Baby Signing a Practical Way of Communicating

by Rita Brhel on February 29, 2012

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I was never one of those people, pre-kids, who romanticized parenting. I worried instead about how my baby and I would communicate and how I would deduce from her cries the action required to meet her needs.

My sister had used some basic baby signs with my niece Dakota, teaching her to sign “more” and “milk,” but the significance of this seemingly simple form of communication didn’t hit home until one afternoon when my sister was trying to help Dakota fall asleep by giving her a backrub. When she stopped, Dakota sat up and signed “more.”

I was fascinated by how she had extrapolated a sign previously used only to request more food to ask for more massage. In that moment, I realized the potential that signing had for a deeper level of communication. Attachment Parenting International leader Jamie Birdsong Nieroda, of New York, tells her story on The Attached Family online magazine…

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Rita Brhel (138 Posts)

Rita Brhel, CLC, API Leader, is the Publications Coordinator for Attachment Parenting International. She also works as a WIC Breastfeeding Counselor at Hastings, Nebraska, USA, and is a freelance agricultural journalist. She lives with her husband and 3 children on a sustainable family farm. She enjoys crocheting, listening to music, photography, reading biographies, being with nature, volunteering with 4-H, and singing at church.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Katherine Natalia March 3, 2012 at 1:59 am

Yes we are currently teaching our 7 month old baby sign language. She does sign milk which is really useful now as she doesn’t seem to display any other signs she’s hungry. She seems to understand other signs too. I think it helps so much understanding your baby before they can use words. It probably helps you develop a closer bond as there will be less frustration for everyone.


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