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Guest Blogger: Baby Signing Mummy

September 14, 2010

I came across Louise on Twitter and, fascinated by the information on her website, we soon got tweeting each other! (Still can’t get used to this terminology!) I don’t yet have kids of my own so had never heard of Baby Signing. I had assumed that this topic was simply aimed at deaf children not as an additional form of communicating with your child. I guess we all use forms of sign language with our own children without probably being conscious of it; encouraging them to wave with the word ‘bye-bye’ and other similar actions.        

Since I’m taking a couple of weeks off work, I asked Louise to write a guest blog….        

Since starting my own site and business at the start of the year I have really got into reading and writing blogs! I have seen the wonders of technology used in ways I just would not have thought possible! I am sure that three years ago when I was on maternity leave with my beautiful daughter this mumpreneur culture was just not about – either that or I was so overwhelmed with motherhood that anything that was not my screaming baby was well off my radar. So now three years on, although I never wanted to head back to work (I am a paediatric nurse in a London hospital), I have been working full-time always wondering how other mummies manage to stay at home…So yes, my daughter as a newborn did not sleep, screamed all day and most of the night too. I breastfed her exclusively for six months and continued until she was ten months old. The first night that she slept through was when she was eleven and a half months old – I did not know what to do with myself all night! I still, to this day, speak with new mum’s and get a pang of jealously when they tell me their little one is sleeping through the night at six weeks of age – me, a paediatric nurse of over 10 years experience could not get my own daughter to sleep or stop crying?!It was this that prompted me to research signing. I had used makaton through my work with children with autism, down’s syndrome and special needs and had seen first hand how a world of communication could be opened up with these children. I discovered baby signing and felt it was the answer to my problems! The glossy, all singing website told me it was – my baby who screamed all day was just wanting to communicate with me. Great, I thought, where do I sign up? A way to understand my daughter better just had to be the perfect answer! What the site did not tell me was that it’s not a magical overnight result. Baby signing takes time, patience, repetition, commitment.   

Louise's daughter signing 'Biscuit'

Now don’t misunderstand me, I am a huge advocate for baby signing, not least because it most certainly helped my situation with my daughter. I became so much more patient with her, I wanted to engage with her, make her smile, giggle, and interact with me. We both found the signs were easy to fit into our daily life and relatively easy to pick up too. Sadly though, at the time there was a lack of information on how, why and where to sign. I continued signing with my daughter by myself though and quickly became hooked; the benefits really are amazing! I am quite sure that my daughter’s language skills today are all down to the baby signing I did with her, her sentence structure is beyond her years and I often have people comment on how grown up she sounds. Finally this year, whilst laid up in bed with pneumonia, I decided working full-time in London had taken it’s toll on me. The one thing I had wanted to do since I discovered baby signing was to teach it to other parents and help others make this wonderful journey, thus Baby Signing Mummy was born!  

Louise's daughter signing 'Bike'

A one stop place to discover and explore the world of baby signing from a mummy who has been, and still is, baby signing; who adores motherhood and all that it offers and who has seen the wonders of baby signing and how it can have long term benefits for your child. Stop by for real life stories, the research behind signing, an overview of the gurus of signing and more. My ethos is to not endorse any one particular company, what is important is that parents are able to obtain the information they require to start their baby signing journey. My long term goal is to work with Sure Start Centers and Children’s Centers across the country to help offer babysigning to all parents no matter their financial background.  My dream is to make baby signing a reality for as many parents as possible – so why not let me join you on your magical journey?        

My highest recommendation for a book to start signing with is the gorgeous Child’s Play book by Annie Kubler, “My First Signs”. It’s colourful, easy to read and your baby will love looking at the pictures. I always give parents on my courses a free copy of this book as I think it is just a marvelous resource.         

Webpages of Interest:        

You can find details on local Kent Baby Signing classes here.        

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 24, 2010 9:02 pm

    Hi Baby Signing Mummy – love your story and whole heartedly agree that its magical to be able to communicate with your child in this special way. My toddler still uses signs even though he is speaking well – and many people remark on his ability to have proper conversations and string sentences together – all down to us starting signing when he was 9 months old I’m sure! Hope your business is going well! Tx

  2. October 1, 2010 7:54 pm

    Thank you Tasha. It is lovely to hear other mum’s love and see the benefit of baby signing – and great to hear how your little boy is doing.

    Thank you also Nikki for asking me to guest blog, I have had lots of interest from your readers so thank you

    Louise (Baby Signing Mummy)

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