They say that if you start to sign at 6 months, babies are capable of signing back as early as 9 months. By 10 months, Winter has one word down: more. I think this is very commonly a baby’s first sign. She also seems to sign “eat” even though I really haven’t done it all that often (shame on me….actually, more is the only one I’ve done consistently). I almost have a feeling she saw me sign “eat” right before I gave her a random food a couple weeks ago and thinks it’s the word for this mystery food.

No matter how many times I’ve signed all done, her way of communicating all done is to drop her food off the side of her high chair and onto the floor. If she’s particularly “all done,” she will rip off her bib. So I’ve got one sign, but oftentimes I’m left with more what? She’s got mangoes on her tray but she’s throwing them off the side and still signing more. So I made a sad attempt to source out the words for different foods (why oh why doesn’t mango have a sign?), but I figured meat, fruit, vegetable, and oatmeal were a good place to start. I use the sign for cereal for the word oatmeal. I’ve read that some moms use “hot cereal” for oatmeal, but when the time comes, I want to reserve the word “hot” for things that are more dangerously hot. I thought about doing warm cereal, but it looked a lot like thank you cereal to me. And she actually eats the steel cut oats ice-cold right out of the fridge because it’s easiest for her to pick up cold, gelatinous chunks.

images courtesy of babysignlanguage.com

I think maybe peas and beans have the same sign in ASL from this great vegetable video clip (correct me if I’m wrong); perhaps little legume-y beans share the same sign with peas, but something like string beans would look like you were snapping the end off a bean pod. The baby sign language website seems to modify the ASL sign for beans with their sign for beans. I love the sign for melon - one hand forms a melon and the other one plucks it for ripeness. Watermelon would just involve the addition of the sign for water.

My baby eats most of these foods fairly consistently (actually she doesn’t care for regular beans or peas, but loves spicy, garlicky Szechuan style green beans). How about yours?