Whether your child is hearing impaired, has speech delays, or is simply too young to speak yet, you might find yourself struggling with ways to communicate with your little one. That's when the many signs to teach your baby come into play. And you don't have to be an expert in sign language to successfully master these basic, but beneficial, signs. Though you may think your baby is too young to grasp the concept of linguistics, it turns out infants as young as six months can learn simple signs, according to the experts at the Baby Center.
Since I had taken a couple of years of American Sign Language (ASL) in college, I was fairly eager to start the process with my son. At first I was a bit discouraged because it seemed like he just thought I was making silly hand gestures. But, as his pediatrician reassured me, babies can understand long before they are able to demonstrate or recreate those concepts and actions. So, even if your little one is staring at you blankly, trust me when I say that they can comprehend more than they let on. Since it's never too early to start, go ahead and check out these signs you can teach your baby to make life easier.
Whether your little one is stuck, can't reach something, or just needs assistance, the sign from Handspeak will do the trick.
This is a super useful sign, especially for when they've graduated to solid foods.
As The Linguistics Girl demonstrates, it's never too early to teach good manners, right?
4. Thank You
Of course you can't have "please" without "thank you."
The moment you and your baby are able to get this sign down, it's a game-changer.
Most parents hope their kid doesn't learn this word until later, but it's still helpful to know.
Whether you use formula or breastfeed, this is the universal sign for milk.
If your child is anything like my son, he absolutely hated being in wet or soiled clothes for even a nanosecond. So this sign was used quite frequently at our house.
My son also used this one all the time. Whether it was to signal he ate all his food or had finished an activity, this was an easy way for him to let me know he was all done.
Just like with speaking, there's no telling whose name your baby will pick up on first.
Your partner will probably try and secretly get them to learn this one first.
Unlike "mother" and "father," signs for siblings are a bit more complex.
Not as simple as most signs, but you'd be surprised how quickly babies can pick things up.
This is fairly easy since it's a modification of the sign for "father."
The sign for "grandmother" is a play on the sign for "mother," too.
I've found that little ones love nothing more than pointing out their fellow baby buddies.
You'll probably get tired of seeing this one after a while.
You can't have food without drink, right?
This can be used in a variety of ways, but this sign indicates sleep or sleepiness.
Expressing feelings is a great way to help their emotional development.
Of course you don't want your child to feel sad, but it helps when they can communicate it to you.
This way you can know for sure if they're just playing around or legitimately uncomfortable.
Chances are, if you can get them to talk about feeling mad, then they won't act on it instead.
Who's ready to eat?
Even if they can't read, babies love looking at colorful pictures in books.
Play time makes up a very important part of baby's day.
Great for when they're ready to go back home.
This sign from My Smart Hands can also be used for daycare or pre-K.
This can help them understand the concept of going from one point to another.
If you think they're ready to learn this one, go for it.
31. I Love You
Of course every parent and child will love this sign.