Baby Signing Time

If you haven’t heard of Baby Signing Time, you haven’t read many of my posts as I frequently reference them as my son is hooked! I purchased the first set of four of the Baby Signing Time videos for my son Spencer as we didn’t know what to expect after he was diagnosed with a rare brain malformation (Rhombencephalosynapsis).

I swore I wasn’t going to let me son watch any television for the first few years, although videos where he was learning something seemed to be on a different plane of my thinking, so I popped a video in and let Spencer watch it. Within a week, Spencer was signing “milk” and “more” and he was only 9 months old! I was so excited that he could communicate with us and knew at that time his brain was going to be fine!

So each day during meal times, we would pop in a Baby Signing Time video and Spencer would stare at the TV as he ate, happily watching Rachel, Alex and Leah and of course, Hopkins the frog!  He was quickly picking up more and more words, so we actually had to start watching them as well so we could keep up with him and understand what he was telling us.

Here’s the small disclaimer for parents that don’t have Signing Time (and the ones that do will totally agree)…be prepared to catch yourself singing the songs even when your children are not around.  They are catchy, hence why the kids love them, and apparently addictive.  Today I even went somewhere without Spencer, and about 1/3 into my drive I realized that I didn’t have to listen to the Baby Signing Time CD and put on grown-up music…what a concept!

When Spencer hit 15 months he crawled over to me and signed “please food” and I knew this was really working and man, this kid is smart!  I mean adjusted age he was 12 months (11 weeks early)  and was putting signs together!  At 16 months Spencer received his walker and picked it up right away, and at 16 moths he started crawling on all fours for the first time and also got himself into the sitting position for the first time.  I truly think Signing Time got his brain going and he realized he could do more…you might think that is crazy, but it’s my story and I’m sticking to it!  The only issue with Signing Time I have had, I told Spencer to “Go Go Go!” in his walker, so rather than start walking, he let go and signed “Go Go Go!” and fell face first into the cement.  Ok, not so much Signing Time’s fault, but it was funny that he signed it back so quickly. 

Spencer is up to over 50 signs at 18 months and now as soon as he wakes up, he’s actually signing Baby Signing Time and pointing to the TV.  I recently purchased three new DVD’s when they had their Anniversary sale and now he’s hooked on those.  He becomes pouty and mad if I put the wrong one in, so I have to figure out quickly which one he wants to watch.  No…he’s not spoiled. 😉  But don’t all preemies deserve to be spoiled?

Another down side to Signing Time…your children CAN communicate with you much earlier, which is AMAZING…except when you sign to you child “NO, NO, NO” and he looks at you and signs back “YES, YES, YES!”  Crap, he gets this way to well. 😉  He signs animals now and is even saying some words and signing them at the same time.  He’ll sign airplane and I have to look around and try and find it as he apparently has spotted it before me.  And yes, we’re in Seattle, where it’s still in the 50’s and raining on 1 June…and yesterday we got caught in the rain coming out a store and he started signing rain and then wet.  Yes sweet pea, it was raining and we were indeed wet.

What I also find fascinating about Signing Time is the reason behind the company Two Little Hands, and the fact that Rachel discovered her daughter Leah (Leah and Rachel’s nephew Alex are the stars of the DVD’s alongside Rachel) was deaf at 14 months.  And her second daughter Lucy, born 8 weeks early, had spina bifada and cerebral palsy.  So Rachel took things into her own hands (pun intended) and begin Signing Time with her sister Emile. 

It’s not only an amazing family and story, imagine how many lives they have impacted in such a positive way…and I know one for sure.  A little boy named Spencer, born the day his mom hit 29 weeks weighing 2lbs 5oz who was scheduled to have a brain shunt when he was born (real due date) due to ventriculomegaly and hydrocephalus and later diagnosed with Rhombencephalosynapsis.  That little boy is one happy child, no brain shunt, but an amazing smile, desire to learn and some tiny hands craving more words to be able to share with his mom and dad.

Although if you keep reading, you will see I’m giving away a copy of Volume 1 of Baby Signing Time, I HIGHLY recommend getting more!  And the wonderful folks at Signing Time have given us a discount code for preemie parents to use!  Enter in preemie starting on 3 June and  it expires June 17th it is for 10% off $50 or more and can not be combined with any other coupon or offer.


