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Have a Chat with Your Baby Today

By Nancy Cadjan, Sign Babies President

Ever wonder what your baby is thinking or what she is interested in? Want to ask her what she likes to eat? Want to know if that cry is because he is hungry, needs a diaper change, or is hurt? Want to stop that tantrum?

Photo courtesy of 
Sign Babies

Using sign language, you can take advantage of your baby's natural abilities to communicate sooner and reduce the stress for the whole family! The level of frustration that children feel diminishes significantly when a child can tell you what she wants.

Tantrums are often caused by a toddler's inability to communicate needs or wants. Using sign language, you can communicate with your baby as early as 6 months and reduce the number of tantrums you encounter. And fewer tantrums mean a better relationship!

Signing with your baby is easy and natural. Start between 6 and 9 months when your baby is starts interacting. If your baby is older, start now. It is never too early or too late to start. If you start earlier, you just might need to wait longer for results. 


Benefits of Signing 
with your Hearing Baby:

Signing allows your infant to clearly communicate specific thoughts.

Signing reduces frustration for your baby and you!

Signing gives you a window into your child's mind and personality.

Signing won't delay verbal language development - in fact, research shows that babies who sign often talk sooner and develop larger vocabularies.

Signing reinforces verbal language by adding visual and kinesthetic emphasis to auditory input.

Signing children tend to be more interested in books.

If you start later, it helps with the frustration that occurs from 16-30 months due to inability to communicate. Even after babies begin to speak, signing helps to bond the family. 

Here is how to get started: 

1. Start with 3-5 signs for things you do frequently. The most common signs to start with are MILK, MORE, and EAT.

2. Use the signs every time you discuss the topic. For example, when you nurse or give your baby a bottle, say "Do you want some milk?" and sign MILK. Then, dialog about the milk and make the sign as your baby eats: "We're having MILK. MILK is so good!"

3. As your child learns the signs and begins to sign back, start adding other signs like APPLE and BANANA. Continue to use the signs you already use as you add new ones. 

4. Be patient. It takes babies time to learn to sign, but they can recognize the signs long before they can make them. For example, babies will often show their anticipation when you sign MILK by grunting or panting. 

5. Learn more about signing with infants by reading a book, going to web sites such as, watching a video, or taking a class. You can learn more signs as your baby needs them and learn fun ways to share your communication through songs, books, rhymes, and other activities. 

No matter what you do, make it fun! Enjoy the deep sense of connection you feel when you begin to have two-way conversations. 

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