Signs for Transitional Objects
Transitional objects, also known as lovies, are items that a baby has formed a certain attachment to. These items offer a sense of well-being to a baby due to their familiarity, their smell, their feel, or a combination of all three. Common transitional objects include teddy bears, blankets, and pacifiers. If your baby has one of these lovies, you will most certainly want to study the signs in this section. As these objects are a source of comfort, most babies will take great joy in being able to ask for them as they wish.TEDDY BEAR
Most commonly, the sign used for TEDDY BEAR, as shown in Figure 8–8, is actually the ASL sign for BEAR.
1. Cross your arms across your chest.
2. Claw at your chest a few times as though you are a bear clawing.
This is a fun one for young children to sign and once it is learned, it is likely to be frequently repeated. After your child seems to fully understand the meaning of this sign, feel free to also demonstrate it to him as the sign for a real bear. This will help him to make the connection between his toy and the animal.BLANKET
The sign for BLANKET (
1. Hold your hands out in front of you as though you are holding a blanket with your fingertips.
2. Pretend to cover yourself with that blanket.
This may be an easy sign for your baby to learn although you may not recognize it when he first attempts it. If you suspect that your baby is forming the sign for BLANKET, offer one to him and see if it appeases him. It is always better to assume your child is signing and react appropriately than to risk missing the opportunity for praise and acknowledgment.PACIFIER
1. Rock your arms as if holding a baby.
2. With a closed fist, touch the tip of your thumb to your lips.
If you are practicing modified American Sign Language, you might consider dropping the first half of this sign to make it simple for your baby to learn.
Some babies confuse the signs for BOTTLE and PACIFIER. The signs are quite different, but because they both involve the act of sucking, some babies will use the sign interchangeably. If it is likely that your baby is hungry, he is probably requesting a bottle.
Many parents leave pacifiers easily accessible to their babies. If your baby is able to get to his pacifier without asking for it, or if he has devised another way of asking for it, you may choose to skip this sign altogether. It will be more beneficial to you and your child to focus on the signs that he needs and is most likely to use.BALLOON
The sign for BALLOON that is widely used in baby-signing circles is the ASL sign.
1. Put both hands in front of your mouth as if holding a balloon to your lips.
2. With your cheeks puffed up, pretend to blow up the balloon and move your hands outward to show the expansion of the balloon, as shown in Figure 8–9 .
In the end, your “balloon” should be completely blown up as indicated by the width between your hands.