When I bought my last DVD’s for Spencer, I purchased a Baby Signing Time Volume 1 knowing I’d be writing this review soon and wanting to share with another preemie family my love for communicating with our tiny miracles.  So to win Volume 1 of Baby Signing Time, here’s the scoop!

1.  You must be a parent/grandparent/aunt/uncle (related) to a preemie so the preemie gets the DVD!

2.  You must be a fan of It’s a Preemie Thing  and Signing Time on Facebook (leaving love on Signing Time from IAPT is optional)

3.  Comment on this post about your little one or the preemie you’re winning it for!

BONUS ENTRIES (make a separate comment for each):

4.  Follow It’s a Preemie Thing on Twitter @apreemiething and tweet:  Preemie only #giveaway with @apreemiething for @signingtime DVD http://tinyurl.com/3jojzgb

5.  Share about the review and giveaway on your FB status!

Giveaway closes on 9 June 2010 at midnight PST, and I will use a random winner generator from WordPress to select the winner!  Thank goodness since I’d give one to everyone if money grew on trees. 😉

The review above is my own opinion after purchasing SEVEN various Baby Signing Time and Signing Time DVD’s on my own.  I was not compensated in any way for my review.


Spencer using his walker and probably listening to Baby Signing Time!


45 Comments + Add Comment

  • Oh my word. I needed this story!!! I told you briefly about Parker before and as he gets older, the gravity of his (insert right word here that’s NOT disability and NOT issue, THINGS?) become more apparent. He now has CAS (Childhood Apraxia of Speech). People keep asking me what has caused this disconnect in his brain, and I can’t help but wonder if it has to do with the amount of o2 (the Busy Breather is my diaper bag now, I LOVE IT!!) and medications and steroids he’s been on his whole life. Regardless, at 30 months, this child still has limited communication. Signing is beginning to really open up a whole new world for him! I picked up the first DVD at the library today, and he LOVED it. I hope I can find the others at the libraries around town to share with his grandparents who are very anxious to learn and ‘hear’ what Parker has to say 🙂 It’s amazing how deeply rooted these Preemie’s thoughts are. No wonder they keep us on our toes 😉

  • I am a micro-preemie mommy — I used these videos in my classroom at daycare I worked at, I was sad to say bye to the videos when I left the job.

  • I would like to win this video so I can give it to my niece Alayna who was born 14 days after my little boy with a muscle disorder & rocker bottom feet. She never moved in utero & is on oxygen as well as has a g button. She just turned a year old & is just now learning to sit up. I know her Mommy Krista would use these often to help Alayna communicate.

  • I also would like to do this in honor of my niece Eyv, she’s 5 & just now attempting to use a walker of some sort. She doesn’t talk & I think this video would help her communicate to everyone her wants & needs. She is a miracle & inspiration, the family just lost the youngest member of their family who was also a micro-preemie.

    • Hi! I read your comments and it made me think of my own miracle baby. She was tested in utuero to have trisomy 18, down’s syndrome, smith-lemli-opitz and malformation.
      As of today she is quite a talker. A bit stiff, but loves dancing and has a grand imagination!!!! Praise Jesus Christ who healed her!!!!!!! The genetics counselors said I was wrong to not abort her, but having her, I couldn’t imagine my life without her. I knew even if she did die early that she would die loved and respected as a human being worthy of life and the chance to fight for it.
      I used signing time and a signing book from the library with her from 1 month and up afraid she’d never be able to speak accept through her hands. by 3 months she could sing for milk!!!! this is a wonderful series. If you don’t have at least one dvd by the time of this, I will buy you one. Just email me. Jesus bless you and your wonderful family.

  • I’m the proud mommy of a 35 weeker. He is 11 mo old now and so wants to communicate with me. I would love to have a tool where we both could learn sign language. A couple of people are really consistent with their babies and I see them making progress. I don’t know sign language so it would be good for both of us! 🙂 Regardless of whether I win or not, I will definitely check out Signing Times.

