Is My Baby Really Signing?

Infant gesturing - but is it a sign?Okay moms, do you remember those early months of pregnancy? Before your babies starting throwing champion punches in utero, you probably went through a stage of wondering whether or not you were feeling the baby’s movement. I remember feeling a fluttery sensation and wondering whether I was feeling my daughter’s first movements or just had indigestion.

Similarly, before you confidently recognize baby’s first sign, you will pass through a phase when you hope that baby’s ambiguous gestures are signs, but you suspect they are just the flailing motions of an excited baby with minimal muscle control. How can you tell whether your baby is signing or flailing? Honestly, you can’t. Just like those early pregnancy flutters, you can’t be sure until the movements progress and become unmistakable.

Go ahead, though, and give your baby the benefit of the doubt. Assume that he or she really is signing. Get excited, pull out the video recorder, call the grandparents, and post on Facebook that your baby is a signing prodigy. Baby Sign Language is Fun! So revel in those early moments of sign recognition, even if it turns out that your baby is just flailing. And guess what? Even if baby was not signing, when you do fuss over baby and encourage baby it will turn into real signing!

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