The third week of the newborn has been a growth spurt, and feeding seemed to be nearly a marathon all days and nights. I barely could do much else between endless feedings, burps, diaper changes, and hugs and kisses. Juli grasped my hair as well as held my finger. Reflexively smiled.
Juli vocalized some kinds of sounds like "gaa" and "goo" in her sleep one night. Likewise, she produced some facial visues. Both are the pre-lingual exercises.
Crying is baby's one of the first forms of communication, producing visues and sounds that hearing and deaf babies alike produce. There are different ways of how we respond to baby cries.
Crying visues are obviously the first signal we respond to. But, how do we respond when a baby is out of visibility -- e.g. in another room upstairs? Naturally, motherly instinct is one thing.
Besides motherly instinct, every culture has its own technology. Here are some technological devices we use.
A sensor is plugged into an electrical outlet in baby's bedroom that it senses baby cries. You can adjust the level of sound sensitivity of the sensor. E.g. set it to a low level to avoid small sounds but it senses baby cries.
A flasher (or multiple flashers in different rooms) -- the companion of its sensor -- can be plugged into an electrical outlet in any room. It flashes strobe lights when sounds are produced.
Baby monitor is one of some gadgets that hearing and eyeing people share the same, but it is more designated for hearing people (e.g. two-way radio talk rather than two-way videoradio talk that we might need at some years later).
A video unit is put in a baby's room and a parent can carry the parent unit with its video screen anywhere within the home range. This device can monitor a baby in dark and an image on the video screen is clearly visible.
Though this may be useful, I didn't use this device until Juli turned about 7 months old. During daytimes, Juli usually napped in a stroller nearby visibly so no devices were needed. I could always simply move the stroller around when I spent time in another room.
At 7 months, I used the monitor at nights only when Juli slept in her crib for the first hours of each night.
Like many parents, some ASL-speaking parents co-sleep with their babies. They may or may not use a sensor/flasher. Those, who don't use sensor/flasher, rely on their sensitivity and instict.
In the old days when there was no modern technology such as the sensor/flasher, mothers co-slept with their babies on the same bed and they relied on their sensitivity and/or instinct. They were pretty good at that.
One of the first features I was looking at when selecting a stroller is whether the stroller has a rear-facing position. A forward-facing seat is also important, but a rear-facing stroller is a must for face-to-face communication and interaction.
This forward-facing seat is commonly used by hearing parents.
The reversible stroller, that we bought, not only has both rear- and forward-facing seats but it also can be adjusted to a flat level which is another required criterion for naps. It is easy to move a sleeping baby in a stroller around to watch her nearby.
This rear-facing position is commonly preferred by Deaf parents.
Minimalism in a design of the stroller is also personally considered. So is a quality.
The mirror-like reflection was installed on the back of the seat facing the baby seat so I could see her from the rear mirror.
Earlier when there was no mirror-like reflection installed, I cleverly used my purse mirror to check on her from behind when I stopped at some red lights. Deaf people are quite cleverly creative, even in the old days.
As Juli turned one on her first birthday, she got a promotion to the forward-facing car seat. Yahoo! A milestone in the eyeing culture. Also I removed the baby's rear-mirror, another cultural artifact.
This documentation project follows a baby's language acquisition, literacy development, and phonological acquisition in sign language, specifically ASL, week by week from gazing at birth to manual babbling, to first words just before the first birthday in a natural native-ASL environment and visual culture.
The second-year and third-year documentation continues to follow the same child's language and phonological acquisition and literacy development in ASL on a weekly basis from the one-word stage to two-word and multiple utterances.
The documentary continues to follow the same child's ASL language and literacy development on a regular basis from age three to four. It surveys ASL phonological acquisition and more complex utterances.
These posts on ASL-English bilingualism, language acquisition, and bilingual education may be of an interest for parents who raise a bilingual-bimodal child in ASL (or another signed language) and English (or another written and/or spoken language of its respective) as well as informative and educational for ASL specialists, educators, and professionals.