep-12 19:18:48

My twins absolutely loved it. Did it from 6 months to about 2 1/2. They loved the singing and although they didn't really start signing back at me until they were around a year old (DS was prolific but not very accurate, DD didn't sign much but the ones she used were always spot on - interesting now they're 6 and that kind of difference in their learning styles is still evident - I digress). I'm not sure whether being able to communicate basic needs before they could talk really did make a difference, but they were both fairly chilled toddlers - never really had the terrible two type tantrums with either of them.

autumnlights12 Thu 20-Sep-12 19:20:44

it will help avoid the terrible twos??
Good enough for me.

Molehillmountain Thu 20-Sep-12 19:23:00

Dd1 loved it, although talked early so could communicate without it. Ds spoke late. He signed though and I'm convinced he'd have been a very cross boy without the ability to communicate his needs (mostly eating, drinking, milk, home and more as I remember!)

Bumpinthenight Thu 20-Sep-12 19:23:58

Well worth it! DD is 4 and still signs now if she is feeling shy or is going to the toilet.

twolittlemonkeys Thu 20-Sep-12 19:26:16

We found Sing & Sign brilliant. The boys could tell us what they wanted/needed before they could speak, eg sign for food/milk/more etc - it really reduced the tantrums when you have no idea what they want!! smile

TheCalmingManatee Thu 20-Sep-12 19:26:28

Well, you might have fun!! It really does help wiht their speech and stops frustration. There is little "point" to alot of the baby things really as none of them will make one iota of difference in the long run - but they are good for socialisation and meeting other mums yourself. So for that reason YABU

Ginismyfriend Thu 20-Sep-12 19:26:33

Completely agree - DD got 'more', 'milk' and 'finished' early on and it made things so much easier (particularly in pre-empting her dinner going over the side of the high chair, as she started doing the sign instead). And she loved the songs.

Imnotaslimjim Thu 20-Sep-12 19:26:48

I'm another all for it - DS had speech issues and baby-signing was great as he could get his needs across. Had no terrible twos from him just got the shocking six's instead

KazzaRazza Thu 20-Sep-12 19:30:14

We loved it.

I agree with the other posters, it really reduced the tantrums as DD was able to tell me what she wanted. I also think it brought on my DD's speech.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

catwoo Thu 20-Sep-12 19:30:22

I did signing with my 2 younger kids but just did it at home making up my own signs

OddFrog Thu 20-Sep-12 19:34:26

Totally worth it. DS was much less frustrated when he had a few signs. I still use it to encourage him to say 'please' and 'thank you' to Granny when she can't see me blush.

ihearsounds Thu 20-Sep-12 19:35:41

For us it was great and continues to be. But I never took him into a class. I use makaton all day, and instinctively come home and use it lol. When speech was developing, rather than pointing at stuff in frustration because he couldn't form the words, he would sign. When he went through a very shy stage (would only talk to siblings, me and his dad) and when outside he would sign so he didn't have to talk. Now age 6, he still uses it to talk to sn friends in school, so for us it is more as a language than a short term use.

wheresmespecs Thu 20-Sep-12 19:35:59

We did Tiny Talk and loved it. Best baby thing we did. It did help with communication - DS talked early anyway, but also did a lot of signing, and I think there's something about focusing on the two of you doing something together to do with communicating that just emphasises language full stop. (actually DS is a very chilled toddler too - very good at talking and understanding, which obvs helps because we hardly ever get 'frustration' tantrums).

Personally I really enjoyed a class where I learned something too. I was working and knackered when DS was a baby but found Baby signing 'easier' than baby groups where you just sat around the edge of a room with toys in it.

tbh, all baby 'classes' are luxuries, aren't they? in that we'd all survive without them.... but if I had that time again, signing is the one activity I would do again, no question.

