As a parent, is there anything you find more wonderful than a happy baby? Babies coo, giggle, and squeal to express their joy, and they will also undoubtedly delight in using these signs of happiness. In addition to demonstrating these signs to your baby when they are happy, be sure to model them to express your own happiness, too. This will help to reinforce the meaning of these new signs.HAPPY
Oddly enough, you may find that the sign for HAPPY (
1. Place your hand, palm down, on your chest.
2. Motion up on your chest with your hand, as if you are showing something coming back up.
It is acceptable to form this sign with either one or both of your hands.
Because “happy” is a concept and not a tangible object, it will be necessary to find creative ways to demonstrate the sign so that your baby will comprehend it. Particularly effective moments to model this sign include times when your baby squeals in delight, whenever either of you smiles broadly and suddenly, and while doing something that makes your baby especially happy.
The actual American Sign Language sign for STOMACHACHE is formed by holding both of your hands in front of your stomach with the middle fingers of each hand pointed at one another. The middle fingers then twist in opposite directions to indicate pain or discomfort.
The sign for LAUGH is shown in Figure 18–3.
1. Form the L hand shape with both hands.
2. Point to the corners of your mouth with your index fingers.
3. Gesture upward as if indicating a smile, and be sure to smile while you are doing it.
Many babies and toddlers quickly learn that the act of laughing is one that provokes a positive reaction from adults. Many will then start to offer up fake laughs in order to get that same reaction. If your baby does this, it should be quite easy to get him to use the sign for LAUGH. Simply laugh and form the sign. If he laughs in response (real or fake), make the sign again. Keep playing this back and forth game, and soon he will be signing while he’s laughing.