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83
4.2 out of 5 stars
Sign With Your Baby: How to Communicate With Infants Before They Can Speak
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162 of 167 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2000
I have to disagree with Proudparent's review. I first bought the book Baby Signs and found it to be the equivalent of a long article about why teaching your baby to communicate non-verbally is a good thing with some examples of signs that parents had made up on their own. I was already convinced that signing was a good thing and so while I found the book interesting I didn't find it useful. When I ran across Garcia's Sign With Your Baby, is was much more of a "How-To" that helped me get started.
I really like that he advocates use of American Sign Language, it took some of the pressure off us trying to think up appropriate signs. Plus it's a bonafide, beautiful language. We were even able to take out children's books at the library that had the ASL signs along with the English text. Our baby didn't have a problem with the basic signs, we did adapt some ASL signs to make it easier and on occasion made up our own signs. Like Baby Signs, the Garcia book is a bit light, I would have preferred something more comprehensive, but of the two books about signing with your baby, I found it to be the more useful. Our playgroup all taught our babies how to sign in ASL and it's made babysitting each other's children so much easier.
Whichever book you use (or neither, you don't really need a book), do try signing with your baby. It's so much fun for parents, grandparents and babies. Our daughter is talking now, but still uses her signs sometimes. It opened up her world to us so much earlier than we would have thought possible.
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134 of 140 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 1999
This book is a wonderful tool for parents wishing to teach their baby to sign. Much of the frustration of the toddler years results from a child's inability to communicate with others. I only wish that I had started earlier with my children. I began teaching my twins to sign at 16 months. Within 3 weeks, my son was signing "more" spontaneously. My daughter was resistant to signing at first and then finally would sign when she thought no one was looking. Now she does it openly and with a big smile since she realizes the power of communication! At 18 months now, they both sign "more", "milk", "please" and "mama". We have also made up a few signs like "blankie" that they are learning to use. It has really reduced some of the frustration in my home, and I plan to continue to use sign with them for as long as it remains useful. I do have a background in sign (I am an audiologist), but this book is simple enough for anyone without any knowledge of sign language to use. A must for every parent of an infant or toddler.
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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2001
Amazing results. My wife and I started to sign to our daughter at 3 months, Milk, Dog, Mom, Dad, Bright Light, and sleep. At 6 months old she was asking to be nursed without crying, at 8 months old she was communicting with us for food, drink, play, naps, diaper change, dog etc.. At one year she was using over 50 signs. Now that she is two, she speaks like a 6 year old, complete sentences, coherent conversations about a single topic, and is beginning to work out written words.
Stick with the signing in the book for 3-4 months and watch your child's vocabulary explode before she's one.
We also believe we avoided a very frustrating time for both us and our daughter by being able to communicate with her so early and telling us her needs and wants.
Invest the $15, and stick with the program, it will amaze you and your family.
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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 1999
I saw the author speak and bought the book from him. My son was about 11 months when we started and his first sign was "milk" which we used for "I want to nurse." He was learning to talk at the same time, but signing was initially much easier and quicker. It let him tell us things that we weren't always thinking about, like that he was thirsty, or saw the moon. It really added another dimension to our lives. Our son was an early verbal child, which suggests that signing may have helped him along. Signing is very fun and you don't have to learn a lot of signs. I would heartily suggest it for every parent and baby.
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58 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2000
Sign With Your Baby is an easy to understand and excellent resource to begin teaching your baby sign language; however, it should not be your only resource.
I purchased Sign With Your Baby when my child was 3 months old -- much earlier than the author recommends. Though my child is now 5 months and still too young to make the signs himself, he is becoming increasingly familiar with the signs and does tend to focus on the increased activity of my hands.
On the other hand, I feel that the signs offered are limited. Signs included in the text cover family members, pets and animals, feelings (i.e. happy, hurt, scared, etc . .. ) and food. However, they do not cover things as simple as the alphabet, colors or toys. Often, I find myself referring to the book for a sign I would like to use and am disappointed that it isn't covered in the text.
I definitely recommend purchasing Sign With Your Baby; however, I would supplement it with a Dictionary of American Sign Language.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2006
This was the first book I read about baby sign language. It is a great introduction, but doesn't go much further past "why to sign" and to sign every time you say the word. Parents are busy and yes consistency is nice, but it didn't give you many tips on how to share the signs with your baby. It gave you some ideas for what signs to introduce first and a few games to play to reinforce the signs, but did not give much info on how to easily integrate the signs into your daily activies with your child. This book has a great sign dictionary in the back though with signs commonly used by the little ones and that is part of the reason why I gave it 4 stars instead of 3. Another bonus for this book is that it lists and recommends only ASL signs. I have signed with my own children and my daycare children and ASL is not too hard for the children and has so many benefits for them. For a book full of activities and strategies for introducing signs very easily in everday interactions with your baby I would recommend Signing Smart with Babies and Toddlers which also uses ASL signs. What is handy from Sign with Your Baby though and I would recommend is their quick reference card which is great to pop into the diaper bag.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2000
If there was one book I would buy for a new parent, this would be it! Baby Signing is finally getting the attention it deserves and this book truly guides you through the process. It's easy to read, with lots of illustrations and helpful tips. You need to put in some effort and have patience, but I guarantee you, your child will amaze you. Best of all your home will be a better,calmer place! For every sign your child does, there's one less scream and vague pointing , and 2 less fustrated parents. Friends and family couldn't believe our son's "new vocabulary". One bit of extra advice: Don't be afraid to make up your own signs for words you don't know, or are difficult to sign (My son signs Barney by "hugging" himself and blanket is a pat on his cheek). If you know someone expecting, this book along with the extra aids(as well as the book Good Night Moon, a great first book to sign with) would be a great shower or first day home gift!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2005
I bought this book after reading Baby Signs because I had heard that some parents liked this one better. I don't see why. The text mostly reiterates what Baby Signs says (summarizes the research done by the authors of Baby Signs, without even mentioning their names!), with the exception of 2 major points:

