Baby signing: Helpful online resources

Ever since one of my sisters introduced our family to signing with babies, I knew I wanted to do it whenever I had a baby. We started signing with Sadie about the same time we introduced solid foods. We’ve only introduced a few signs to her, and it’s taken a while, but we’re starting to see that she’s catching on. So far she’s signing (versions of) “eat” and “more.” There’s a whole list of words I’d like to ramp up to, like: again, ball, bath, bear, blanket, book, cat, cheese, cold, cracker, daddy, diaper, dog, doll, drink, help, hungry, hurt, kiss, love, mad, milk, mommy, no, open, please, safe, school, shirt, sleep, socks, sorry, spoon, stop, thank you, want, water, wet and yes. I know there are tons of other signs that will be fun to do, but first I want to focus on the “down to business” signs.

Is anybody else out there signing with your babies or toddlers? What words have I left off of my list that would be useful?

There are loads of books and DVDs out there to teach you (and your baby) signs. There are even “apps for that.” BUT I’m all about stuff that’s free, so I’m cobbling my ASL vocabulary together with a handful of websites. Here’s what I’ve found so far:

Signing with your Baby is a good website to get started. I liked the articles under “The Basics.”

ASL Pro has a video-illustrated dictionary, and they’ve even got an “ASL for Babies” dictionary. There are a few different people demonstrating the signs, so there’s less uniformity, but it’s kind of funny to watch their expressions.

And the American Sign Language Browser from Michigan State University is fantastic. The same (somewhat stern looking) woman demonstrates all of the signs, which I like. The video images are smaller than on ASL Pro, which makes seeing the details a little more difficult.

Are there any (free) resources I’m missing out on?

9 thoughts on “Baby signing: Helpful online resources

  1. Syd

    I haven’t done it yet, but I plan on doing it with my son (Due June 2010). And we have a friend who taught his daughter like 80 signs. He said it was very helpful by the time she got to the tantrum stage.

    Reply
    1. Brooke Post author

      Yes, avoiding tantrums is one of the BIG reasons we’re signing with Sadie. It’s already been helpful as she weans herself to solids. She’s eating three meals a day and nursing on demand (though nursing less and less during the day), but it’s sometimes hard to guess when she might be hungry for a snack. Yesterday we were in the grocery store check-out line, and she started signing “eat” and “more.” I’d picked up some of the graham cracker sticks she and I both like, so I grabbed the box and handed her a couple while we checked out. Crisis averted!

      Reply
  2. Fawn

    You can hit the library – they have board books with pictures of the babies doing the sign. My kids loved those. We never got past “eat”, “drink”, and “more”. Those were all we needed to communicate the important stuff, and they started speaking soon after we learned those first three.

    Reply
    1. Brooke Post author

      Do they have the DVDs, though? I seem to have the part of my brain missing that would help me translate what I see in a picture and what I need to do in real life. Also missing is the part that can picture something described to me verbally that I’ve never seen with my eyes. And the part that can estimate things like how many people are in a room or how long or deep or wide something is.

      Reply
  3. Ashley

    we sign! signingtime.com has awesome videos! i have learned so much from them and the music is great!

    Reply
  4. LeeAnn

    We are signing veterans over here because of Declan’s speech delay. Declan does 75+ signs himself and understands 100+. I just use YouTube. When I come across a word we want to know the sign for I just search “asl sign for x”. The best ones are from a site called My Smart Hands or something like that. Easy peasy.

    Reply
    1. Brooke Post author

      YouTube! Why didn’t I think of that? Fantastic. I’ve downloaded a couple of (free) iPhone apps, but the free versions are kind of sucky. Now I have a solution for the out-and-about signing needs! Thanks, Lee-Ann.

      Reply

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