Do you allow baby signing time? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 26 Old 01-07-2010, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have one baby signing time DVD and I was planning to get some more, but these days when we go into the parlor to play with his toys, the first thing DS does is look for the remote and start signing "baby" which means he wants to watch it. It makes me nervous that he is so gung ho about essentially a TV show, and that while watching it he is pretty transfixed. (We don't allow TV otherwise)

I know a lot of moms here use Baby Signing Time DVDs - do you? Why or why not? I'm wondering if we should reevaluate.
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#2 of 26 Old 01-07-2010, 06:07 PM
 
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We did sign language with my son, but didn't use any videos. We just signed common words that he was familiar with, milk, eat, change, more, etc. He started signing at 6 mo, and now is 18 and knows about 15 or so signs, and seems to pick them up much quicker. I'd limit any TV, especially at the point where he is asking to watch it.

I think they learn it better when they see those around them using it as a daily lifestyle.
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#3 of 26 Old 01-07-2010, 07:11 PM
 
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I LOVE baby signing times. Jack will dance to the music when I turn it on but to day when I put it on and the music started he started to sign baby ( rocking his arms) I almost cried. He has been doing more for a month or so.

If anyone would come to the door and see me dancing along with Jack they would totally crack up.

I love the music We have vol 1 but just got vol 3 in the mail today. I put it on when Im folding clothes usually. ( if not I get "help" unfolding everything)

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#4 of 26 Old 01-07-2010, 07:20 PM
 
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nope. We did baby sign language, but short of some college football on a rare occasion, we don't watch TV or videos.

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#5 of 26 Old 01-07-2010, 07:38 PM
 
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Since she's usually happier about just playing after watching a signing time dvd, I'm all about them.
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#6 of 26 Old 01-07-2010, 10:57 PM
 
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We use them, started around 15 months. We started learning to sign from books and were using signs with him from birth, but his vocabulary REALLY picked up with the videos. DS loves still loves them, almost a year after we started.

Yes they can be a gateway to more and more TV. DS loves TV. We worked really hard to limit it to less than 1 hour per day (soft limit for most days, hard limit was 2 hrs, perhaps weekly for movie nights) before he turned 2.

Now that DS is 27 months, we're considering a shift into more of selecting content and format (DVDs that limit commercials) rather than strictly limiting time.

We still plan TV-free family activities (especially dinner/meals), and incorporate active play into our days, to try and keep a balance.

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#7 of 26 Old 01-08-2010, 12:12 AM
 
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I think you need to decide what is your view of babies watching tv. There is a lot of information out there regarding the subject.

You don't need a dvd to teach your baby signs. I use this site a lot, aslpro, because it is really easy to navigate and the video clips really help with my signing. I have never used the baby signing dvds, so I can't say how well they work. But I can think of at least 30 signs my DD regularly uses and she understands much more and she is 14 mo.

Angela , wife to DH (Oct 1999), mother to DD (Oct 2008)
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#8 of 26 Old 01-08-2010, 02:16 AM
 
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Lina's so into music that the songs on Signing Time have made a big difference. I started signing with her at birth and she didn't start using signs until after seeing signing time. And her success with the signs she's decided to use from that has made her more open to using the additional signs I do. Music is a huge motivator for her and I've made her her own Pandora channel

My standard for television is that it can't hypnotize. So a dvd where she periodically walks away or turns around to check on what I'm doing is fine. The flashing bright commercial where I physically turned her away from the tv and her head twisted around to keep staring at the tv was not. Hulu.
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#9 of 26 Old 01-08-2010, 01:12 PM
 
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DS adored the videos. I like that, with the DVD's, I can skip to just the songs and he loves to watch those. Even if he watches all the songs, he's done in 10 minutes.
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#10 of 26 Old 01-08-2010, 02:55 PM
 
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We love them, and swear by them. My daughter learned hundreds of signs and was able to communicate all of her needs with to us with no problems as a young age. She had no tantrums and her vocabulary is amazing.

