Friday, August 31, 2012

20 Toddler Tips in 20 days Today: 6. Stimulants

Toddler Survival Tip #6

6. Reduce technical stimulants

In today's society we are bombarded by technical gadgets and electronic visuals. 

I have seen babies as young as 2 and 3 with portable DVD players, cell phones, tv's in the bedroom, laptops even. It's incredible. Some of these babies don't know how to build with blocks, train tracks or large leggos.

Teletubbies creates a watcher, not a doer, shortens attention spans, and starts an addiction in kids who are prone to it. Besides being creepy and freaking me out a little, they do nothing for my child's development.

When they're a little older, they'll flip on the TV instead of reading a book or creating something with their own mind. Not to mention that you'll have stopped being able to monitor what they watch by the time they're eight. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of two not watch TV or videos at all because it impacts brain development. The AAP recommends that children over two watch AT MOST an hour daily of nonviolent, educational TV. Even in Canada the Health Unit and nurses that visit your home with your new baby will recommend no TV or videos at all in the first two years.

Be selective what you do allow your child to watch. They are learning about their world by what they see, hear around them.

Don't just have the TV on all the time, choose the radio or kids music.


-Dance with your babies, invite music into their lives. Find a Kindermusik class in your area.

-Attend bonding classes with your baby such as:
1.Parent and baby yoga   ( Mission, BC

4.Kindermusik classes (

7.Skating or tobogganing (

10.Drop in programs, crafts, water play, rec center gym time and much more. (

If you are interested in a community event with your baby, send me a comment, email, phone call and I will you connect with your baby today!

For further community support and information.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

20 Toddler Tips in 20 days Today: 5.Picky Eaters

Toddler Survival Tip #5


Ever feel like a battle zone at the kitchen table? Did you try all the stuff you grew up hearing and hating? "If you don't eat your broccoli, you can't have dessert!" "Eat or go to bed." "Your going to sit here until that plate is empty!" etc... 

Even though you may manage to squeeze, slide, poke a bit of unwanted food between your child's lips, can you make them chew or swallow?

Eating begins when you offer an infant a bottle or breast. Your confidence is the key with either choice of bottle or breast. Your child will feel your confidence and assurance your doing the best for them and they will relax and eat. Eventually they move to solids and start the weaning process, which can be stressful for baby and parent. There are many free supports out there to talk to about this process. The La Leche League is one of these. For more information feel free to contact me and I can find resources for you.

Finally your baby is a toddler eating more solids on their own. Some parents believe they can make their children eat with treats, threats, promises or other means. Through research, they have seen toddlers throw up, sneak food to the dog, glare at the food, starve themselves, tantrum and worse, leaving everyone feeling horrible.

You DON'T want meantime to be a miserable, stressful time every day. As a family, this is usually the only time they all get to be together.

Your only job is the prepare healthy snacks with at least one thing on the plate you know they love and want to eat. Then don't say anything, ignore all protest and keep eating and chatting as a family. Most pediatricians agree that children will choose to eat what their body requires in time. Maybe not everyday. You present the food and it's their job to chew and swallow.


Your job is to provide the healthy food. She feeds it to herself. Don't obsess about how much she eats; kids don't starve themselves. 

1. They'll eat when they are hungry... Many toddlers are too busy during the day to eat enough and ask for food at bedtime. Build a bedtime snack into the routine to help him sleep better. If your potty training, try to avoid milk or liquids too close to bedtime. An hour before bed should be last liquids, but a banana is a great bedtime snack. Peanut butter on toast is another. A great idea I read once was to have a drawer that they can access themselves with healthy snacks like nuts, raisins, banana's, granola bars, cereal etc that they could go to and get out a snack when they are hungry. This works well with many children in the house and you can't always keep track of who didn't get a snack today.

2. PRESENTATION COUNTS! Offer colourful food. Sometimes making the food into faces or fun designs encourages eating. Always have at least one thing on the plate they do like.

3. Don't force-feed. This only creates power struggles. If baby spits out food at you, this is an indication they have had enough. DON'T talk about it or stress about it. Make it a non importance. Allow a healthy snack before bed later if they eat nothing. If they throw the food on the ground, say, "I can see your done eating, you may push the plate away, but no throwing. Let's clean it up together." Get a sponge and show them how to clean up after themselves. (wait until there is no heated battling... calm down first)

4. Resources are helpful... The Health Unit has write ups on toddlers eating and one statement said that most toddlers do not eat dinner. Small snacking throughout the day is normal. We should be eating every 2 hours and have a small dinner even as adults. Largest meals should be breakfast. Funny that most toddlers will eat breaksfast. This not eating at dinner time can last up to 5 years old. So it's nice to know its normal.

