Sign Cheating ~ Chris

Catch your baby making a motion and find a word which it most resembles it!  This is one of the fastest ways to add a word to your baby’s vocabulary since your baby is already doing the right motion.  All they need to realize is that their motion actually means something.

In the early stages of signing, your baby might even be doing a sign properly, but you might miss it.  The same sort of technique should be employed, except this time, encourage and reward any signing attempt, even if it wasn’t a true attempt at signing by your baby.  For example, if your baby opens and closes their hand you might say “Oh, you want MILK” and “I see you want a drink of MILK!”  Next reward your baby with milk so it completes the association.

Sign cheating can work for MORE as well, and since MORE is one of the early signs that should be taught, you can easily cheat these words into your baby’s vocabulary.  Any time your baby’s hands come together, just reinforce the action by saying “Oh, I see you want MORE!” then quickly give your baby more.  I discuss more elaborate techniques to teaching the sign for MORE, but the aforementioned technique is certainly one worth using if at all possible.  The sign for EAT can also be sign cheated in the same way since it involves the hand coming to the mouth.

Sign cheating is a technique where you catch your baby making a motion that resembles a sign, then refining it and encouraging it by associating it with an actual word.  Give it a shot and see how much quicker you can get your baby to sign it on purpose!

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