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#11 of 26 Old 01-08-2010, 03:29 PM
 
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My DS (17 mo) has been watching them on & off since he was 6 months old. he loves them and I think they are great...however, he has only signed eat & milk - I swear he is part CAT. He can do the signs, but refuses too. I guess if it is any consolation for me...he knows his ABC.
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#12 of 26 Old 01-08-2010, 04:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Lina's so into music that the songs on Signing Time have made a big difference. I started signing with her at birth and she didn't start using signs until after seeing signing time. And her success with the signs she's decided to use from that has made her more open to using the additional signs I do. Music is a huge motivator for her and I've made her her own Pandora channel

My standard for television is that it can't hypnotize. So a dvd where she periodically walks away or turns around to check on what I'm doing is fine. The flashing bright commercial where I physically turned her away from the tv and her head twisted around to keep staring at the tv was not. Hulu.
Yes this exactly!

Baby Signing Time is the only thing that DS requests to watch (well a few months ago he was on a Chitt Chitty Bang Bang kick for a few weeks) He loves the songs and sings and signs them during the day. He was really only signing milk and more before he started watching the videos. My signing vocabulary has really increased as well, I have dyslexia and am a very visual learner and have an easier time retaining info when there is a song with it. I like the video's I like Rachel she seems friendly and inviting and I love the songs.

DS does watch some other TV occasionally but he mostly loves to play and will glance up at the screen every now and then if I put on TVO which has really nice programs for preschool age and no commercials I actually like watching the show's and watch them with DS.

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#13 of 26 Old 01-08-2010, 06:55 PM
 
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I'm going to agree with Sapphire Chan and Butterfly Mommy... In general, TV should be a big no-no, but I think there are exceptions that CAN be made, with MOST children, when carefully monitored (ie, watching for the 'hypnosis')

We didn't use Signing Time, but another signing video, "My Baby Can Talk." We LOVED them. We did signing in context around the house, and we even took a class. But it was the videos that clinched it for her. She learned so much from them.

I do prefer MBCT over BST in part because it is slower and less glitzy, less 'addictive' in its presentation. It's very simple... classical music background, toys and animals and children demonstrating what the meaning of the word is, and an adult and a child demonstrating the sign.

There were times when DD would watch it over, and over, and over again. For days on end. And other times when she would ask to watch it, turn it on, watch 2 minutes, then run off to play with something else. And times where she showed no interest in it for weeks on end. It's like any kind of learning with toddlers -- they will 'cycle' through things as they go through developmental and learning phases, obsessing over something for a period of time, then just... moving on.

Pretty much the same thing happened when we started letting her watch movies, around age 2. (We don't have cable, so no 'regular' TV). She would completely obsess over a particular movie for about a week. Demand to watch it all the time. Memorized all the lines. Play-acted that she was different characters. We'd be starting to think, "gee, maybe we've been too lenient with this and this isn't good for her, we should cut back." Then she'd stop. Move on to something else.

So... so far, we're content that she is able to self-regulate appropriately with TV movies. She ADORES them when they're on, but doesn't freak out when they're not. She did move through a phase where she DID freak out... but passed through that. At least right now, it all seems good. I think part of it is that she does have enough other creative and interesting activities -- I don't mean fancy toys. But opportunities for imaginative play, with playsilks and art and blocks and lego... so she's not just constantly being drawn to TV out of boredom. That may be a factor for some kids.

And some kids just aren't able to self-regulate TV, period. My son is one of those. We tried letting him... tried waiting it out, until he moved through the obsessive phase... it never happened. His personality (ADHD and SPD and lots of fun stuff) does not have the executive function control or self-motivation to mediate his activities.

So, it can totally depend on the kid. All you can do is -- if you're comfortable with it, try it, and see what happens. Odds are they'll be fine... but if not, then you will have the monster to deal with when you REMOVE the TV privileges. You know your kids best, you may have an idea already whether you think your child will be able to handle it or not.

You also didn't mention how old your LO is... if they're under 2, you definitely need to be more careful. I personally still think that signing videos are acceptable exceptions to the nothing-under-2 rule, but I know not everyone will agree with that. But under 2, most don't yet have the self-control etc to self-regulate TV watching and are more prone to the addictive influences. I wouldn't do a free-range approach with videos under age 2, but I don't see a harm in parent-regulated watching (especially if the parent is watching WITH the child as well).

Not everyone will agree with that and I totally understand where they're coming from. I wrestled with it myself. This is just where I ended up landing.

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#14 of 26 Old 01-08-2010, 09:23 PM
 
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I reluctantly popped Baby Signing Time (here forth BST) in the DVD player once when my daughter was about 8 months old and I was sick and half-comatose. She LOVED it, and over the next 10 months (she's 18 months old now) she has become obsessed. This may sound like a bad thing, but in our family we're all about BST.