1. Whether to use ASL only or offer developmentally appropriate signs. I have a 3 year old that still can't do many of the ASL signs I tried to teach him. For others, he started with a "Baby Sign" and had no problem transitioning to an ASL later on when his motor skills imroved.

2. Whether to always sign and say the word together or do the sign only (actually Garcia only dedicates about one paragraph to this, but it is such an important issue - and I strongly disagree with his suggestion of signing only.) The WHOLE POINT of signing with hearing babies is to foster their TOTAL communication skills, especially in their primary spoken language. Therefore, to suggest that you withhold this important exposure to the verbal word while you sign is absurd to me. Whether you use ASL or not - always sign & speak together!!

The only good thing I can say about this book is that the illustrations are pretty good, and it does have a few more signs in it than Baby Signs (although I did not think all of the signs were relevant to babies). If you must buy it, use it as a dictionary only (although if you want a dictionary of ASL there are more comprehensive ones available), and definatly use it in conjunction with another book on infant sign language, like Baby Signs.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2000
I purchased this book for my two grandchildren when they were 6 months old. One lives in Texas & the other lives in Alabama so we were able to see 2 different families put this book to use. Both girls began signing back to their parents within 2 months for "milk," "juice", & "more." They are now both 15 months old and I just had the opportunity to spend the past week with one of the girls. I was absolutely amazed to see how she has learned to communicate with sign language. Both mothers say this book should be on every expectant parent's wish list and if you put forth the effort to teach you baby to sign the rewards will be tremendous.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2006
My father had a couple friends who were deaf, so I grew up seeing sign language used, so when I heard about teaching babies how to sign, I bought this book. I started using ASL with my son at 9mo, and at 4yo we still sign! I've seen other books that use non-ASL sign language, and that seems quite silly to teach your child a language that isn't official, especially seeing that my son still uses some of the signs he's learned.

This book was very easy to read and use, and is perfect for anyone who hasn't had any experience with signing. I've given this book to 4 couples as baby shower presents, and they've loved it.

I firmly believe that using sign language with my son before he could speak reduced the "terrible twos," because it gave him a way to communicate his needs and wants to us. We used signing in conjunction with speaking, and siging didn't hinder his speach development at all. In fact, I think it helped him start talking sooner. A friend of mine started signing with her daughter at 2yo who DID have speech development problems, and this actually helped reduce her daughter's frustration while they did speech development "exercises."
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