Out of all the things that we have taught our daughter, I feel like the most helpful and beneficial thing we did was teach her sign language. From the start I made sure to always talk to Kali like she knew what was going; this included diaper changes. I always made sure to tell her what I was doing, when I would change her I would tell her " shirt, arms.." and so forth, for EVERYTHING. Most people do not think that at such young ages they understand, but from experience I am here to tell you they do! At the age that Kali started eating baby food, I then started to teach her the basics on sign language.
The 5 main signs we used and started with were: More, Please, Thank You, Eat and Help. Like I said, this was probably the best thing we could have ever done. The older she got, the more she was trying to talk and the more frustrated she would get I noticed that the signs we taught her helped her not get so stressed when she couldn't communicate those things to us! She caught on very fast and till this day she uses them! It also made her learn the words and speak them much faster! Below I will list the 5 main signs we use (Mind you her gestures are not perfect here because we all know how hard it is to get kids to cooperaate for pictures lol, so please do not judge)
Please- Open your hand over your chest and move it in a circular motion
Thank You- Almost like blowing a kiss, except don't pout! With your fingertips, bring your hand to your mouth and then move your hand forward away from your mouth.
More- Bring all of your fingertips together, and just tap your hand together
Eat- Every child should know this lol. No more whining and no more crying because someone is hungry! Bring all your finger tips together as if your holding a small piece of food and more your hand back and forth to your mouth as if you were eating! (This was a really bad take lol she was not hungry)
Help- Oh boy, when we reached the toddler stage... THIS was/is the best sign ever!!!!! Kali always exaggerates this one and has too much signing this! Open your palms and pat your chest twice!