Baby Is “Forgetting” Some Signs
Your baby has been signing for weeks and has a growing vocabulary of signs. Suddenly, though, you notice that she is neglecting to use some of the signs she has been using since the beginning. It is as if she has forgotten some of her first signs.
The reality is that once your baby has learned a sign, she is unlikely to forget it as long as you continue to demonstrate it each time you use the word. Instead, she is probably dropping a sign temporarily so that she may turn her attention to other signs. Babies commonly do this as they learn any number of new skills. For instance, a baby may stop waving when she begins clapping. Or she may stop saying “da da” when she learns to say “ma ma.” But these skills are not lost. Instead, a baby will pick up the old skill again after she has mastered the new one. In the same way, with continued encouragement, your baby will probably resume using her earlier signs.
Occasionally, you may encounter a sign that your baby rarely needs and therefore has trouble remembering. You may want to then consider whether the sign is one that your baby actually needs in her vocabulary. If not, perhaps you should introduce other signs that she will be more likely to use.
As she grows more comfortable with her expanding repertoire of signs, your baby will eventually start using the old signs again. You can ensure that she does not forget the signs by continuing to model them in her presence, even if she fails to do so. This will keep the signs fresh in her memory, and she will pick them back up before long.