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