Of course if your child has any health issues or there is a weight concern, see your doctor.

REMEMBER Mealtime is about getting together, sharing the best parts of your day. Ask each other, "What was your happiest part of the day!" Don't use dinner time to complain about the day, leave that for later when kids are in bed if you need to vent. Share, relax, laugh and build memories. Eventually your little toddler become teens and then you can't keep them out of the fridge. Good Luck!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

20 Toddler Tips in 20 days Today: 4. Create Ease

Toddler Survival Tip #4

4. Creating Ease in toddlers 

Toddlers struggle each day trying to show independence and coordination. It is difficult to learn how to communicate and to move swiftly and accurately. Here are some general tips to help with everyday frustrations.

1. SIGNING For those that know me, they know I am a signing mom and have been since my Geran was born 3 years ago. I have found signing to be a huge improvement in my life and my children's lives. Not only has signing given us the ability to have earlier communication, it has increased our bond as mother and child. 

Benefits of signing that I have personally seen in my own children include:

-reduction in frustrations, tears and tantrums
-increase family bond
-increase IQ and early literacy skills
-easier and sooner speech

Because of signing, my baby Nashville who is now 14months has been able to tell me about his world. 
-He tells me when he is frustrated and needs me by signing HELP and leading me to what he was upset about.
-Nash signs all kinds of food he wants like Cheese, Water, Milk, Berries, Nana's, Cereal, incl. More and All Done.
-Nash can tell me to STOP when he is finished being tickles or MORE wants more bubbles, kisses, food, playtime
-He signs DIAPER for a change or POTTY if he sees his brother on the potty
-He signs LOVE when he wants a kiss or cuddle

The list goes on and on. I cant tell you to use sign, but I can say I consider it essential in my family. It's how we communicate and show love to one another.

2. ACCEPTANCE Notice your child's unique temperment. Respect how your child develops and don't expect him to be exactly like mommy, daddy or big brother or sister. Avoid labels, let him or her show you who they are. Nurture your child's personality by finding ways to have him feel confident. A strong willed child has perseverance. My Nashville is all about 'physical play' balls, soccer, swings, climbing etc. My Geran is all cerebral wanting letters, books, puzzles etc. So different.   

3. ALLOW INDEPENDENCE AND EXPLORATION  Safety proof your home and let them explore, get into cupboards that you have empty containers in and new things to play with and learn about. Include them in cooking, gardening and cleaning up with you.  Don't overload your child with rules with may frustrate him and decrease his self confidence. They learn by doing and watching you. Include them in projects like wrapping birthday gifts. Let them tear paper, crunch chips, squish berries. It sounds bad, but it's exploring and learning and growing. 

They are investigators. They like to examine, put fingers in sockets, play with television knobs, empty cupboards, play in the cool water bowl called a toilet, unravel toilet paper, eat lipstick, spill liquids, and pull on cords or climb bookshelves. They are not bad, they are explorers. If you slap their hands or spank them or yell at them when they are learning, they may develop a sense of shame. 

Well meaning parents who have not learned about this important development may not know that too much confinement and punishment can instill doubt and shame instead of a sense of autonomy. (self assurance and independence) 

A healthy sense of autonomy is critical in healthy development, giving a child a sense of confidence and the ability to pursue his own ideas and plans. A strong sense of trust in the first year and a strong sense of autonomy in the second year and third years also build the foundation for healthy self worth.

We all want our children to grow up with respect, understanding, love, compassion. They learn this by watching how we react. We want them to develop confidence, perceptions of capability and strong life skills. It's our job as parents to teach this. They learn it through patience, kind and firm positive discipline.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

20 Toddler Tips in 20 days Today: 4. Potty Training

Toddler Survival Tip #4 Potty Training

4. Potty Training

Eventually kids pee and poo in a potty. You rarely see a college student in diapers unless it was a prank the night before. Fights with your child about his or her body are fights no one wins. Your child ends up feeling shamed, embarrassed and stressed about the potty. If your child show zero interest in toilet training, find opportunities to be around kids who are using the potty and see how quickly he'll want to emulate them. Side step power struggles (see my other tip) You don't have to prove your right to a toddler.

