Monday, January 29, 2007

Sitting Up and Sign Language

Today Paprika sat up for the first time! I sat her up on the bed and she stayed put for about 10 seconds before wobbling and then toppling over onto the blankets. We repeated the exercise a few times and she seemed to like sitting up, as long as there was something interesting to play with to keep her attention. Her favorite activity still is rolling everywhere on the floor. She is fascinated by "big human objects," like my water bottle and the remote control. She has little patience for baby toys and really just wants to play with anything that interests Mr. Mustard or me. She would rather play with Mr. Mustard's headphones or my wallet over a baby toy any day.

Mr. Mustard's mom sent us a book called "Baby Signs" today. It is a book on how to teach your baby sign language. It's really geared more towards babies that are about a year old, but I don't think there's any harm in incorporating a few signs into everyday life and seeing if Paprika will catch on. The book says that babies will not respond until at a minimum 9 months, so it can be frustrating to the parents if they start trying to communicate via sign language at too young an age.

I was a bit worried at first that if I started teaching her sign language that it would delay speech. But, after thinking and reading about it a lot I think it could help with her verbal frustration and increase our communication. If I notice that she's not talking as early as she should be, then I will obviously cut out the signing. But, for right now, it seems like a fun and interesting thing to do together. So far I'm teaching her the signs for diaper, milk, mommy, daddy, and doggie.

Signing is pretty easy for me because my best friend in elementary school was hearing impaired, so I learned American Sign Language (ASL) at a really young age and I still remember a lot of it. The baby signs are basically ASL signs, but with some modifications to make it easier for little hands with limited motor control to make the signs. We'll see if it amounts to anything- for now, it's just a neat way for us to interact. :-)

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