Baby Sign Language — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Baby Sign Language

Is anyone planning on doing this? My friend was telling me the other day she did with her first and loved it. She said she didn't have a whiney kid because she could tell what she wanted. I'm undecided. If you have done it in the past or already have the supplies to do so, do you know of a good book that teaches you the signs?

Re: Baby Sign Language

  • No supplies needed- just your hands! If you need a book you can get one but in all honesty it is so simple that anyone can do it. Or you can use a website. 

    I signed with my older girls and will do so with Zo? as well. All you do is use the signs in everyday life. When baby is done eating then say "All done!" and do the sign as you say it. If you see a ball then sign and say ball. If you see a dog then sign and say dog. Use this everyday and at every opportunity.

    Your baby will begin to associate the sign with the item/experience and will use them and even make up their own! It does take time but they can pick them up pretty quickly, especially the older they get.

    The basic signs we used were milk, all done, thank you, you're welcome, more, please, cold, tired, drink, hungry/eat, etc. 

    It does make for a happier child. They have a way to communicate their need to you and because you can respond to them they typically have less meltdowns.


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  • I would like to.  I actually plan on going to Chapters this week to find a book.  I did find this picture in the meantime that shows some basic signs to get you started.  
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  • I was sold after seeing my cousin use it with her LO and it was seriously weird how well it worked! We bought the "Baby Signs" starter kit that includes a DVD of all the signs, booklets, and fridge references to get you started. And we actually have already started using the signs, more for our benefit than his at this point, it's helping us to memorize the signs and get us in the habit of using them.
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  • I just found some signing board books for very simple signs & those worked great.  I found it was helpful during that period where they can't say much but do understand & want to tell you something.  It's not like it totally protects against whining lol, but we loved doing it with our oldest.  My youngest talked so young that she only used a few signs for a short time.  With my oldest, I started using some simple ones with her when she was eating (eat, more, milk, etc) about 6mos old and we went from there.  She really started picking up on it when she was 10ish months old.  By the time she was a year, she knew over 20 signs- I just learned them from other people in classes we were taking (gymboree, kindermusik).  Have fun with it!
  • P.S. Just find a website that shows you all the signs. Some of them have animations so you can see them in action. Sometimes the book illustrations are difficult to figure out. You can also try YouTube for a video of someone using the signs. You can even make up your own signs if you want but just be consistent and have one sign represent one thing. The point is that baby can communicate their need.
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  • How young can you start this?
  • image ladyjester:
    How young can you start this?

    Like a PP said- she has started already even though her baby isn't really benefiting from it yet. It is helping her and her husband get used to doing it. 

    It is honestly never too early! Start now, get used to doing it and one day you'll notice your bundle of joy telling you they're hungry with a smile on their face instead of screams of hunger. 

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  • I used sign language with my first child and it worked out well for us.  I started showing her the signs around 4-6 months and then continued them.  You don't need any materials, you'll just need to look up some basic signs on the internet.  My DD knew and used signs such as milk, play/toy, book, help, eat, drink, all done/finished, water, more, etc.  She started to learn a few more right before she was able to talk enough to say what she wanted...those were more specific signs such as banana, bagel, bread, cracker, etc.  Basically, just things that she'd want to ask us for...her own interests.  We were consistent in expecting her to communicate to us using sign once she knew how to do it.  We wouldn't respond to her whining if we knew that what she wanted was something that she could appropriately ask for using sign.  Once she was able to actually say the word (or the approximation of it), we would reinforce the talking and then the signs dropped out.  I plan on doing it now with my 2nd child.  I would recommend it!
  • ditto all the pps. I won't repeat everything, just wanted to say we did it w/ DD1 and it was great! Definitely plan on doing it again. It really helps with the frustration they feel at knowing what they want but not being able to communicate it.

    The only downside of it was that my ILs and SIL thought it was just so cute that they turned DD into an on-demand performer every time she was around and loved showing off her ability to sign to all their friends: "Kylie, say thank you" say please, more, milk, etc. etc... Annoying! LOL

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  • My DH is deaf so yea we are planning to teach sign language.
  • This is a good site for videos and books: We will/are doing it with my youngest son and my daughter.
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  • we will with this one. we didn't with our first and she was diagnosed with apraxia of speech and had to start learning sign when she was 2 so that we could communicate better. she picked it up very quickly and uses sign and words now to communicate. she knows all the signs in the baby sign book and then a few more (somewhere around 50-75) and has even made up a few for her stuffed lemur and her favorite cartoon. i was amazed at how quickly she learned it and how much happier she became once she could communicate more efficiently. i can't imagine not doing it with this one.  
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