Okay, in the past weeks we have covered Common Myths about Baby Sign Language and the Benefits of Baby Sign Language. I am so excited to finally share with you how we started teaching baby sign language and what is an appropriate age to begin.
We always started teaching our kids sign when they began eating solids. Many people start much earlier than that, but that is what we chose. This would typically be between 6-9 months. I start with “more.”
To sign “more” you put your fingers together and move your hands toward eachother.
In between each bite I will sign “more” and say “more” out loud then immediately give my baby another bite. This helps baby understand that when they see that sign, they will get more.
The next sign we teach is “all done”. You don’t have to wait until baby has learned one sign to introduce a new sign. I usually teach 2-3 at a time. To sign “all done” you just hold your hands up, shoulder height, and wiggle your hands back and forth. It looks like you are waving “hello” with both hands. Use this sign when they are all done anything: eating, bathing, playing, reading, etc.
The next two signs we teach are “please” and “thank you.” We introduce these signs as soon as we notice baby starting to point or “ask” for things.
To sign “please” you hold your open hand on your chest and move it in a circular motion. Often you will see babies doing this sign but on their bellies instead. That’s okay, it takes time to get the signs just right.
To sign “thank you” you place your open hand on your chin and move it outward/downward at the same time.
For please and thank you, just use the sign every time they want something or you give them something. Remember, say the word our loud every time you sign it. This will really help them to connect the meaning. They see it signed, hear it said, and see it happening.
Here is an example of Pepper, who is 15 months old, doing baby sign language:
You will notice she doesn’t do each sign perfectly. She does what she is capable of dong and I can understand her version of each sign. What do you think of baby sign language? Which words do you start with?