Pan-Pan is almost 18 months and his signs go from strength to strength: he now signs frantically for 'up' (as in 'pick me up'!); 'keys' and 'light' (he loves to play with my keyring and the lightswitch); 'eat', 'biscuit', 'milk' and 'more' (he loves his food!); and sweet things like 'home' when we arrive back at the house. Some of his signs are abstract, ie, the object isn't in view when he makes the sign. He can now make around 45 signs, as opposed to around 16 back in May.
Signs Pan-Pan makes (45 signs):
Pick me up
Put it on/Take it off (He made this sign up - he taps his chest with both hands!)
Signs Pan-Pan understands:
Some parents are concerned that baby signing may delay speaking, but in my experience, it accelerates it, and this is bourne out by the research, with children who signed as babies having a wider vocabulary than those who didn't (see http://www.babysigners.co.uk/i2.php?mid=3&sid=0&a=page). Just as babies quickly replace crawling with walking once they realise it's advantages, they also replace their signs with words as soon as they are able.
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