Sign Language For Babies

sign for babyWouldn’t you love to be able to communicate with your baby even before they start speaking?

Imagine that your baby could tell you when they are hungry, want to eat more, completely full, feeling too hot or cold, need to go to toilet or just want a hug.

For most parents, this would mean much less frustration and lead to a better understanding of their little one’s needs. Plus there are other benefits to teaching your baby to sign.

According to one study, at 8 years, kids that had learnt to use sign languages early as babies scored an average of 12 points higher in IQ than non-signing kids.

Unlike a full sign language for the mute, there are a limited number of stand-alone signs that help babies communicate with parents and their caretakers using their fingers as early as 6 months.

Generally, the first five signs that they are taught and exposed to are Mom, Dad, Milk, Eat and Dog. These are the everyday things that a child is most motivated by, and are also the words frequently used throughout the day.

Advantages Of Sign Language

  • Minimises frustration:

It will initially take a lot of patience on your part to be able to teach your baby to sign. However, when the learning is done, it gets so much easier and means less frustration both for the baby and parents. The next time your little one wants something, all that is needed is a sign.

  • Creates a closer bond:

Sign language promotes better understanding on part of the parents and this simultaneously fosters a closer bond between the kid and the parent.

It is wonderful to understand what is going inside that little head and if you can reach out to them before they have to cry for it, the confidence and trust of the baby increase manifold.

  • Helps language development:

Many parents fear that sign language might interfere with normal learning processes ahead but it is actually the opposite. Signing might actually help vocabulary and language development.

Signing is a communication process and the first steps to interacting and social learning. This way you and the baby will spend more time signing and talking and this promotes speech development.

Some common signs

  • Mom – Spreading the dominant palm and tapping the thumb against the cheek
  • Dad – Spreading the dominant palm and tapping the thumb against the forehead
  • Milk – Open your palms and close it into a fist. Repeat twice
  • Eat – Move your fingers and thumb together towards and away from the mouth
  • Dog – pat the dominant palm against the thigh

Teaching babies to use sign language involves less tantrums and eliminates the frustration of the baby not being able to speak. This improves the bonding and quality of time spent with the family.

Further the baby will get to understand and speak earlier, have a greater understanding of vocabulary and this certainly improves their ability to learn and comprehend.

So did we manage to get you interested in using sign language with your baby? Let us know in the comments below.

 Image courtesy of photostock /


One response

  1. I taught some signs to my 1.5 year old and she has signed “milk” since about 10 months, “eat” and “drink” soon after, she does know a few more like “daddy” “baby” “bird” “sleep” etc. It is great being able to communicate with her so easily before she can talk….she only says “thank you” and “go” so far, she is exposed to and understands as many as 4 different languages on a daily basis so we are expecting some speech delay, so signs are such a big help for us!

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