There are a few things you don't have control over with toddlers. That is EATING, SLEEPING, and POTTY. Children have control over their bodies and there is nothing we can do about it. So give up the fight and start to get creative. Be consistent, patience, loving and understanding.

The Tips:

1. Invite
Don't ask your child if they have to pee, the will always answer, "No."
Instead tell them when it's potty time and make it fun. "It's potty time, ALL ABOARD the potty TRAIN!" "Choo! Choo!" Be a train or animal and go down the hall to the potty.

2. Pay attention to your child's facial expression, body language, timing, or schedule. You can sit with him or by the door or just outside the door. You know your child. 

3. Make it fun Sometimes, books and patty cakes games encourage longer sit times to help the body relax. We played DVD's on potty training too so he could watch Elmo going potty and the Diaper Doodles go potty. This was a huge success in our training. Lots of songs and stories.

4. Deemphasize when parents insist on a certain behaviour, power struggles may ensue. Causing stress in this department will NOT help training. Remain calm, kinds and refuse to argue. Just invite them to use the toilet, make it fun and let them sit for as long as they want in the beginning. They are just 'testing' it out at first.

5. Familiarity Begin by becoming familiar with the toilet. Let them see dad or mom or sibling pee often. Let them learn about the loud noise of the big toilet. Help him see he won't fall in or get sucked under. Use a small potty instead where they can rest their feet on the floor.

6. Give it a try When your child has peed a lot in the toilet and is getting a little routine down. You see some success and you think maybe they can do it. Take the diapers away for 3 days and shut down your house and give it a shot. DON'T pressure yourself, but give it a 3 day try. No cell phones, no tv, no computer, no interruptions. Just the family and baby's new skills. Put them in training pants or nude and watch them. Notice facial expressions, body language before they pee. Try to say stuff like, "I see you may want to pee, where do we go potty?" There is a great 3 day program that has worked for many parents. I used it, but it took more like 2 weeks and I didn't do the night training until later. 

7. Start under the age of 2 Remember this isn't for everyone, but many believe that if you start before they love that word NO, then you will have an easier time potty training. I did this, but it's not for everyone. I taught my babies to sign POTTY and other potty related signs such as MORE, ALL DONE, HELP etc... and then I would let them play with the potty using dolls and themselves and we would sign POTTY a lot. This way they relate early. There is a Program you can follow with pictures of signs and goodies in this kit.
There is a complete kit called Baby Signs Potty Training Kit you can purchase that has the complete program, stickers, train whistle, DVD, and flip board book.

In some countries babies and parents are trained to pee in the cup/bucket/whole by the age of 3 months. Early elimination is a life choice and not for everyone. At first you are mostly training, with a schedule and sounds your baby will soon be on their way to letting you know know when it's time.

Babies use to be trained before the age of 18months. This was done in the 60's before the time the disposable diaper was invented. 

Everyone is different. I put my baby on the toilet every hour and 20min after he drank liquids. I noticed he poo'd in the morning around 9am, so these were my times.

Invite cooperation and independence. Change standing up. Begin to change your baby standing up, get their mind out of infant stage. If you keep lying your two year old down to change, you keep their mind in an infant stage of potty development. Invite him to help with handling the changing mat and supplies. Show him how he can wash his own hands and wipe himself. Help him empty the stool into the toilet.

There will be accidents, expect them. Put a plastic sheet on the bed ($7 bucks at Walmart) Keep them naked outside during the summer with the potty outside for practice. Treat your carpets with a stainguard ($20 at Sears) for easier clean up. Don't humiliate or shame your child when he has an accident and don't put him back into diapers. Simply say, "It's okay. You can keep trying. I know you'll get it soon." Even if you think he is trained, they will have accidents. Sometimes a hard week can happen due to illness or family stress. Sometimes they want their diapers back after they have been trained, but don't despair. Remain kind and firm and the situation will resolve itself. Stick to the training and everyone will win.

Remember every family is different and everyone has a number in their head they want their child to be trained on, forget the numbers and focus on your baby. It doesn't matter if they are trained at 7 months or 3 years old. Some children even wet the bed into their elementary age. All babies and family dynamics are different. You can beg, cheer, threaten, bribe but you still may need to hang onto your diapers until their unique schedule and absolute control can be mastered. Respect your child's timeline.

