Have you ever been frustrated when your baby or toddler could not tell you what they wanted? Try teaching him sign language. I taught both of my babies sign language from the very beginning, and it paid off.
When we were teaching our older son sign language, I was concerned that he would be delayed in his language skills. The opposite was true. He spoke very early, and was speaking in sentences before expected.
Now we are working with sign language with our younger son. He is not speaking yet, but we can understand his needs through sign language! I can't imagine the frustration I would have at eighteen months, if I could not communicate with him. He signs more, all done, again, milk, please, thank you, bye, up, yes, no and down. The only words we hear on a regular basis are mama and nana (means food - we're not sure why). I am currently introducing new signs everyday. We found a couple of board books at the library about using signs for foods and using signs for animals. Those are his favorite books. He sits in my lap and shows me that he wants to read them over and over.
If you have a baby, I would suggest starting sign language now. As you say a word, use the sign. We always start with more, all done, milk, thank you, and please. Baby Sign Language is a good website to help you get started. If your child is already a toddler you can still teach him sign language. I stopped teaching my oldest son sign language when he started speaking clearly. Then his kindergarten teacher taught him the alphabet and the colors in sign language. He picked it right up and used the signs at home. Now I plan to continue teaching my toddler even after he starts speaking.
Do you have a sign language success story?