It’s going to be a lazy kind of summer for most of us out there, and if you are pregnant, home with a newborn, nursing a baby, entertaining a toddler or all of the above, there’s no better time than the present to start learning and using some baby sign language.
Before babies can talk, using baby signs can help reduce frustration for both parents and babies by giving them the tools to express themselves. It can be especially helpful for those who are late bloomers or even just a fun activity to share with toddlers. I’ll never forget the first time my baby gave the sign for “milk,” way before he was able to say the word out loud. It was simply incredible. It is also such a sweet way for older brothers or sisters to start deepening their bond and “helping” with baby.
Now, years later, I’ve often found I still use the sign for “I love you” with my older boys when they are out on the soccer field or up on stage. You never know how baby sign language will touch your family, but I bet it will and will be well worth the effort. We’ve rounded up the best experts and resources we can find to inspire, instruct and support you along the path of signing to your littles. Happy signing!
Baby Sign 101: The When, Why & How
My favorite all-around article for starting signing with your baby is this one from Mama Natural.
Let’s get started with this article on when to start baby language and some tips on how to teach it from Today.
Not convinced? This piece from Today’s Parent highlights experts explaining the many benefits of incorporating baby sign language with your little.
Baby Gaga separates fact from fiction around baby sign language with their “10 Things You Didn’t Know about Baby Sign Language.”
More basics about what baby sign is, when to start it and why from What To Expect.
Let’s Get Started! Learning & Teaching Baby Sign:
Looking for a comprehensive program and a lot of support? Babysignlanguage.com offers a paid program alongside a ton of free resources on their site, including a full dictionary with videos for each sign.
Parenting.com provides you with your baby’s first 21 signs here.
Simple video explanation from a mom about 6 essential baby signs, including “more” and “all done.”
Curious about the process in real life? Watch this YouTube video as a mom and dad dedicate one week to teaching their baby his first signs.
If you’d like to dive deeper into the subjects of baby sign, check out this round up from Mom Brite of all the top baby sign language books available.
Baby Sign Language for Mealtimes
This is a must-see video by our friends at New Ways Nutrition about the easiest signs to use around mealtimes to help follow baby's hunger cues and ease mealtime battles.
Check out this book "Baby Signs for Mealtime" at your local bookstore or library.
Spoon feeding is an excellent learning opportunity for mealtime signs. Give one spoonful at a time practicing "more" and "all done." For feeding time, check out 100% organic baby food purees from Amara. Simply mix the packet with breast milk or water and it is ready in seconds.
Ready to get social?
Search and follow the hashtag #babysignlanguage on both TikTok and Instagram to find other parents sharing their babies' progress and experts giving tips.
Look for baby sign language on Pinterest for a treasure trove of blogs and resources.
Check out this Baby Sign Language group thread on Reddit.
Or join this public Facebook group supporting both baby sign language and homeschool ASL.