I could talk for hours on this subject and everyone approaches it different. You can do this and so can they. Most parents who delay do it for the wrong reasons, such as they don't know how to start or they have feelings of fears, expectations, anxiety, worry, stress, and doubt. Read up on the subject, get a few books, DVD's and resources out. Talk to parents who have potty trained and ask them exactly what they did. Get ideas and then start to observe your child's facial expression and body language. You know your baby best.



Other potty related articles:

Feel free to send me any questions or add yourself to my Facebook page.
Twitter @ AmandaMinchau

Monday, August 27, 2012

20 Toddler Tips in 20 days Today: 3. Aggression

Toddler Survival Tip #3

3. Aggression

Try to keep this short - could write a few chapters on this subject.

Most parents have gone through it and you hear it from many others if you have not. All toddlers and pre-schoolers go through an aggression period. Their minds don't know how to express their feelings and thoughts as well as adults do. They don't understand abstract concepts the way adults do, such as sharing. (some adults still need practice understanding their own aggression as well)

Toddlers have known to head bang, bit, hit, yell, stomp, scream, throw tantrums, push, pull hair, pinch and more. You name it they have tried it.

There are many theories as to why and where it comes from and for each of you, you may have a different approach. I will send you my approached that worked with my family. First lets look at what some scientists believe is why aggression happens in toddlers and the young... and it varies.

Some WHY'S are:

1. To test boundaries and see if 'the adult' really means it when they say no, will they follow through? Will they stop them next time? Test, Test, Test... See if they really love me.

2. Predisposition to aggression. Some children are super sensitive, easily offended, quick to anger. Maybe they see this aggression with people in their lives, or it maybe in the bloodline of aggression. Many children are tense and usually active, even as infants, they may have had a difficult time to soothe as babies.

3. Instinct. Some people believe aggression is animal instinct to 'protect, defend, attack, survive. It's up the parent to show where the boundaries lie and that this behaviour is not necessary in our society.

4. Frustration and learning emotions. Most scientists and child psychologists have agreed this is usually the case for most children's cause of aggression. They just don't have the skills yet to handle their new strong emotions and frustrations.

5. Physical issues such as Tired, Angry, Lonely, Bored, Hungry, Scared etc.

Now that we may know why our children are being aggression, what can we do to stop it?

The Tips:

1. From my Power Struggle Blog, reminder to try to prevent aggression when you can by redirecting, supervision, distracting, giving limits, preventing physical issues such as enough sleep, food and love and attention. Another thing to remember is to LIMIT their playtime with other children to about an hour for successful learning. (under age 4)

2. Model what you DO want. Sharing especially is difficult at this age. Train your children to share by sharing with them and say things like, "I will share my cake with you." "Let's take turns bouncing the ball." "I'll count to 5 and then it will be your turn to share the ball."
Give opportunities to share, "I know you love that toy, so which toy will you share with Michael today?"

3. Validate feelings! I know I have said this a lot, but it can't be said enough. Just validating how your child feels will help to take away aggressive feelings and thoughts. Change their thought patterns after the validations. "I can see with your clenched fists and growl, you are angry. I know it's hard to share. You don't have to share all the time, and I have faith that when you feel ready you will share." Offer a hug, change the space, take them into another room and 'calm down' together. Play with something else and get their thoughts off the situation. No one can think if they are activating their negative emotions. We must change our thoughts, before we can reason anything out as adults, why expect anything less from our toddlers? Once they calm down in a safe room while playing or reading, come back into the room and try again. Short successful sharing will encourage better behaviour. Know when it's time to go home and try another day.

4. Avoid labeling your toddler such as he's "Naughty,a monster, wild,a beast, crazy, off the wall, cranky, a tyrant. Doing this does not encourage sharing, it damages self esteem and has the child believing this is who they are and how they should act.

5. HUGS!  This may sound shocking to some readers and this worked for my family. Pay more attention to the 'aggressive child' than you do the victim. Let me explain.

If you pay attention to the victim and ignore the aggressor, you will show them who is the bully and who is the victim and they will continue to play their parts. The victim learns to be coddled as a victim and loves the attention and will continue to do so to get attention. The aggressor will feel neglected and shameful and continue to act aggressively in order to get any attention, even negative attention.

