Saturday, 7 April 2012

Sign to Dine

One of the things that's difficult for me about having a newborn baby is that, in a lot of ways, I am an annoyingly logical and scientific kind of person. Don't get me wrong, science was never my strongest subject. But when I have a problem I have to find a solution. I'm the girl who's constantly googling every baby issue, determined that I will find a solution, as if babies are computer programs - you just have to put in the right input to get the desired output. (In fact my husband says they are, it's just that the model is too complex...a debate for another day).

Anyway, I digress.

Like all parents, my main frustration (excluding sleep is the inability to understand what my little monster wants. He does have different cries but I don't always read them well and I end up putting a hungry baby in his cot. I could have sworn that he asked me to turn off Dear Husband's music when he was playing Michael Bolton the other day...

So you see, I really do need a better solution, which is why I will be attempting to teach Josh baby sign language. It's generally accepted that you can start teaching babies sign language at around 6 months and that they will (hopefully) start to use their first signs at around 8 months. Like all parents, though, I know my baby is a child genius, just waiting for his motor skills to pick up before he knocks out his first concerto. I read a lovely account by one mother who started using the signs for milk and tired with her baby at only 1 month of age. To her surprise, at around 12 weeks, when using the sign for milk, her daughter stopped crying and suddenly smiled. She continued to use basic signs to guess her daughter's needs until she was able to make them herself.

I've also decided that 'milk' and 'tired' are good starting points so, from now on, I will start making the sign for milk before I feed him and the sign for tired before bedtimes. (I already have a few social hangups about breast feeding in public for various reasons, not least the fact that Josh is a very noisy eater. When I start making signs like milking a cow in public, I may just seal my fate as one of 'those' parents. But it's all for a good cause right?)

I know progress will be slow but as soon as I have anything to report, it'll be here. Watch this space!

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