Baby Sign Language Basics

The most frustrating thing about being a parent has, by far, been the fact that Olivia and I can’t communicate. Sure, we talk to her constantly, we have conversations in “coo,” and we’ve gotten pretty good at decoding her cries, but sometimes I wish I knew exactly what her wants or needs are in that moment.

I read a blurb about Baby Sign Language somewhere before Olivia was born and thought it was weird.  I didn’t realize that when you teach your baby sign language, you use actual ASL signs, so it’s not like you just make them up. And, you can form all sorts of opinions when you’re pregnant, but until you become a parent, you have no idea what you’ll find useful and what you won’t. So, I’m totally revisiting my prior (uninformed) stance on Baby Signing and starting to implement some signs into our daily routine!

Since O is only 3 months old, we’ll be sticking to the basics.  As soon as we notice her signing back, we’ll slowly start introducing more. I am fully aware that babies don’t start signing back until around 6 months (or even later), but I want to make sure we get into the habit of signing, and it really doesn’t hurt to start earlier. Olivia does seem very interested in our hands every time we sign a word.

We bought Teach Your Baby to Sign: An Illustrated Guide to Simple Sign Language for Babies because we wanted a simple book with illustrations specific to baby signing, but I was also able to find a few really helpful resources online (see below).

Here are the five signs we're starting with:
i love you eat
sleep diaper
bath

Resources:

Baby Sign Language Flash Cards

My Baby Can Talk Dictionary

Signing Baby

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One Comment

  1. I too am teaching my 3 my old to sign. I think it is great! I used signing when I was a nanny with 2 year olds and it worked! Instead of getting frustrated, they ended up using signing to tell me what they need. One of them, including my nephew, ended up not speaking at all and relying on the signs. So it did delay his speech a little bit. That is why it is important for them to say what they speak as they sign so this doesnt happen!

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