Okay, maybe sign language doesn't work for everyone. But if I did delve further into their practice of sign language at home, I bet I would hear some of the following complaints: "I tried it but she never signed back," "I didn't have time to learn a bunch of signs," or "I found it hard to continue to use the signs." For those parents I would offer the following bits of advice:
It can take awhile for your baby to sign back. In fact, it can take months. Most babies don't have the fine motor skills to make signs until nine or ten months. Even then, the gestures they make won't necessarily look like the ones you are making. I began signing with Nate when he was four months old. It took over five months before I saw his first sign (MORE). Older children certainly learn signs more quickly, but it can still take weeks for them to catch on.
During those five months of waiting I wondered if I was wasting my time. I wondered if I should just give up. Even after he made those first few signs, it took him awhile to add any more. Now, at thirteen months he signs over thirty signs regularly. I am so glad I waited it out. It can certainly be disheartening to spend your time learning signs, incorporating them into your conversations and teaching them to other family members only to have your little one stare back at you blankly. But trust me, once your baby starts signing back to you that effort is absolutely worth it.
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