How To Begin Signing With Your Baby

When to start

Start with a few signs

Say the word whenever you sign

Repeat both the sign and the word often

Make signs a part of your daily routine

Getting your baby’s attention

Point to or hold the object that represents the word you are teaching

Wait for your baby to respond

Make signs on your baby’s body

Help your baby make the sign

Ask for your baby to sign

Always sign the correct sign

Signing with one hand

Share books with your baby

Recognize and respond to your baby’s signs

Above all be patient, offer a great deal of praise and make learning fun


Learn to Sign with Your Baby

Have you ever wondered why parents are so pleased when their baby learns to wave bye-bye? This is one of the first natural forms of communication between you and your baby. This may be your baby's first sign. Your baby will recognize what you are saying before your baby is able to speak. Using signs provides you with the ability to understand your baby and reduce frustration. Babies who are taught to communicate with signs naturally learn to speak sooner. Teach you baby to sign and your baby will begin adding words to their signs as soon as your baby is developmentally ready to speak.

All babies use their hands naturally in an attempt to communicate before they can speak. Your baby is likely to learn to wave bye-bye, clap her hands to express delight, shake her head to communicate "no" and point at objects that she wants. The problem is that the number of signs that your baby will use naturally without your help is very limited. The My Baby Can TalkTM video series fills that learning gap by offering you a resource to take advantage of this opportunity in a fun and entertaining format for both you and your baby to enjoy.

When to start
Just as all babies begin speaking at different ages, babies begin signing at different ages. You can begin signing with your baby at any time and your baby is likely to show a great deal of interest in your hand movements from a very young age. However, keep in mind that, on average, the motor skills necessary for babies to sign back to you mature at around 10 months of age.

Start with a few signs
Identify a few words that represent objects or actions that your baby is most interested in and begin with the signs for these words first. Your baby is more likely to be interested in signing with you if you focus on words that are of interest to her. Perhaps your baby has a favorite teddy bear (teach the sign for bear) or enjoys a story about a cat (teach the sign for cat) or loves to play with your shoes (teach the sign for shoes.)

Say the word whenever you sign
Signing with your baby is a bridge to speech. You will want to maintain a strong connection between the sign and the word so that once your baby learns to speak she will have already learned that signs and words are interchangeable. You will also want to give your baby the opportunity to sign or speak a given word as she grows older and is ready to speak.


Thank you for visiting the My Baby Can Talk baby sign language learn to sign section of our site. Providing you with important information about how to start signing with your baby.

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