Children DO BETTER when they FEEL BETTER.

Try something different, try hugging the one who hits or bites. Invite 'him' to help you comfort his 'brother'. This does not reward the misbehaviour. 

When you have a child who is frustrated about something and doesn't have the skills to express his feelings, he finds a way. (Sign language can help to give them a 'voice' and a way to express feelings and thoughts before they can talk.)

So, comfort him and teach him skills at the same time. This lesson will need to be taught over and over and with time and practice, they begin to understand. But remember your SUPERVISION at this young age is necessary all the time!

Give the hitter a hug and model what to do now. "Look, your brother is crying. Let's go give him a hug." Say, "see, hands are for hugging, not hitting." Then after a few seconds and things have calmed down, teach him. Take his little hands and show him how to do "nice touching." If there was a bite, take your toddler to get some ice and show him how to put it on the wound to help 'heal' what happened. Give him the power to learn how to heal other and not hurt them. Keep saying stuff like, "Nice touching, gentle. Good job being gentle with your brother."

Remember BOTH boys needs your compassion and understanding. They are not acting out of evilness, they are tiny toddlers learning how to deal with frustration and confusion. 

Explaining more...
Toddlers can't understand abstract concepts, but they do develop a sense of things and begin to learn with your calm, firm, kind guidance and supervision. Think about HOW your reactions teach your toddler.

Redirection and supervision are the key with little ones in the house. Sorry, I have to say let the housework slide, and teach your babies to be kind first, when they nap, or relax and play well, then clean up a bit.

During play dates, don't sit in the kitchen with the other moms and wait for the screams from the bedroom. Go into the bedroom or living room and watch them play. Guide appropriate behaviour and watch for your child's social cues and triggers. Try to intervene and give them words and ideas of what to do BEFORE aggression happens. 

                                              Side note: A chronic biter may                  
                                              need a teething toy to redirect 
                                              to. Teach him to use it when 
                                               he feels frustrated.

Feel free to contact me for further resources and articles on this subject. In the meantime I recommend Jane Nelsen's Positive Discipline books found on her website:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

20 Toddler Tips in 20 days Today: Tantrums

Toddler Survival Tip #2

2. Tantrums when leaving

Rushing toddlers is one of the common triggers of avoidable tantrums. 

Like me, most parents have jobs, other children, social lives, errands to run, families to please, households to clean and much more. As adults, we have learned to multi-task, plan ahead, pack quickly, run to the store, rush home, without a second thought we begin to 'drag our babies' with us. 

I remember as a child and fortunately for me, I had an amazing mother, but as a child, she was there for me, teaching me how to grow. She didn't rush us much, because she was a stay at home mom without work. We were fortunate enough to have a more mellow schedule in our lives. At the grocery store she would take her time and allow us to look at toys, help fill her cart with food and talk to her in the store. 

She made everything fun, light and relaxed. I don't remember feeling a lot of stress from my mother as a small child. Yes, I was fortunate and yes, I realize this is not possible for all parents. But it really is something to consider the next time you see yourself dragging your screaming toddler by their arm through the checkout line, wondering where it all went wrong.

We bribe, yell, beg, throw out ultimatums or worse spank to try to 'get through to our babies.' This will only teach them that if your big you can hit, yell, bribe, beg, whine and worse. They learn by what they see more than what they hear.

The alternative tip:
(using example of grocery store shopping)

Give you and your toddler more time than you need to leave the house, shop and return. Allowing a bit more time will decrease both your stress and the babies.

Use age-appropriate discipline: toddlers need distraction, reasonable limits, redirection, understanding and patience!

Distract by keeping bubbles in your bag or the car at all times, when the tears brim, blow away.

Redirect by having them be part of the process. Ask them how they can help, what they can bring with them, what they need on their feet before you go, have a picture list with simple food they can grab for you.

Give reasonable limits ...Talk about what will happen when you go, when your there and come back home. Toddler and smarter and more capable than we give credit to them. Tell them what is ok to do and what is not.

Prevent by bringing snacks or small toys they haven't seen before to bring in in emergencies.

Consider the state of your child before going. Are they tired? hungry? bored? Do they go to this store often? Is it familiar, new? Are they an anxious child? Scared of strange people or situations? A hyper child? Ask yourself what you can do to help your child's unique temperament.

