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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Kaitlynn's First Signed Word

Before and during my pregnancy I said I was going to teach my baby sign language to aid in communicating. After Kaitlynn was born, I was still interested in teaching her sign language, but didn't know much. I only picked up a little bit when I ran the adult day program at Judevine Center for Autism. Then it kind of got put off and I kind of forgot about it. Kaitlynn and I attended this New Moms Network at St. John's Mercy on July 25th and that day they had someone there to talk about signing with your baby. New Moms Network is a group St. John's Mercy offers to first time moms. Kaitlynn and I only attended once because the time the group met just didn't fit into our schedule. Anyway, the speaker that day was a lady named Ann Gray. She teaches Baby Sign classes at Gymboree. I learned how to sign several words that day (some I already knew) and learned to sign "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". My sign vocabulary consisted of more, nurse, milk, cracker, cookie, mommy, daddy, dog, cat, drink, and eat (I know a few more words from Judevine, but these are the words Ann taught). She also recommended checking out http://www.signingtime.com/. I was so excited about signing with Kaitlynn and I probably consistently signed with her for a week or so. Then I would sign a word every once in a while, but definitely not consistently enough for her to sign words back to me or to make the connection, for that matter. Well I was wrong about that! Dave, Kaitlynn, and I were in bed on January 14th and Kaitlynn was crying and doing something with her hand. Dave said she is signing she wants to nurse. I looked at her and was like "Oh, my gosh, she has been doing that for a few days to a week and I didn't realize that's what she was doing." I felt like a total idiot. It was the sweetest thing. We use the sign for milk to mean nurse. She won't do the sign every time, but will do it. She also says "na na" which means nurse. When she was about 4 months old she would say "ne ne" every time she wanted to nurse. I would nurse her every time I heard "ne ne", but eventually she stopped saying it. So now she says "na na" or signs "milk" or just lifts my shirt up or just cries until I nurse her. She likes to keep me on my toes! For Christmas, a friend (Patrick) bought me the book "Baby Sign Language" (and a vegetarian cookbook). He knows me too well!

1 comment:

Nikki said...

I do signing with Claire too. I think it's really helpful for me to understand what she wants. Once they figure out one sign, all the rest will come easier. Claire's first sign was milk (for nursing) too!