On the very rare occasion that I've put other stuff on the t.v. for her, like SpongeBob pr Dora, she has zero interest. She just does her adorable, vigorous, imaginary baby-rocking thing and says: "Signs!" She watches it while she wakes up in the morning and when we're getting ready for bedtime & story time at night, but for the rest of the day we leave it off.

We have taught her a bunch of other signs we learned using an online ASL dictionary, and we have found that signing just makes her so content, happy, expressive, and confident. We plan to continue learning ASL ourselves and teaching it to her as she gets older.
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#15 of 26 Old 01-08-2010, 09:30 PM
 
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We used to watch Signing Time until DD started becoming a little bit to obsessed for my comfort. I checked out several other sign language videos from the library. YBCT, like tankgirl73 mentioned, is good as is Baby See and Sign. I finally settled on the Sign Language Made Easy series. It is designed to teach ASL vocabulary and grammar to adults and is just people signing while they talk. DD still watches and learns from it, but she isn't mezmorized and will also go off an play. I think TV is such a novelty at this age that they don't need a lot of special effects to keep their interest.
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#16 of 26 Old 01-08-2010, 09:48 PM
 
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DH and I go back and forth on this. We do not have cable or regular tv, just a dvd player. I watched Signing Times with my now 21 month old DD when she was about 8 months old on up but she wasn't very interested. My sister got her an Elmo DVD when she was about 15 months old and she became obsessed with it and with Elmo, much to our chagrin...hoping she wasn't going to be "marketed" to. Now that it is the holiday season we have let her watch some oldies that we watched as children (Rudolph, Santa Clause is Coming to Town). She loves the latter and will ask for it. But we do limit it. It does help if one of us needs to work on dinner or something. But most of our day is spent playing, drawing, reading, nursing. There have been times when she's asked to watch something and will start to cry if I say "let's do (fill in the blank) instead". But the crying doesn't last long and she will go on to something else. So, I am at times conflicted because for so long she didn't watch anything. I have friends who have cable and basically have the TV on all day. Their children are exposed to inappropriate commercials and all that junk...so I guess by comparison, for myself, I feel okay about this.

I think it depends child to child, parent to parent. No one should fault you for your choices unless that child is literally not doing anything else...creative play is so important. So TV as babysitter I will rail against. But what you are doing is totally fine. You are obviously a caring, concerned and loving parent!
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#17 of 26 Old 01-09-2010, 01:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by tankgirl73 View Post
And some kids just aren't able to self-regulate TV, period. My son is one of those. We tried letting him... tried waiting it out, until he moved through the obsessive phase... it never happened. His personality (ADHD and SPD and lots of fun stuff) does not have the executive function control or self-motivation to mediate his activities.
Oh I know how that is. My parents went tv-free from when I was 9 months to 5 years (I suspect my mom wanted TV while nursing my little brother and dealing with a 5 year old. Plus, he was dragged along to my activities so didn't have as much of a chance to want the TV on all the time).

I still can't operate in a home with TV. It's not too bad with dvr and I'm fine with video, i.e. Hulu and DVDs. Things really got better for me when I had Lina, became easier to make real life a higher priority.
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#18 of 26 Old 01-09-2010, 02:13 AM
 
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I think you need to decide what is your view of babies watching tv. There is a lot of information out there regarding the subject.

You don't need a dvd to teach your baby signs. I use this site a lot, aslpro, because it is really easy to navigate and the video clips really help with my signing. I have never used the baby signing dvds, so I can't say how well they work. But I can think of at least 30 signs my DD regularly uses and she understands much more and she is 14 mo.

Yup.

My DD knows about 75 words (not counting her verbal vocabulary) and she is 20 months. I know the signs she knows because we learned them together. We love snuggling and watching the people on ASLPRO.com do the signs.
It is the only time she gets to touch the lap top, she plays the video and repeats the signs for as long as she wants to.

We don't do much TV because of how she acts when she doesn't get it. Fits and obsessions with things of that nature (TV and sugar) are her first sign that she needs less or none of something.
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#19 of 26 Old 01-09-2010, 02:20 AM
 
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We started watching baby signing time when she was 2yo. I liked it better at that age then the regular signing time. It was the first tv she ever watched.