What is the best time of day to go. If you can have a weekly schedule so they know the day you usually go and go at the same time to the same place to help practicability. We all feel more comfortable in familiar situations, why would be any less for our babies? Routines will save you.

If your child has a particular hard time with outings limit your errands. You may have done 7 stops before you had babies in one outing, but try limiting this now to 2 or 3 max. 

Go for shorter periods of time until they get more comfortable. 

Only you can prevent tantrums!

Good Luck!

Tune in tomorrow for our next toddle tip!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

20 Toddler Tips in 20 days... watch for the daily posts! Today: POWER STRUGGLES

Some Toddler Survival Tips.

I have decided that sometimes articles are too long with too much information and as busy parents, we don't have time to read tons of information each day. I am doing 1 tip each day to help families with "toddler tear downs". Whether your problem be revengeful kids or attention seekers; I will try to give you a tip for each one to help you cope. 
Today's tip is:

1. How to Avoid Power Struggles

When you and your child are struggling for power, what is actually happening is your child is trying to find a sense of autonomy. A sense of self reliance and independence. He wants to know he is important, he can do things, he can problem solve and you can help.

Your job is to HELP him do this. Toddlers are not out to 'get back at you' or 'push your buttons' even though it may feel like that at times.

You'll know when your in a power struggle because you will begin to feel attacked, threatened, angry or embarrassed. Usually you will throw out an ultimatum at this point and feel horrible doing it.

When going through a power struggle your child may be displaying temper tantrums, crying, arrogant voice and body language while talking back or shouting NO!. The child when asked to stop will continue to misbehave giving the parent the message to engage in a power struggle.

The alternative tip:

Help your toddler exchange this misguided goal for a healthy one.

First it is helpful to label what they may be feeling such as, " I can see that you want to ______ but mommy is making this decision today." "I can see that this is difficult for you, and we must get it done together, what can you do to help?" "Your fists are clenched and your yelling, are you angry?" Labeling feelings helps the child know you understand how they feel; increasing trust.

CHOICES: Offer ideas and choices. Two POSITIVE choices. Not your choice or else.
You can put your blocks away while acting like a robot or you can be a basketball player and toss them in this bin. We are going to grandma's and mommy has her shoes on. What do you need to get so we can go?

Toddlers LOVE to be right, to help, to be in control. Give them jobs when they are not acting out to full fill this need. Let them get their own cutlery, shoes, help you cook, toys, garden with you, build together, etc.

A healthy goal is to be independent and get dressed on their own, brush their own teeth, make their own beds, put toys away, read books, cook with you and more. Find a goal that helps them feel independent, important and self reliant.

Check in tomorrow for another toddler tip!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Signing Tips

Watch for babies approximations. They may be trying to communicate to you, and you might miss it. I had two signing boys and they had different amounts of signs by the same ages. Same mom, same teachings, different developments. My second, Nashville, who is now 14 months had less signs, but more words and walked sooner than Geran my now 3 year old. Geran had many more signs for his age than average, but didn't make up very many signs. I have to watch my imaginative Nashville carefully, cause he loves to make up new signs.

His sign for HELP is arms up in the air, as if wanting to be picked up. But he knows the word for up, so he just say's,"Up" when he needs that. I try to teach him the right sign by saying, "Oh, you need HELP." I sign and say the word together as he looks at me, and then I go help him. Maybe he will catch on and do it my way, maybe not, but it doesn't matter, what does matter is that we understand each other. There are no tantrums, tears or frustrations when both parties understand each other. Baby gets his needs met and mom doesn't have to guess all the time, while pulling out her hair.

Nashville bounces his torso for MUSIC, instead of the hand waving over his arm sign. He never changed this sign and I don't think it will change.
He signs CRACKER by clicking his tongue like a dolphin... it's so cute. My Geran signed it correctly by tapping his palm into his elbow.

I see Nashville's mind working and making up signs he doesn't know yet. Sometimes he has used his sign until he watches me enough to use the proper sign, but mostly he sticks to his signs and we have learned as a family what his signs mean. We are only using baby signs temporarily until he starts talking, and don't have intention to carry on ASL in their future, so for our family, this signing suites us just fine.

For more vocabulary on signs check out this great link:

Good Luck and happy signing!

Here is the sign for HELP