Baby’s First Language

So, some things my baby likes to say (he’s 2 months old, so according to most charts he’s not supposed to express any communicative skills for 2 more months).

At about 3 weeks he said “no, ba-gwa, no, ba-gwa, no” (no = english “now” or Japanese, “nao”) Google translate said it was probably Welsh but failed to translate it to anything sensible.

Agoo. No kidding, this means “I sneezed.” It sounds related to achoo.
Mam. No kidding, he says this when is upset, crying and in context, appears to want Mom.
Owh. I’m going to cry in a moment. (or possibly, it means, “Can’t you just give in to my demands already?”)
And he said something once that sounded like “Hello”, but that appears to have been a one-off production for the moment.

Protogestures
We’re keen to teach baby real ASL. The boy has spent the first two months of his life with his hands in tight fists. Not very conducive to ASL signing. The first age of signing would drop if the system worked with clenched fists. One book I read said the lower bound for first sign is 4 months.

Recently, often when he’s laying on his back waiting to be picked up, he will raise his index finger– the rest of the hand is still a fist. I don’t know if it means, pick me up, but we try to react to it if it was. Pointing is a pretty early expression anyhow. So we likely have his first protogesture.

He also makes a fist with pinkie up. This is close to the sign for play/fun in ASL, something I sign to him a lot when he is listening to music. Again, I can’t tell if when he makes these gestures if it really match up to that thought in his head, but I try to react to pinkie-up as if means “play/fun” or music. The ASL sign for music requires making a two arm sweeping gesture, which is beyond what the boy can do right now– his arms are sort of jerky and all over the place.

He doesn’t do the up sign when already picked up, nor when he’s nursing.

Symbol Boards
In the disabled community, there has been bouncing around the idea of communication systems for boards for communication by pointing at successive symbols. We have the white on black baby book. It is a bunch of mono chrome black and white (no grey scale) pictures. The boy finds it very interesting. This is odd because some days it’s hard to get him to look at other books at all. So if I were to teach a toddler a pointing board, I would use a black and white or white on black symbol set– no colors, nothing intricate.

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