Teach Your Baby Sign Language

Getting Started..

young child learning signing - the action for 'apple'

Sign for the word – ‘apple’

See more help at the Baby Signing Journal..

If you’ve recently decided to teach your baby sign language, what exactly do you need to do get started?

Great question!

First
of all we need to find out if your baby is old enough, know the best
times to teach your baby sign language and then find a couple of words
to get started with. Don’t worry, it really is easy and lots of fun!
Read on…

When Do I Start To Teach Sign Language?

  • Your baby should be a minimum of 7 months old, and can be up to any age.
    I
    am currently teaching my five year old to sign, along with our baby,
    and she loves signing ‘more food’ instead of constantly saying (or
    whining), “I’m still hungry!”
  • The
    recommended time to start is during your normal routines. So during
    meals, nappy change, getting ready for bed are all good, as are times
    when your baby wants or needs something.
  • Be sure that you
    have your baby’s attention and that you show your baby the sign during
    the appropriate activity. One of the most common signs to start with is
    milk or eat which can be signed whenever your baby has a bottle/meal. See some basic signs over in our signing journal..

Points to Remember

  • When you are teaching signs to your baby use the spoken word as well as the sign.
  • Start with a couple of signs and gradually add new ones.
  • Patience
    and consistency are the key. Use the signs whenever you can and your
    baby will be quicker to make the association between the object and the
    sign.
  • Suggested first signs are milk, eat, more and drink. See the Baby Signing Journal for starters, or if you think you want to learn lots more signs, then invest in some quality baby signing DVDs.
  • It can take a while before your baby starts to use the
    signs that he/she has learned. Just as with oral language, the
    recognition is there long before your baby first mouths, or signs the word. Don’t
    get frustrated, keep up the basic signs that you have introduced and one
    day your baby might just surprise you!

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