My husband and I began signing with Annabelle when she was eight months old. We began with the basics: mommy, daddy, kitty (we have two cats), milk, eat and more. Her first sign was "milk" which appeared soon after we began signing. For awhile that was all she would sign. And she would sign it for everything. When she wanted a drink she signed "milk". When she saw the kitty she signed "milk". When she wanted milk she signed "milk". We also watched her as she understood the signs we were showing her. I signed "drink" during dinner once and she looked right at her sippy cup so I knew then she understood.
Annabelle will be celebrating her first birthday next week and she not only signs "milk" when she wants to nurse but also signs "more", "drink" and "all done" on a regular basis. She also signs eat, bed, bath, shoe, socks, ball, banana, flower, hat and book less frequently but still with consistency. Just this week she has attempted the signs for window and cracker.
Signing with Annabelle has been fun and so helpful. She is becoming a toddler and already starting to throw tantrums when she doesn't get what she wants. With sign I know that she wants to nurse when she signs "milk" or that she wants her sippy cup when she signs "drink". And she gets so excited when we know what she is trying to communicate. It's fantastic! I can't imagine parenting without sign.