At this point, you’re probably enthusiastic about starting to sign with your baby. However, before we really get started with the mechanics of signing we need to cover a few more things. This chapter is meant to cover all the miscellaneous issues related to signing that don’t neatly fit anyplace else. We’ll cover various aspects including how to avoid overwhelming your baby by starting with too many signs and how a day in the life of a signing parent isn’t a whole lot different than a regular parent. You’re also probably wondering if you can get started if you have a newborn or even a 7 month old, so we’ll look at this too. We’ll also look at what you can expect from various age groups.
Next discuss ‘sign readiness’ which are outward signs that your baby is truly ready to start using signs expressively. Speaking of which, we’ll outline the difference between receptive and expressive language and show why it’s important to you and your baby. From there we look at how sign language progresses in babies, how long it takes to learn signs, variables in signing such as level of commitment, baby’s natural ability and so forth. We’ll examine what early signs look like and how to identify them so we can praise them and make them more likely to occur. We then look at creativity with signs and why it’s okay, as well as what to do when leaving signing children with non-signing caregivers. Finally we cover the most important rule to signing with baby – having fun!