Signing helped my baby “show off” her personality

We have been signing with our daughter Afton since she was seven months old. She’s now 21 months and usually speaks the words she’s signing as well. This often leads to confusion about why we sign with her if she’s not deaf. Truth be told, I thought the same thing before I joined the team at Two Little Hands Productions last year and we started using Signing Time with our kids.

Prior to Signing Time, we were completely “signless.” But once we started signing with Afton, my wife and I, as well as the older kids quickly caught on so that eventually the whole family was signing with Afton at every opportunity – it was so fun – and addictive – seeing her understand us and exert her own personality on our family dynamic. We discovered that it really lived up to all the press – we were communicating with Afton far before she could express herself verbally. We continue to use it because it’s turned out to be a phenomenal aid to help us both as she’s learning to speak. Even if I can’t understand her words, I understand her signs. We’ve also seen a much lower frustration level than I recall having with our two previous kids (who we did not sign with as babies) when they were Afton’s age. She’s not perfect but she doesn’t fly off the hook because she knows she’s understood. Our experience has been great and it’s nice to see validation popping up in the press , seemingly on a weekly basis these days!

I found the article below, published in, the other day and thought it did a great job explaining the benefits of baby sign language and even mentions Signing Time! Enjoy.

Signs show that babies can be taught simple hand gestures, written by Wendy Sharky.

4 thoughts on “Signing helped my baby “show off” her personality”

  1. Gretchen Owen

    I couldn’t agree more that signing is a practial and effective way to promote healthy and open communication between you, your child and others. This can be said even if one is not hearing impaired. We have been using Signing Time to practice familiar words and connect familiar faces (mommy, daddy) with my son since birth, as he was born with a brain injury and doctors were unsure of the residual effects this would have on his physical and lkearning capabilities. His OT/PT suggested, as well as his team of medical specialists, that we begin signing, just in case he may show signs of a communication delay or hearing loss/impairment. Watching the video (we only have the first one made) has helped tremendously and is the ONLY video my son will watch! It has also helped me to learn signing as well, and hopefully I will be able to use it in my classroom setting someday! My son turns one year old next week and we are STILL watching the SAME video he was given by therapists a year later! So, we are on to purchasing more volumes!
    Thank you and thank God for Rachel!!!!
    PS We were thinking of having a “Signing Time ” themed birthday party for my son’s 1st one- any chance of having invites or party favors in this theme?…………

  2. I’ve got to add this–my children don’t get frustrated because we don’t understand them, but because they don’t always get what they want, even if they sign it.

    That said, I am wanting to start signing with my 10 month old.. I have found that THEY don’t sign right away, but by about 18 months, all of a sudden, it’s a hand whirl….

    Just wishing that I could convince my husband that this does not impede vocal vocabulary development…he is afraid that they’d rather sign than talk. How do I show him that it helps, not hinders?

  3. Jenny,

    You’re right, it does take some time to get them signing, but my experience has been that even if they’re not signing, kids catch on quickly and begin comprehending before they begin to sign. As to your husband’s concerns, there is a lot of research out there showing that signing doesn’t keep kids from speaking but experience is the best teacher here. If you were only to sign with your child and not also speak to them, sing to them, etc. I can see how it could slow things down. However, as you know, Signing Time is all about multi-sensory, multi-modal learning. Signing and speaking the word or signing and singing along, etc. makes all the difference. My daughter Afton signs probably 200-250 words at 22 months and actually speaks all of them as well. We didn’t just sign words we made sure to speak them and encourage her to speak them at the same time we were signing them. But actually, the thing that really made the difference for us was the music. Afton was signing “Put your finger tips together for more, more, more.” long before she was speaking in phrases. That’s the great thing about Signing Time, you’re given many options but it’s up to you to determine which will best fit your needs. If your husband is open to others’ experiences, there are some amazing testimonials on our website at

    One great one that speaks directly to your husbands concerns is Cynthia’s from Mililani, Hawaii. Look around and you’ll definitely find others.

    Good Luck,


  4. I have been signing with my daughter since she was about 4 months old. At first she only signed milk and grandparents got such a kick out of her pumping her little fist for milk. At about 9-10 months she was still signing milk, but nothing else. Then she started crawling and got a few teeth and the signs just keep coming. At 11 months old, she understand 15 signs and signs around 7. It just amazes me how we can communicate, even though she is just a baby.

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