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Baby Sign

I had tried to teach Finley to sign more, instead of squawking for more food.

“SQUAWK!” mouth open, look of worry on his face as he eyed the food jar on the table.

“Finley,” I would say calmly, “can you say more,” as I brought all my fingers together and tapped them.

“SQUAWK!  SQUAWK!!” as it intensified.  “Why is this crazy mama makin’ me wait when I is wanting food in my MOUTH!”

Hmmm….not helpful.

Then my awesome friend who blogs at www.sandiegodealsandsteals.com  posted about a baby sign class, where if you sign up, your friend and baby can go free. So I quickly emailed Kahea and asked her if she and Hawea wanted to take the six week class with us.

So we went.  It was so fun.  The teacher was AMAZINGLY animated, and all the babies would zone out on her face.  Seriously, it was hilarious.  She would start a signing song and do all the signs, and all the babies would stop what they were doing and open mouth stare at her.

“Oh Finley, you like the sign for bees, don’t you, come over here and the bee will give you a kiss!” She said the first day.  Finley was falling over himself to get to her quicker and receive the kiss on his cheek from the bee puppet.

Do you think Finley likes his signing teacher??

Best part of all, he learned signs!  I learned to teach only one “need based” sign at a time.  So we started with ‘Milk.’  The teacher said to sign it before and after nursing, which at the time I thought he would never learn, but low and behold, just 2 days later…  (For San Diego locals, the class is Sign4baby I TOTALLY recommend it)

We sang songs, learned a whole bunch of signs and how to teach them.  It was fun!

Soon, he was signing more, and all done and milk.  I was so happy!  Those were his main three for a good couple weeks and I loved it.  As soon as he would start whining (my major kid pet peeve) I would say, “Finley, use your words,” and he would stop and just sign more.  Once at the store, we were checking out some outrageously price drumming elmo, and as we started to walk away, I saw the melt down coming; The back started to arch, the eye brows were pitiful, smile replaced by open mouth of sadness and impending doom…

“Finley,” I jumped in, “Can you say more?”  He looked me in the eyes, and with effort closed his mouth.  He calmed down and clapped his hands hard, focused eyes locked with mine, signing more, more!  No smile, but melt down averted.  Once I saw he controlled himself I told him, “Ok, one more time,” to reward him for controlling his behavior. 

“Baby sign won’t completely get rid of your baby’s tantrums.  But it will get rig of 50% of the tantrums because they can tell you what they want and need long before they can talk reducing frustration for everyone.”  -Joanne, his teacher.

The girls in the class seemed to pick up all the signs quicker, which is kinda cute 🙂

Some signs Finley is doing now are book, and Andrew just taught him light.  As soon as he wakes up, or walks into a dark room, he looks at a lamp and signs, “light, light.”  He signs “eat,” and “bath,” and “cereal.”  Haha, he even kind of came of with his own sign for preferring nursing over a bottle–he looks at me and pats his chest.  Oh boy, perhaps I shouldn’t have taught him to sign 😉


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  • frugalmommieof2 November 17, 2011, 7:53 pm

    I love this! My kids are 4 and 6, but we did this with them when they were little.

    I’m stopping by from the Terrific Thursday hop and I’m following you by GFC and twitter. I’d love if you stopped by my blog too.


  • Monica J @ Sofamilyonline November 18, 2011, 1:36 am

    Nice! Sign classes for babies and toddlers, I love it. What a great class. Thanks for sharing a pic as well.

    I hopped over from the blog hop. I’m your newest follower. I’ll be checking in daily. 🙂

  • Alicia November 18, 2011, 3:24 am

    the only sign my kids seemed to use regularly was “eat” 🙂 I wish thank you had caught on instead! Now not one of my 5 ever stops talking and I dream of a little quiet babyhood with sparse signs! Your Finley is precious!

  • Danielle November 18, 2011, 3:56 pm

    We love Joann with Sign4Baby! Both of my kids learned to sign with the help of her teaching and we’re definitely better off for it. Less frustrating when they know how to effectively communicate with us.

  • Signing Mama November 18, 2011, 4:44 pm

    I shared your wonderful post on my page – I feel so fortunate to share my expertise and energy with the babies in my classes ; ) Love how you wrote about the bee – it is exactly as I recall it!

  • KY November 21, 2011, 7:43 pm

    This is so very interesting!!! I myself don’t have any 2 legged babies yet, but I am starting to educate myself on birthing processes and parenting techniques. I will for sure be looking in to signing classes – thanks for sharing your experience 🙂

  • Syndal November 21, 2011, 7:48 pm

    that is amazing! we are always trying to get my nephew to sign!

    found you on mingle monday!