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I Taught My Baby Sign Language For A Week

(baby talks)

- Yeah, okay. Good job!

Yeah, good job. Well done.

Hi, everyone. My name is Kristen.

I have an 11 month old son named Wyatt

and I'm really excited because we're going to

teach him sign language for a week.

(gasps)

(laughs)

Wyatt seems to get frustrated easily

when he can't communicate with us.

- Outside of him pointing at things,

I think it's really good to be able to

have actual words and description.

Only good can come from it.

- If I were going to bet, I would say he'll learn

at least three signs throughout the week.

- I don't think he'll learn in a week, no.

(laughs)

I don't think anyone will learn in a week.

- Who's teaching it to him? - We all are.

- You can tell the way he's pointing,

he repeats as much as he can, so I think he is just

very anxious to have a way to communicate with us,

so I think it's gonna be fun.

- Mmm. Okay, wait.

You do it. More. More, like this.

Look, more. You do it. More.

Do you want more food? Like this. More, more.

Every kid is so different that you kind of have

to tailor the words that you're teaching

to them to what makes sense for them.

Look, Wyatt. Do you want more?

Yeah! Good job!

I had to go this morning to a meeting with a client,

so we had our nanny here and I showed her

some of the signs we were doing.

(laughs)

He's like, "But mom, this is so much more effective."

A busy life and an on-the-go life does make it

difficult to get this done in a week.

And it feels like I'm being unfair to him

if I'm not giving it 110% or if my husband's

not or whoever else is around him.

I'm finding that it's actually easier

not to so much focus on specific words,

but instead try and find times where

there are good, teachable moments.

And he's sitting down and eating.

He's looking at me, he's making eye contact.

It's almost like we're bartering, where I'm like,

"okay, try and do more," and he gets something.

When we're doing things like trying to play with him,

I keep trying to say ball or book or walker.

It's a little more difficult because it's hard

to be playing with him while using my hands.

And he's playing with the actual object

and it's not like--I don't wanna just take it away from him.

- Ball? Ball.

Good. (baby exclaims)

- Yeah! (laughs)

He's kind of already saying some of the words,

which makes it a little tricky.

So it makes it difficult to basically try and convince

him to use sign language when he's like,

"hey mom, I can say this word."

Show mama your car. Your car.

Can you do it? Car.

- Still a good possibility, because

it's not like he's speaking in full sentences.

- So, we'll see.

We're not supposed to let him play with toys

while he eats breakfast or any meal.

But I think he's not feeling great today.

He has a little bit of a cough.

So I'm softie and I'm giving in.

But I will say it makes it incredibly difficult to sign.

(baby speaks) - Yeah.

I've found that any distractions

when signing make it (gasps) basically impossible.

Wyatt, do you want more? More? Look, more food? More.

Oh! (laughs)

I try and teach him and if he doesn't get it

but like is the middle of eating,

I know that he wants more food and I just feel like

a bad mom if I'm just not giving it to him.

So, I don't know. I think that

that obviously makes it difficult that

I'm too easy on him but, oh well.

Day four and the struggle is real.

I have to be honest, sign language is

kind of taking a backseat today.

You know, mom life, what can you do?

You can't plan for so much. I feel like

I can plan for like half hour increments,

basically, and then you just have to be flexible.

I think him not feeling great, you know,

made me want to, again, keep him happy.

And so day four did not go as planned.

But there's always day five, right?

Yeah, okay. Good job! Yeah, good job, all done.

He did start to somewhat sign all done.

I think the reason is, with all the other signs so far,

he's either able to say the word or he knows,

like, for example, with more,

he can pick up his own food and eat more

or he know that we'll give him more food.

When he's done eating, I think he like,

"I am done eating, get this away from me."

Overall, we still got one word, and that is like amazing.

Day six. Wyatt went to his grandparents' house today.

He did not learn sign language,

but he did have a great time.

I think, in the beginning of the week I was like,

"Oh, he really wants to communicate and he gets

frustrated and this will help us communicate."

And by the end of the week, I've kind of realized

we're actually really great at communicating.

- Ball! - That's right, that's a ball.

Good job. This experience has been awesome

in terms of realizing how close we are and how much

we understand each other and I love that.

Final day. What to you think, Wy?

I think so, too. You had fun?

We just found what formula works best for Wyatt.

And I think that's a great point.

I think if any lesson that we learned from this,

it's that every kid is so different, as I've often said.

And you need to communicate with your kid

the way that works best for them.

But clearly we have someone here who likes to talk.

Yeah.

Can I have a kiss?

Can I have a kiss?

Aww, mwah.