My fifth kiddo just turned 12 months old. I’ve been doing baby sign language with her since she was about 6 months old. I’ve used baby sign language with all of my kids and it’s amazing to see how it benefits them all in different ways.
Interestingly enough, her first baby sign was “dog”. Not mom or dad, but dog! You see, one important thing to remember when teaching your baby sign language is to look for things that specifically interest your them.
Dog is such an easy sign, and babies tend to be naturally intrigued by animals, so it made it the perfect first sign for her. Shortly after doing her first sign, other words followed along. She can now sign: dog, mom, dad, eat, more, all done, up, tree, bath, bear, baby, bird, and hat.
It’s a pretty nice variety of words that allow her to communicate much more extensively than she would have been able to with verbal cues alone. However she can verbally say: all done, mom, dad, dog, no don’t, and baby.
All of my kids have had different baby signs for their first words. There were many common ones used by all of them, but their interests varied so much that of course it makes sense to tailor their learning to their personality and desires.
I feel it is so important to give your children as many forms of information and learning as possible, using baby sign language definitely broadens the expansion of their learning!