I love teaching a few baby signs to each of my babies. I think it really reduces both the mommy and baby frustration during those months before a baby can talk, but after they have begun to recognize spoken words. I like to teach a few practical signs like milk, eat, more, bath, bed, all done, book and outside. So far, Gustin has picked up outside and bath. Here's the sign for outside:
He can't quite form the signs, but he tries, and he can definitely understand them.
Gustin absolutely loves going outside. If he is fussy, usually if I take him outside he will calm down (if he doesn't, then we're really in trouble!). Now when he's fussing and I can't get him to stop, I do the sign for outside and his attitude changes immediately. It's funny because he will still be crying but his frown will instantly turn into a smile and once we step outside the crying stops, too.
The other day he fell down, which only happens about a dozen times a day, and I suspected that he wasn't really hurt. After a little loving from me, I could tell that the continued crying was basically a bad attitude. And, I was able to prove it. I did the sign for outside and then there was immediate silence followed with a huge grin on his face. A short trip outside sealed the deal and he was happy, at least until the next time he fell down.
Now that I think about it, though, I'm not sure who tricked who. Did Mommy trick the baby into a happy mood or did the baby trick the Mommy into taking him outside? :)
P.S. I use this book as my resource. I never actually read the whole book or bought it. I borrowed it from the library and just photocopied the signing dictionary in the middle of the book back when Jonathan was a baby and have been using those copies as a reference ever since.