Once Lily turned about 6 months old, we started doing some sign language with her. Ben and I had talked about it even before she was born and we both really liked the idea of her being able to communicate before she could talk. We'd read that it helps give babies confidence, plus it's just got to be nice for them to tell us (adults) what they want and for us to actually be able to understand them.
So when Lily started eating solid foods, we introduced the sign for "more" and and "all done" and a made up sign for "do you want to be picked up". After a little while we started to do "milk" too. She didn't do anything for a really long time, but a few weeks ago, maybe two or three, she started doing something with her hands that looked a lot like "more." We were really excited, and we started watching more closely for it, and I realized that she would do "more" whenever she wanted anything. Absolutely anything - if she wanted more food, or even if she hadn't started eating yet and she wanted to eat. She would do "more" when she was all done eating, and she wanted out. Sometimes she'd do more when she was just sitting in the shopping cart at the store and I wasn't sure what she wanted then.
So that was when we started doing "eat" on a regular basis. I think we'd already been doing it, just not consistently enough. Just a few days ago, we noticed her doing the eat sign! It was really awesome, and she was so proud of herself! She's doing it a lot now. She does the "eat" sign in the morning after she wakes up, so I'll do it back to her along with the "milk" sign, and she gets really excited that I understood her. Ben and I are really glad that she's understanding and trying to do the signs. I think she's been trying to do the sign we made up for "cheerios" lately too. She really likes cheerios, and I thought it was worthwhile to have a sign just for those since she seems to want them all the time. :) We're really proud of her.
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