  • We have taught my son (27 weeks) a couple of signs. It’s amazing how quickly they pick up on it. He uses the few he knows all the time! I wish we knew more that would be great to get these DVD’s! We also have a newborn 25 week baby with brain bleeds and who knows what else might pop up, so I am sure she could def. use them to help her brain development when she is older. It is really amazing how quickly they pick up sign language and extremely helpful for us parents trying to figure out what our little ones need/want.

  • We would love this video set! I am all for learning videos. I think my son 14 months /12 adjusted would love to learn how to communicate with us more. He gets frustrated when we think we know what he wants but it’s not really what he wants.

  • I would love to win this for my son. He was a 22 weeker and is now 10 months old. We have been teaching him the sign for milk and he’s starting to get it. I work for Early Childhood Intervention and many of the families I’ve worked with have used Baby Signing Time and have loved it!

  • Hi, I would love this for Jaylie. I have listened to you speak so highly of it and I see how well Spencer has done. You have sold me on the product. Looking at the road ahead for Jaylie after the most recent apt (last week) I can see how this will help and maybe assist us along the way with any frustration she may show in lack of being able to communicate her needs. We are taking her off all seizure meds as this is great we have no idea what the road ahead will be or when the next type of seizure will start and possibly set her back again. It is all in prayer at this point and we go through each day to the fullest and as happy as can be. I love my 1lb miracle. Thanks Julie! (I will like Singing Time tonight on FB if I have not already!)

  • I see my spell check did Singing and not signing. sorry. I have also liked them on FB. Thanks again Julie for these great contests!

  • I would REALLY love this for my preemie, Gracelyn, who was born at 28 weeks. She does not say ANYTHING (at 13 months) and we have tried signing although I have yet to get signing time. Sign language would not only benefit her but our entire family as my mother and father are both deaf, they were born that way. Sign language is one of our main languages. My 2 year old son does pretty good with stuff that we just taught him but I think that signing time would benefit both of them even better!

  • My name is Destiny Cooper. I gave brith to a beautiful baby girl Peyton Elizabeth Ileane Harris, 3 lbs. 5oz. She is my world! (: I went into labor at 33 weeks, and just a week before I had an emergency ultrasound because my tummy wasn’t measuring right. They told me she was small but okay, so when my water broke I was scared to death! This was my first child and I didn’t know what to expect, all I could do was pray she’d be alright. They stopped my labor for a day, then induced me because of my blood pressure. I was in labor like 8 hours and only pushed twice when I heard her cry, which was a big relief. I seen her for like 30 seconds before she was rushed to the nicu. I could not go see her for 24hrs which was extremely hard. When I finally did it was completely overwhelming, all the babies, the sounds. people crying, alarms going off and nurses rushing over to help the baby breathe…..the first couple times visiting there I would get extremely hot and fell like I needed to vomit, even though thank god everything with my baby girl was fine she was just small. It’s just the thought that she could have been one of those several babies that wasn’t doing so well or at any moment she could take a turn for the worse and I wouldn’t be there for her. That also was hard, leaving your baby in there, I mean yes I visited everyday for hours but I felt she thought her nurse was her mommy not me. I literally cried myself to sleep for the first few days over this. Peyton only stayed for 2 and half weeks but it was stressful. To all you preemie/nicu mommys, keep your head up it’s hard but you have to be strong for your precious miracle. I would like to win this for my little one because I love her and I think she’d enjoy it.

  • I’m excited about this giveaway as I really want these after all of your praises! My preemie, Jack, was born at 31 weeks weighing 1 lb 10 oz due to IUGR after we lost his twin brother. He is now 5 months and I would love to get him started watching these as he is fascinated by the TV.
    I’m a fan of IAPT and will go over to Signing Time now!
    I also follow IAPT on Twitter!!

