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(I'm 40 weeks and 4 days pregnant. All this finger-tapping & waiting has left me plenty of time to think about a few things that I hadn't taken much time to think about before...)

I haven't read any books on the subject or even taken the time to browse a website or two. Frankly, I'm not interested in buying any of the gimmicky videos, book, etc, that are on the market for this. However, I'm fairly fluent in ASL and interested in using signs with DS from very early on. My plan is that I would just start with the ASL signs for mom, dad, sleep, milk (in relation to all things feeding), and bathroom (in relation to diaper changing). I plan to use the signs every time I refer to the things we are teaching signs for.

If you used signs with your LO what do you think of my plan - am I oversimplifying it? Did you use regular ASL signs or create your own? At what point did you start signing to your LO? What other words did you incorporate early on? Did you always verbalize what you were signing or did you find yourself just using the sign at times? Do you think signing delayed your LO's speech in any way?

TIA
 

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I think your plan is fabulous!

The only little tidbits I learned from reading things specifically for babies was to only introduce a few at a time. I think we started with about 4 until my son started abviously recognizing one or two, then we added one or two at a time so there was always something "new" in the sign vocabulary, but enough repetition with the few we did so that he could pick it up. Does that make sense?

The ones we are doing now are Mommy, Daddy, cat (we have one), and milk (we use ASL sign for "nurse").

We started right at birth with him and are doing so again with our new daughter. The starting at birth was more for us though...to get into the habit so that by the time he could see us well and was paying attention, we had it very consistent.

We did a mix of ASL, baby signs, and made-up home signs. I don't remember the exact list, my son knew about 70 signs before we stopped introducing new ones. We just followed his interests. We had made-up signs for all his grandparents.

We always also verbalized while signing. I think my son has a very large vocabulary for his age and he did at earlier ages as well.
 

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We started signing with DD at 6 months, and she started signing back at 10 months. (She started talking first, though -- she had 5 words before she signed anything.) We do use real ASL signs except maybe the sign for "nurse" which we got out of a book is not the "milk" sign most use. I just didn't like using "milk" for "nurse" when I expected DD to drink cow's milk while still nursing.

Anyhow, the signs we started with were "more", "all done", "eat", "drink" and "nurse". Her first signs were "all done" and then "more". She was most into signing between 13-15mo, after which she had so very many spoken words she didn't need any signs anymore.

I started signing with DS a couple weeks ago. I've been doing "more", "all done" and "change" for diaper change.
 

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My only advice is patience. I started with a handful of signs when my baby was just a couple months old. And everywhere I went on the web I saw things like "my baby could tell me what she wanted for lunch at 6 months old!" I was pretty close to giving up for many months, since he never signed back to me. But he'll be 1 tomorrow and just started signing back! ("more", "dog", and "fan") So I think the earlier you start, the more important it is to be patient, since it might take a long time to get any signs back. Of course the same is true for speech! (my baby doesn't talk yet either).
 

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I have a cousin who is deaf and her younger sibs picked up sign before they spoke. . .and they were seeing ASL with no simplification or limiting of signs. I think its great! I learned some ASL too and want to use it with my DS. So far I only use a few signs like finished/all done, more, and milk.

If you already know ASL I'd say go for it. Babes usually pick up on the signs early and quickly. I don't think you need anyof the videos, books, etc. Just do it instinctively . . .the way you would speak to your babe--repetition, signs that represent the everyday things in their life, and such.
 

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I am very new to signing, but I think your plan sounds perfect. We bought the Baby Signing for Dummies book and that's basically what they suggest. Pick a few to start with and just keep signing them over and over (at the right time of course) just as you would with speaking the word. I hadn't had much time to look at the book until last week so we're just beginning at just shy of 6 months, but we're starting with 4 (mama, dada, milk, and dog b/c we have 3 dogs who DS LOVES and notices) and just using them when appropriate. If he gets it he gets it and if he doesn't I'm okay with that too.
 
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