The following is a list of all of the signs that 12-month-old Jack uses to communicate with us and/or boss us around. For some, he uses official sign language. For others, he has just aquired through various observations.
He signs for:
more: he points his right index finger in the open palm of his left hand.
all done: he shakes both hands in the air when he is ready to go or finished eating
lotion: this he picked up on his own. Every night after his bath I put lotion on him and so now everytime he sees a bottle of lotion he rubs his hands together.
be quiet: he puts his pointer finger up to his lips to tell elvis (and/or other dogs) to be quiet
help: when in the yard he will raise one arm up for you to help him over a step, a stick, the hose, etc.
eat: he points to his mouth when he is hungry
pointing: he points in the direction he would like to go
These are such small and simple gestures but it is incredible to witness how much they have helped Jack communicate with us. Instead of getting frustrated or just upset he is able to to tell me very specific needs. I think it also builds trust. He knows if he can communicate something to me I will make an effort to understand him and provide him with what he wants (most of the time!)
I think it has also given him a sense of control and self-confidance. Not that he needed a boost in self-confidance! But as he becomes his own little person he is learning how to effectivly communicate.
I guess what I'm saying is: We are pro-baby-sign-language.