So as I posted last week, I have been having a little trouble potty training my 18 month old son, Poopy (maybe the nickname has something to do with it!). I am determined to get him to at least give me one poopy in the potty before his new baby brother is born. I feel the main problem with this is communication.
So after I put the kids to sleep, I was watching the new episode of Tia & Tamera’s reality show and Tia was talking about how she couldn’t understand some of the things her son, Cree was trying to say and that she would like to. So her friend mentioned during mommy class that she had tried baby sign language and it had worked wonders for her son. So Tia took Cree to a class so they could learn it together and communicate.
I got so excited about this idea because I think it is brilliant. Not only can it lessen our potty training frustrations but it would definitely end the one-sided conversations. I feel so bad for my poor baby when he’s babbling something and afterwards staring intently as if he wants me to answer and all I can say is, “I’m sorry, Poopy. I don’t know what you’re saying” in my don’t-be-mad-at-mommy voice.
However, since I can’t afford to take him to a specialized baby sign language class, I started researching the main words that I use with him and am going to start using them during conversation and hope that he begins to learn it and use it. I feel really proud to want to teach my baby sign language because it’s not at all a normal thing and no one I knows has done it. In fact, I think one of my challenges is going to be to get my family on board and support me with it. But I figure once I show him some signs and he begins to communicate with me, there will be no debate.
Plus, when I researched the basics on The Baby Sign Language website, these were the benefits they mentioned of baby sign language:
- Bonding: Research on baby sign language has confirmed that signers enjoy a stronger parental bond. In fact some early childhood education programs have started teaching baby sign language to infants and their parents to help get their relationship off to the best possible start.
- Poopy and I had a really strong connection while I breastfed and I was never uncomfortable with him being with anyone else because we were both pretty attached to each other. I think we both knew that these people were temporary but we would always be together and, the funny thing is, that didn’t change when I began to work full-time. But, after he turned a year old and began to become a little independent, our connection started to change. It’s not gone but maybe not as strong as before so I would so love to have that back! 🙂
- Reduced Fussiness: Research confirms that signing babies have fewer temper tantrums. Perhaps not surprisingly, the adults feel better too – with the parents of signing children reporting feeling more positive about their child.
- Ok, I think all moms can vouch for the frustrations that arise when your baby is crying about something and you can’t quite figure it out. When Poopy is moody and wants something and I can’t figure it out, he DOES NOT want to be touched, held, talked to…NOTHING. So it kind of hurts to feel so helpless and I think it will be a great thing for both of us if he could just tell me what he wants.
- Development: Studies shows that babies who have early exposure to signing, have larger speaking vocabularies earlier. They even do better years after they have stopped signing. One study showed that eight year olds who learned baby sign language as infants had an average IQ 12 points higher than non-signers.
- This one was a big plus! Who wouldn’t want their kids to have a higher IQ and a bigger vocabulary? …Need I say more?
So this is my next journey and I can’t wait to see where it leads us…anyone else in for the ride? Think sign language is for you and your baby or that it’s completely stupid? Tell me your thoughts…