Thursday, March 1, 2012

Project: Learn baby Signing and Teach Sou sou (Accomplished!!!)

Asalamu Alaykum Folks!

One of the major goals that I have accomplished on my Bucket List was to learn baby signing (American Sign Language) and to teach my baby. I first became interested in learning sign language when my friend A told me that she knew a sister who had twins girls and taught them. She said how she experienced it when they would sign out the things they saw while sitting in the car and how cute it was.

When I started reading more about it, I realized that babies who could sign had incredible verbal, language, and memorization skills. This was found to be apparent statistically even when they started school as they often had higher test scoring. 

One of the best purchases I made, and I would recommend it to new mothers as well, was Joseph Garcia's Sign with your baby DVD and book. 

Yes the DVD video as the 80s written all over it but it was astounding to see all those babies communicating with their parents. 

When I first started to practice, I watched the video many times and tried to perfect the most important signs as the program recommends. I visited lots of web sites and watched lots of you-tube videos and practiced learning myself. I taught those closest around me to do the same so they could communicate with her. I started signing to her when she was about 6 months. 

A the time she just stared at me like I was crazy. 

That lasted for nearly 2-3 months but I kept at it, although sometimes I felt it was pointless because she hadn't reciprocated. At about 8 months she signed her first signs "milk" and "more." I almost cried when I saw her little hands moving around!

The best part of teaching  Sultana how to sign is being able to have a conversation with her at such a young age. We often say that babies talk nonsense but they don't! Physically they can not say things because their vocal cords are still underdeveloped but they they have thoughts and feelings just like us so teaching them to physically communicate those feelings is invaluable.

I have had my baby communicate to me that she was happy and certain things were beautiful to her. I have been able to recognize her needs when she signs she is hungry or full, that she wanted water not milk, and that she hurt herself on her stomach or her finger. Subhanallah. The best part is that yes it was a lot of work but the results paid off. Now, I can understand a little ASL (American Sign Language) and hope to get certified one day. My brother and closest friends know a few signs too and they are all believers! In fact, they plan on doing this when they have children as well.

Here is a video to show you my child getting harassed by her mother to show off some of her vocab. Much of the signs you hear are actually in Arabic. About 90% of Sultana's signs are communicated in Arabic so that she can get exposure to her second language. Instead of saying milk we say "Haleeb." 

Here are some other translations:

Booba/Ba Ba=Nicknames for sou sou
Yala=Come on, lets go, a filler word
ta3amali=You make, you do (make the sign)
Haboo=She thinks it means "I love you"
Ayza?=Do you want?


Khalas=Finished done
Shukran=Thank you

Hope you enjoy! Tell me what you think :) Would you ever try this out?


  1. She is one adorable child Masha'Allah!!
    This is so interesting! I've never heard of this before, jazakallah khair for sharing!
    I don't have children yet, Insha'Allah I will some time soon...
    definitely something to look into!


    1. Thank you alhamdoolilah I am so glad to present this. Please do look into it. I just think personally it is so beautiful and rewarding to do this with your baby and I wish more mothers could do it :)

  2. awwwww! she is too damn adorable MANSHALLAH. I love how she went from crying to smiling :) awww!! Oh I wish I knew how to sign, that's something I've been wanting to learn for quite some time now maybe one day :) I totally would want to teach my kid this one day if I ever have one inshallah but I dunno if I'll have the patience to do so.

    1. haha I am glad you noticed sis! she does that all the time because she has started her terrible twos real fricken early! Girl you can learn how to sign so easily maybe I will demonstrate some one day just for you! If you do this your chunky cheeked child will just stare at you funny for like 3 months inshallah and everyone will think you are crazy until they start doing it back!

  3. I'm such an impatient bastard I'd probably yell at my baby "Ta3mili al an, ow ya waylik" LOL though I thought you were saying "da3amni" I was like what on earth could that mean? BUT OMG I was such a strong believer that children just couldn't voice what they wanted to say. I never took gibberish lightly. Especially when they would point at something and just talk. This was awesome! I definitely want to learn this, I'm glad you didn't give up even if it looked pointless!

  4. I lesrnt the alphabet over the summer(sign language alphabet and now i have forgotten it except for the really easy letters.

    By the way,awesome blot.

    1. Oh wow MissM, where did you learn it? I tried myself and it is a difficult feat, for you to memorize the whole signing asl alphabet at one point is incredible. thank you so much!

  5. Masha'Allah! She's so cute! I would love to do this, but I doubt my husband would be able to do it. Allahualim. He may surprise me. lol.

    1. Hey sis! really look into it. In the beginning it is so easy. Its only 3 signs that you will use for like 4 or 5 months straight. If you stick with it and keep doing it, im sure he will watch you and start doing it himself inshallah.

  6. Oh my, she is adorable! I love how you are using sign language to connect the two languages. I have a friend who is doing the same thing with English/Spanish & ASL. She first says the word in Spanish (while making the sign) then repeats it in English, again while making the sign. It is so awesome to watch. Congrats on your signing success and thanks for sharing your video. Your little one really is a beauty. :)

  7. She is incredibly gorgeous sis...seriously hubs and I just sat here and looked and laughed, I love her so much.

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