If you haven’t experienced any results there might come a time when you get discouraged and think that you’ve done all this work for the last month or two and have gotten absolutely nowhere. Before you settle on this conclusion, try this little experiment to see just how close your baby is to signing.
First, say a word you’re accustomed to signing without making the sign. Watch your baby’s eyes to see if they move toward your hands. If they do, then you know that your baby is used to both hearing and seeing words being delivered so you are getting somewhere.
Now try signing a word such as MILK without saying the word. Be sure to have some milk visible, such as on the table or on his highchair. It’s important that you don’t drop your eyes to look at the milk or move the bottle or cup when you make the sign or within a short period of trying this test as it will artificially draw his attention toward it. You want to see if your baby responds to the sign when you make it, and understand by communication alone, what you are “talking” about. You can try this in as many different settings with as many different words as you like, to see just how close you are getting. You can also try this to test your baby’s receptive language skills too. Just say and sign the word at the same time and see if your baby draws his attention toward the object or looks for it. You’ll know that your baby is ready to sign and understands the words when he gets excited or tries to reach for the object.
Always remember that your idea of progress is not the same as your baby’s. Trust me when I say that results are only part of the process. Signing is a journey, so don’t focus too much on getting to your destination without enjoying the moments in between. If you stick to signing and are in it for the long haul, you will get results.