I always thought that teaching baby sign language to an infant was fascinating. Before I had kids myself if was a marvelous thought that a baby who wasn't old enough to speak was capable of learning sign language to communicate their needs. I personally have always wanted to learn sign language myself and knew a few basic signs long before my children came along. When my firstborn, Eden, was very young, I thought it would be fun to teach her some baby sign language. I didn't really take it too seriously just thought it would be a fun little experiment and let me tell you, it was. (A fun little experiment.) Eden picked it up right away. It only took a few days of signing with her to get her to sign back. Several months before her first birthday she was easily signing 'please', 'thank you', and 'more'. My dad said it was a dirty trick teaching a baby to sign because who could possibly say no when a sweet little thing is looking up to you signing "more, please"? We have taught Jasmine several signs as well. Some people wonder if signing would hinder language development because the baby can sign for anything they want rather than having to speak for it but most studies show the opposite...that signing with your baby actually can improve their language and eliminates a lot of the frustration that both the children & the parents feel in trying to communicate. Both of my children spoke very early and very well. I do not credit signing for this but I am not going to discount the possibility that it helped. I would definetly encourage any of you with babies & young children to utilize this tool. I love watching my kids sign, I love knowing exactly what they want, and I love how proud they look when they know they've been understood. Here's a link to one resource for learning baby sign language , if you're interested.
Signing 4 Baby