What’s the most important benefit to signing with my baby?
Connection. In my opinion, a parent that doesn’t sign with their baby won’t be as closely bonded with them nor be as in tuned with their thoughts, feelings and ever expressive personality. Non-signing parents might disagree with this assessment, but to each their own. I can say for certain that my relationship with my son would have gone a lot differently without signing to him. In fact, I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way and wouldn’t trade the conversation we’ve had for anything in the world.
No time at all. In fact, you shouldn’t set any time aside for signing period. Signing is something that is done throughout your daily routine while you are speaking. Anytime you talk to your baby, you sign to them. It’s not much more complicated than this.
How many signs should I teach my baby?
There’s no lower or upper limit. There are about 15 signs that are desperately needed to make life easier, for all parents and their babies. I recommend those first. Aside from learning signs like MILK, MORE, EAT and so forth, you might want to teach signs for the things that capture your baby’s interest. You’ll figure out what those are easily enough! By the way, some parents get hooked on signing and teach 50-100 signs, some even more, however, other parents are happy to teach only a handful, and this is right for them.
Why do you use ASL?
The simple answer is that ASL is a “living language” and still in use today. If I’m teaching something that requires an investment, I might as well be teaching something that has wider applications than for just the first few months of life!
What if I want to sign with BSL or another country’s official sign language?
Go for it! There’s no reason you can’t substitute any set of signs in for this course, and for that matter, any other course. You can even use signs you make up on your own! However, keep in mind that your local sign language is best suited since you want your baby to be understood by the locals should they end up in daycare or want to pursue sign language into the future. Might as well start them off on the right foot!