Hello I am heather and I teach baby signing in the UK, I get emails all the time when is the best time to start. We have posts with starting to sign and also the frequently asked questions but today I thought we would touch on looking at things from your baby's prospective. Now whether your baby is hearing or Deaf it is good to say the word as well as sign if you are hearing that is. If you are Deaf then use your beautiful body language but get others to speak as they sign then the baby will be able to understand both, I will touch on signing in bilingual families in the future as the signing really links everything together.
So we talk as we sign as then we do not prevent the speech and if you are wanting your baby to learn to lip read then it will help with that too. Now looking at things from your babies world well 'milk' is very important they have this to survive so the sign for milk is very important indeed, as is nappy as they have these changed all the time.Oh I am sorry do you call them diaper? any way which ever word you use signing as you change your baby is important and can make it fun, you can sing a song as you do it and talk and sign about the cream and how it is nice to be clean.
The girl above right is signing rabbit, she has a rabbit as a pet so this is very important in her life, every day when feeding the rabbit mum will have signed it as well as the many songs we have with rabbit in such as 'see the little rabbits sleeping till its nearly noon' or 'Peter rabbit got a fly up on his nose' which is a great song for learning the body parts by the way. So you see following the little ones lead is a great way to see what they are interested in, to see things from their world also, and a great way to help them sign from an early age to help with communication and dexterity.
OK when they are very young and you do not quite know well like I wrote earlier we have those really important every day signs such as 'milk' 'nappy or diaper' then there are 'more' 'all gone' 'mummy' 'daddy' any pets you have, bed time signs such as 'book' bath' etc but also keep an eye and see what they are interested in as from the age of one the little ones really want to start communicating with you so all the starter signs and help you have given them in the first year will help then show you (they often make up their own signs too) what they are interested in and your communication with your child will be amazing. Whether they love animals, or have a fascination with sand we as parents and carers can help them.
I hope you liked this and if you have any questions at all please do ask.
Heather Avul TinyTalk in the UK
I am a mother of 4, teach baby signing and also BSL level 2 qualified, love TKD and much more.