How To Use Sign Language With Your Baby


Image of illustrated baby signing more, text says Free Baby Sign language Chart!

When you decide it is time for teaching baby sign, there are certain introductory steps you’ll want to take. These steps are then reinforced through certain tested methods using infant signing in everyday activities.

It is easy to initially be intimidated by the thought of teaching Baby Sign Language. This is because you are looking at what you want as the end result – the ability to have a conversation with your infant.

But taking the process step by step means teaching word by word. Looking at it this way makes it much simpler to approach.


Teaching baby sign language begins with the introduction of a few simple words.


Choose a really easy word that the baby will most likely learn the quickest.


This means choosing a word that represents something familiar to your baby.

These include words/signs like “milk”, “juice”, “doggie”, “daddy”. The first sign word should probably be for something concrete.

Trying to teach a word like “hungry” or “pain” is typically too subjective for a first word.


When you begin teaching baby sign, remember to always make sure you have eye contact with your infant.

The only way your baby will make the connection between the object and the sign is if he or she does not miss the hand gesture. You will want to gesture and then point to, or use, the object.

There are many way to use sign language with your baby. When your infant learns a sign for a favorite object that becomes a springboard for adding other descriptive words.

For example, a child learns to sign for “horse”. You can then begin teaching combinations or sets of words like “toy horse”, “backyard horse”, “next-door horse”, or “TV horse”. This teaches your infant about different ways to use the word.

This is early literacy!

baby-sign-language-book-infant-teach Teaching baby sign sometimes requires making careful decisions about what words to introduce. You don’t want to frustrate your infant by trying to teach too much too quickly.

You can use playtime as a chance to teach words like “toy” or “train” or “doll”.

Fun activities make teaching and learning Baby Sign Language entertaining. Singing along with a record while signing a word in the music is effective, especially if the infant likes to listen to songs. You just want to make sure you sign and point to the desired object at the right time.


Another method for teaching baby sign language is to reinforce gestures that have related activities. For example, when your infant raises his or her arms to be picked up, you can sign and say the word “up”.

Then lift him or her into your arms and sign and say “up” again. When you do this enough times your baby will soon make the connection.

You can also use sign language with your baby while looking at books. Teaching baby sign with a book promotes early literacy. Infant books have brightly colored pictures that keep an infant’s attention.

It is the perfect time to teach some Baby Sign Language. As you read the book, point to a picture and sign. Every time you read the book, sign the picture and/or concept. Reinforcing the sign is the key to success.

There are many methods you can use for teaching baby sign. Parents can take almost any opportunity to teach Baby Sign Language.

Take a walk around the neighborhood and find common items of interest to sign with baby. Or you can go to a park or zoo and sign the words for the animals.

Animals fascinate children - including infants. another key to successful Baby Sign Language instruction is to incorporate signing into everyday activities that interest your infant or toddler.


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