After setting her baby girl down to play, the mother left the room for just a minute only to return to the sight of the strange gesture her child was making with her hand. When she realized what it meant, the mom knew something was seriously wrong, and she looked at her husband in shock.
Sandy Knibbs said it was an average afternoon, when she had just finished making lunch and set her 1-year-old daughter, Georgia, down with a sandwich to eat and play. The casual eating arrangement wasn’t unusual for this family. However, what Georgia began doing soon after her mom turned around was a first.
Georgia had taken a couple bites of the almond butter sandwich when she began to tell her mother everything she needed to know, with the gesture she was making with her hand. Unable to speak at her young age, the baby used sign language to say “it hurts,” seconds before Sandy saw what was happening to her lips.
“She went off to play and eat the sandwich. The next thing she had come back to me signing the hurt sign, which is a shaking of the hand as if you’ve touched something that is hot,” Sandy told Wales Online. “I could see her lips had started to blister and she had blisters and hives on her hand where she had been holding the sandwich.”
Realizing that her baby was having an allergic reaction to the almonds, she gave Georgia an antihistamine and headed straight to the doctor. She looked at her husband in shock along the way, at the realization that their baby had essentially saved her own life through sign language, since it could have been too late before the mother realized what her daughter needed, The Mirror reported.
Thanks to this incredibly smart baby and her sign language skills, learned in a class Sandy took with her just to meet other moms in the United Kingdom, her baby’s allergic reaction was remedied in time. She’s since made a full recovery. Sandy says that she never thought her decision to take the “Tiny Talk” class would be more useful than spending time with her daughter and getting to know other people, until she found her baby using what she was quick to learn in a time it mattered most.
Georgia is now two-and-a-half and can talk, but Sandy says that the signing has continued to be a blessing, since her little girl still uses it to help her avoid the frustrations she feels as a toddler, which are often hard for them to communicate. By being able to share these feelings effectively, the family avoids many tamper-tantrums and meltdowns, something for which both Sandy and her husband are beyond grateful.
“Georgia still uses signs for things and it’s helping her with her speech,” she told Wales Online. “I always know exactly what she wants.” This skill of being able to express herself and her feelings will serve her well through life. This instinctual decision to learn this skill for social reasons outside being able to sign, not only saved her baby’s life, but it also saved the parents from the “terrible two’s” since frustrated fits are very few and far between.