SAHM to DD (May/07) and DS (Jan/10)
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#20 of 26 Old 01-09-2010, 04:39 AM
 
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i always just did signing time during breakfast. giving it a specific time allowed for me to generally not be bothered with requests for it.

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#21 of 26 Old 01-09-2010, 11:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think you need to decide what is your view of babies watching tv. There is a lot of information out there regarding the subject.
As I mentioned, we don't allow TV / DVDs otherwise - I have read the research. We have no plans to allow TV anytime soon. DS is 15.5 months old.

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You don't need a dvd to teach your baby signs. I use this site a lot, aslpro, because it is really easy to navigate and the video clips really help with my signing. I have never used the baby signing dvds, so I can't say how well they work. But I can think of at least 30 signs my DD regularly uses and she understands much more and she is 14 mo.
Yes, I use this website regularly as well. DS started doing his first signs at 10 months of age, built slowly after that, and just recently seems to be going through a bit of an explosion. He was never particularly interested in the Baby Signing Time video until the last couple of months, so I know he can learn without it.

---------------------------

It's partly for me, I guess. I know that I immediately picked up a large number of signs by watching BST Volume 1 and I regularly sign all those with DS now. I feel like we'll both end up with a bigger vocabulary if we go through the DVDs systematically, rather than just randomly looking up words when I think to do so. And he does love the music as well...

I have to say I'm still a bit conflicted after reading through the responses. I love the idea of his building a huge signing vocabulary so we can really communicate well through toddlerhood... . Maybe a set time each day like someone mentioned, and never outside that time. And not in the parlor where he plays, but in a different place where we don't spend much time perhaps, so he won't think about it when we're doing other activities.

Keep the responses coming if there are more thoughts out there because I'm not sure yet what we'll do.
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#22 of 26 Old 01-09-2010, 11:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by almadianna View Post
We love them, and swear by them. My daughter learned hundreds of signs and was able to communicate all of her needs with to us with no problems as a young age. She had no tantrums and her vocabulary is amazing.
This is interesting, Almadianna - just wondering, did/do you allow TV otherwise?
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#23 of 26 Old 01-09-2010, 11:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by paulamc View Post
This is interesting, Almadianna - just wondering, did/do you allow TV otherwise?
we did not at that age, we started when she was 8 or 9 months old. I dont remember. She knew all of the signs from the first DVD (we have regular signing times and i dont like baby signing times) in a week. We have 5 of the DVDs and have supplemented with the website mentioned above. I think the DVDs helped get her interested and into it after that we did not need them anymore.

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#24 of 26 Old 01-09-2010, 11:59 PM
 
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we have our TV on alot but Jack could care less. Unless a pragram with music comes on he doesnt notice it exists.

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#25 of 26 Old 01-11-2010, 04:12 PM
 
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As I mentioned, we don't allow TV / DVDs otherwise - I have read the research. We have no plans to allow TV anytime soon. DS is 15.5 months old.
I guess I don't understand. I thought the Baby Signing Time DVD was a video you watch on TV. I know I've allowed my DD to watch a few youtube clips and other things, but I understand fully that all of that counts as TV watching, whether it is educational or not. No judgments, but I don't think a baby understands the difference between TV and signing dvds.
(I'm really making a mess of this response. I'm sorry. Please take everything I say in the most gentle of ways. This is only my opinion, and you are a great mama who loves her baby and you are doing what works for you and is right for your family.)


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It's partly for me, I guess. I know that I immediately picked up a large number of signs by watching BST Volume 1 and I regularly sign all those with DS now. I feel like we'll both end up with a bigger vocabulary if we go through the DVDs systematically, rather than just randomly looking up words when I think to do so. And he does love the music as well...
If the videos help you to learn the signs then that is great. Keep it up.

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#26 of 26 Old 01-11-2010, 04:32 PM
 
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I guess I don't understand. I thought the Baby Signing Time DVD was a video you watch on TV. I know I've allowed my DD to watch a few youtube clips and other things, but I understand fully that all of that counts as TV watching, whether it is educational or not.
It's not the education, it's the pacing. I let Lina watch The Daily Show quite early since she treated Jon Stewart like she would any other adult who was sitting there talking on and on to her parents. (i.e. watch with mild interest for a while, tell him "hi!", then start nursing or playing), but I'm not going to let her watch Sid the Science Kid any time soon (if ever) because it's fast paced and jerky.
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