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Sign language is not just for those that can’t hear. It’s also for those that can’t speak which includes infants and toddlers. These 5 simple signs can make a huge difference with teaching your little one to communicate and not get frustrated. Baby sign language is not hard to learn.
How many times has your child whined and cried because they are trying to tell you something and you have no idea what they want? It happens every day and is frustrating for the parent and the child. With practice, you can teach your child these 5 simple signs. The look on their face when they realize you understand what they are saying is priceless.
My sister taught her boys some sign language when they were little and I saw what a difference it made for them. I was a bit nervous at first because I was concerned that if they got too comfortable with the baby sign language, they wouldn’t try to speak also. This was not the case at all. It helps bridge the gap between wanting to communicate and not being able to speak yet.
Sign for “More”
The sign for “more” is pinching your fingertips together on each hand and then tapping your fingertips together. Ask your baby, “Do you want more”? Do the sign and speak the words together. Eventually, your baby will learn the sign and then learn to say “more”.
Sign for “All Done”
The sign for “all done” is holding your hands up in front of you and twisting your hands back and forth. You can ask your baby, “Are you all done”? Do the sign and speak the words together so your baby can tell you they are done with whatever they
My 16-month-old knows this sign and recently started saying the words with the sign. I had to give him medicine and he looked at me and started signing and saying “all done”! LOL, nice try little guy. He definitely didn’t want his medicine and was trying to tell me that.
Sign for “Please”
It’s never too early to start learning manners. The sign for “please” is placing your flat right hand over the center of your chest and moving your hand in a clockwise motion. Use this sign when your child is asking for something. They can learn it quickly if they realize they will get what they want after doing the sign. I’m not saying don’t give your child what they want until they do the sign. It takes practice for them to learn to be patient.
Sign for “Thank you”
Did a sibling share a toy or did they get something they were wanting? Now is a good time to start learning “thank you”. The sign for “thank you” is done by starting with the fingers of your dominant hand near your lips. With a flat hand, move your hand forward and down in the direction of the person you are thanking.
Sign for “Eat”
Your baby is hungry and is trying to tell you to pass the food their way. Use the sign for “eat” and say the word. The sign for “eat” is done by pinching your thumb to your fingertips on one hand and bringing it to your mouth. Baby will soon learn that food is coming with this sign in baby sign language.
There are a lot of possible signs you can teach your baby but I personally found that these were the most helpful for us. Some other easy ones to learn are Yes, No, Mommy, Daddy, Milk, and others. I never found it necessary to teach my kids milk because they very early on learned to say “WaWa” and/or “BaBa” which signaled to me the want for water or bottle.
Some kids learn to speak very early and some take a lot longer. My first son really only had a few words until he was about 2 years old but after 2 he really started picking them up. My other kids were more average. Girls tend to speak sooner than boys as well. No matter when your kids start speaking, learning just these 5 basic signs in baby sign language can ease the frustration.
You can start incorporating the signs as early as a few months old but they likely won’t start trying them out until closer to 6-8 months old or even later. The more you use them the better the chances are that they will pick up on them. Have you taught your kids some sign language? Did it help? Comment below.
Some great videos to help teach your baby to sign are the Signing Time ones.
Make sure your babysitter knows these signs also. It will help them communicate just as you are doing with your child. For tips on how to find a great babysitter read my post here.