  • I am entering to win signing time for my twins. They were born at 26 weeks, after trying to come out at 24 weeks. Riley, our little girl, was 1lb 11oz, 12inches long and is now 18lbs 30inches long. She was given a 5% chance of surviving. Riley was on a vent for 3 months, the first two weeks she was on the oscilator. aka baby shaker. On day 2 of her life she really put that 5% to a test. They ended up having to bring the crash cart out to keep her with us. She had severe ROP, hearing problems, and chronic lung disease. I am proud to say that now she is a 18 month old little girl who loves life, she has no residual problems other than problems gaining weight. Braydon, our little boy, was 2lbs 9oz and 15.79 inches long, he is now 21 lbs and 32 inches long. He was the ideal nicu baby, we have been told this from his nurses. He did not have the breathing problems his sister had, he went on the vent for 12 hours and then straight to cpap. They do say a few words, we have been able to teach them to sign more and all done, will the help of the occupational therapist. I would love for them to be able to sign more and to know what they are wanting/needing.

  • Our nicu stay was 80 days for Braydon and 98 days for Riley. We are following on twitter and facebook.

  • I would love to win one of these! Miss Anni (our lovely little preemie) has picked up a couple of signs, but this would certainly be helpful teaching both of us more!

  • My daughter was born 6 weeks early and spent 12 weeks on the vent and a total of 5 months in the NICU and another month in the PICU. She also has a muscle disorder and cannot vocalize unless it is from the back of her mouth. We are trying to teach her sign language and I think she is starting to understand it but not able to make the motions yet.She is sitting up but not completely unassisted, she is also on oxygen. When Alayna was born they told us she had absolutely no chance of survival, we were lucky that she made it to 8 days old, Alayna is now 1! She is truly our little miracle. Soon we will be ordering a gait trainer for her. I think this DVD will help her alot! Thanks!

  • We love Singing Time! I’ve tweeted, liked, and facebooked! And now I’ll tell a bit about our Preemie! We had our twins Anne and Jillian at 28 weeks. The girls were diagnosed with Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome at 19 weeks. I had Fetal Ablation surgery at 22 week and as hard as the Drs tried it didn’t work and Anne got sick and I developed Mirror Syndrome. They had to take the girls at 28 weeks. Not enough time for Anne to get better… we got to love on her for a few hours before she passed. Those were the hardest most special hours of my life. While we held Anne, Jillian fought for her life. Even before she was born Jillian was a fighter! She was born with an enlarged heart for having to pump so much and her lungs were filled with fluid… she had an up hill battle. After a week on the ventilator I finally got to hold her and take my first real breath since the girls were born. She spent lots of time going back and forth between the CPAP and those nasal canulas! We were at UCSF for 2 months and were about to bring Jillian home a whole month early! Jillian is now 10 months (7 corrected) and just a dream baby! She’s not walking or crawling yet, but she’s engaging and very social! We have a few Signing Time DVD’s and we love them! My big kids (we have 5 total) are “teaching” Jillian signs already! She laughs and laughs, but I know one day the signs will click! I plan on wowing the Drs at UCSF with all her signs! 😉


    Thanks for this opportunity! Now I’m going to go and read all the other preemie stories and bookmaker this blog! =)

  • We would love these!! A is a 32 weeker who is now 15 months and is getting pretty good at communicating, but I would love her to have other ways to communicate! I liked the signing times and I already liked IAPT 🙂

  • This is great. My twins are 19 months/15.5 months. They do not talk at all but are starting to sign a little bit and I LOVE being able to communicate more with them. I love the idea of this helping them get more words to tell me what they want or need. I added my “like” to their page, and of course already love IAPT. 🙂

  • My preemie is 6.5 mo actual, 4.5 adj and I can’t wait for her to start signing back to me!! We have been signing to her for about a month now – the dvd would really help!! So far we have only done ‘milk’ ‘more’ and a made up sign for her giraffe teether, Sofie. 🙂

  • Tweeted!!

  • Shared on fb. 🙂

  • Liked both! I’d love it for my 5.5 month old (adjusted age 3 months yesterday). Our older son’s daycare did a lot of sign, so they took the lead in teaching him and feeling a little nervous about taking the lead with our younger son. But the value of communication that sign gave us with our older son makes me know we should!