MamaChocoholic Thu 20-Sep-12 19:43:03

I couldn't control crawling, climbing twins so didn't do classes, but learnt signs from something special on tv, and from the internet. it's been great. nearly 2, and ds2 still can't say many words, but can make himself understood with signs. as he learnt to sign it really relieved his stress. dd has stopped signing now she can talk, so it didn't slow her speech at all. v glad we signed, but no idea if the classes are any good, sorry!

ihearsounds Thu 20-Sep-12 19:46:26

Something special can be good. But Justin also does make mistakes much to our amusement lol. The signs for black and prostitute are very similar, just stroke the face in a different direction. One week he wanted to say black (mouth to ear) instead he went from ear to mouth (prostitute) psml.

pjmama Thu 20-Sep-12 19:50:25

imnotaslimjim - I feel your pain! DS is 6 this week and in the last 6 months has morphed from a sweet natured, sensitive, considerate little boy into a cheeky, rude, manipulative horror. Not sure even signing could help me now! wine

smornintime Thu 20-Sep-12 19:52:18

We did tiny talk from 6 to 18 months and it was fab. I def think it helped to ease any frustration about getting DS's message across and will sign with DD (10 weeks) fact I find myself doing it almost unconsciously already!
Other children at nursery started to copy DS when he was getting stuff they wanted!

twinkletwinkleoldbat Thu 20-Sep-12 19:55:31

I took my third (yes, third!) child to Sing and Sign, and it was the best baby group I'd ever been to (I know most of them are shit to be fair) she picked up the signs really quickly, and loved the songs. It was good from her point of view because if she came into the kitchen ten minutes before dinnertime screaming "BREAD! BREAD!" I wouldn't give her it, but when she signed 'bread' it looked really cute so I gave in every time.

babybythesea Thu 20-Sep-12 19:56:50

We didn't do it but dd was quite an early talker so didn't worry about lack of ability to communicate - we didn't have tantrums due to lack of ability to tell us what she wanted, just tantrums when we said no!
My only experience with a child who did do signing was that he was using signs for some things rather than talk - I'd known him from a baby and shyness wasn't an issue but didnt see him often (once a fortnight maybe). He used to sign certain things to me, and then get cross when I didn't understand and had to ask his Mum. This was when he was of an age where he had words for some things but it almost seemed as though there were words he didn't 'bother' with because he used the signs instead. It may have speeded up his communication with his Mum, which is after all the important thing, but it actually seemed to impede it for a few months with the outside world and led to a few tantrums (especially when you babysit and he's giving a sign and you think you know it but he's getting cross so you're clearly wrong and he is saying 'sigh, sigh' (sign, sign), telling you what to look at but he won't use the word and he only gives you a couple of gos to get it right before he flips....)

HoratiaWinwood Thu 20-Sep-12 20:00:53

Anecdotally, we signed with DS1 and he never had terrible twos. Took DS2 from two weeks, and he also signed before he spoke.

Studies indicate children who sign as babies have higher spoken vocabularies at age 3/4 and even 6/7 than their non-signing peers. Again anecdotally DS1 has a very advanced vocabulary for his age.

JarethTheGoblinKing Thu 20-Sep-12 20:04:30

We didn't do classes, just watched Something Special a couple of times a day. I knew some signs as well, so just went from there. DS loved it. Signed butterfly at about a year old - was amazing actually grin

Never had the terrible two's here either - he could always tell me what he wanted. He didn't talk until 2yo and everybody who was bothered about milestones used to blame the baby signing for that - still, even if it did delay his speech by a month or so I could communicate with him a lot earlier because of signing, and he carried on using it until he was at least 3, alongside words, and I think it actually helped his development in the end.

Definitely do it. At the very least it's something to do, and at best it could avoid loads of tantrums! grin

Teapot13 Thu 20-Sep-12 20:06:19

I think any time you spend with your baby is valuable, even if there isn't a tangible result from signing.

JarethTheGoblinKing Thu 20-Sep-12 20:06:24

Be careful when signing 'twinkle twinkle little star though'


JarethTheGoblinKing Thu 20-Sep-12 20:09:14

Ooh, another useful thing is that when your DC is older and half way across the playground you can sign something to them rather than having to screech grin.

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