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Thread: Baby sign language?

  1. #1

    Default Baby sign language?


    Anyone do this with their baby? How old did you start with them? Where can I get information on this?

    I was reading an article about it yesterday but it didn't really give any good information on how to go about it.

    Thanks everyone!
    Sue xx

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2006


    We have done it with both our girls, we haven't used any books or anything we followed their cues from about 4 months. They came up with signs for a few words on their own milk, puppy etc and we introduced others that make sense to us. They aren't the real signs but they work.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2006


    There are several ways of doing this. You can make stuff up yourself, or follow an existing language. You can get books and teach yourself, or do a class.

    We started at around 6 months. Generally they say babies are capable of signing once they have the coordination to clap. At first I borrowed a book from the library, and learnt a few basic signs - eat, drink, milk, mum, dad, that sort of thing - and started doing it.

    It's easiest to introduce objects first. You need to hold up the object, do the sign and say the word all at once, in baby's line of sight. At first you may need to do this repeatedly before they get it, but once they do it gets easier.

    It's really hard to get started because it can take a while for baby to do the signs. And they're fairly unco to begin with so if they start waving their arms at you at the right time you kinda have to guess that they're trying to sign something. It helps if others in the family also do the signs.

    I started a class when DS was around 10 months, by which time DS had 5-6 signs. By 15 months he had around 70-odd. At this point he could only say mum, dad and cat I think.
    The class helped me to focus my efforts. It was also really helpful that my mum and sister (and even one of my friends) got into it a bit, although DH was a bit slack about it at first.

    It takes time to get started and can seem frustrating at first - but if you can stick with it, once they 'get' it, it becomes quite easy to introduce more and more signs. By 12 months or so they can generally pick them up first time you show them. The trick is finding signs they're interesting in communicating with you. Animals, favourite toys, food, whatever. You'll find that as they learn to speak they drop the signs in favour of the words too.

    I know some people worry it impedes language development but studies show the opposite, so long as you always talk to your child as you sign. DS hasn't signed in quite some time now and never stops talking.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Terrace BC, Canada


    We used it with DS and it was great. We mostly used ones from a baby sign language book but made ones up too. He only picked up a few but they were good ones and very helpful (more, all done, eat, drink, boobie, bye bye, yes, no, up, down)

  5. #5


    Marcellus, thanks so much for that!!!
    Wow, it sounds amazing. I've had a PM from another BB member with some more information so will get started reading as much as I can and get DH on board too - I am good at deciphering missy's cries and he gets frustrated that he can't tell the difference between them - if he can sign with her then I am sure he'll feel more confident about what she needs.

    Thanks again.
    Sue xxx

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