  • tweeted @ewiley28

  • facebook shared 🙂

  • Oh my I really want this series! Even at a month old I think my Aurora understands certain work, I know crazy but there are certain words she really responds to! I was just telling my husband I want to teach her to sign 🙂 this is great

  • I was so excited to read that this post! I have purchased several books on sign language for little ones and we have a couple of signs down but we haven’t gotten as far as I would like. Our daughter has a rearrangement of some chromosomes that the geneticist has never seen before and has several developmental delays and I am hoping this will help her communicate with us!!!

  • WOW, that is amazing stuff right there! I am so happy Spencer is able to communicate so well from learning through these videos. I think you’re right, these helped his brain ‘work’ and make stronger connections. I am entering to win for my chick pea, Fiona. She is 10 months corrected and her first birthday is coming up on June 18th (where does the time go?) I’m working on the sign ‘more’ with her right now. I did with my eldest daughter and besides knowing how to sign it, it was also the first word she uttered.. well, it was more like, ‘mmmmmmmm’ but it worked.

    sharing on FB, too.

  • I’d love to win for my twins – born at 24 weeks gestation. They spent 135 days in NICU, but are now happy and healthy 19 month olds. We have the Baby Einstein “My First Signs” DVD, but they’ve only picked up two or three signs. I’ve been told that Baby Signing Time is so much better!

  • shared via FB status

  • I would love to win this for my 26 weeker, now 8 months actual. My hope is that it would not only open the door to communication, but also encourage her to use her hands and arms. Abigail has made great progress with PT, except for when it comes to using her hands and arms. The PT has said that Abigail is capable of more than she does, but is very stubborn and smart enough to know when we are trying to make her work at something. So, the solution is to find creative ways to encourage/ trick her into it 🙂

  • I would love to win this for my 26 weeker Kayleigh! She is 9 months (6 adjusted) and I’ve been looking into getting these dvd’s since I heard about them! I think they’d be awesome for her! 🙂

  • Eloise is a 25 weeker. She had moderate to severe hearing lost until November when she got tubes. She is now 17 months and very very frustrated that she can’t talk so we are teaching her to sign. Someone gave me an incomplete set (which I would send to Chelsea if I won this set) and Eloise (and my 4 year old) love them– they are so amazingly not annoying. I enjoy the songs while the kids watch it in the morning while I’m getting ready 🙂

  • I would love to win this for my 32 week twins. I hope we win. 🙂

  • Facebook shared

  • I would love to win this for my son. He was born at 26 weeks and 6 days and spent 7 months in the NICU. Right before he came home he was given a hearing test, and failed. He was diagnosed with severe sensorineural hearing loss….he is now 2 and despite his medical issue and developmental delays he understands numerous signs and has begun to attempt to sign I love you and mommy…..signing times is the best!

  • I would LOVE this giveaway for my 27 weeker. I’ve heard nothing but positive things and we can’t wait to start signing!

  • Hi! I would love to win this for my 25weeker micropreemie Aedan! Who weighed 1lb and 13oz! He had a 10 month NICU stay! And came home right before Thanksgiving 2010! I have a lot to be thankful for! He’s my miracle baby! And the love of my life! He had renal failure in the NICU and received dialysis! He has chronic lung disease and pulmonary hypertension is on consistent o2 and is developmentially delayed from prolonged hospitalization. He has servere to profound hearing loss and has hearing aids. He is currently 16months actual and 12 months adjusted! He has yet to say his first word! We would reeeeeally benefit from signing time! 🙂

  • Shared this link on fb! 🙂

  • I would love to win this for my 25 weeker. I had planned on starting some basics signs with her and this video would be such a help for both of us.

  • This story is awesome. I so wish I knew about baby signing time earlier. I use some signs with my son who was born at 24 weeks gestation. Just learning myself made it harder to teach my son. Communicating can still be difficult and he has severe temper tantrums due to it. I wish companies like this would get involved with hospitals and NICU units so parents are more aware of the great possibilities for their children earlier on in there situations! Thanks for the info! Fingers crossed this would be an amazing asset to help him continue to grow in his communication!

  • Congrats to Abbi Pena for winning Volume 1!! Everyones stories are amazing, thank you so much for sharing!! So glad to have a random winner picker as there is no WAY I could have picked from all the amazing stories!!

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