Baby Sign

How do I (Ashley) teach Gunnar sign language?
In all honesty, before Gunnar came along I knew all of 3 words in ASL. I had always wanted to learn, just never actually took the initiative to do so. I still don't know a whole lot, and I honestly suck at the alphabet, but I'm learning. My approach has been that as I learn, so does Gunnar. I started doing baby sign with him the moment we brought him home from the hospital. When he would nurse I would do the sign for "milk." Now, don't assume I did it every single time, because I certainly didn't. I would do it 1-2 times per day, if that. There were weeks when maybe I only did it 2-3 times total. Now that he is 9 months old, I do it daily and with every single feeding. All other signs that we are currently doing are also part of our daily routine. For me, it's about repetition. I also take his hands and help him make the sign while I say it. I've found that one handed signs are easier for him to learn to repeat than two-handed signs (such as "more"). In addition to using videos online for quick reference, I have this kit. I love it. It has definitely been helpful in teaching me SL and the best way to approach teaching my son. I am by no means an expert at this, but I've done my fair share of research so feel free to ask me anything; just leave a comment here on this post =)

What is Baby Sign?
Baby sign language is a method in which you and your infant (or toddler) use American Sign Language with each other. Most babies can hear but do not yet have the physical ability to speak more than a few words, if any. Since speech is formed through the use of trained vocal chords, most babies can only form basic sounds. Also called infant sign language, baby sign, and sign language for babies, Baby Sign Language is composed of baby hand and finger signs that indicate words, concepts, and ideas babies need and want to communicate. These are words like "hungry", "milk", "wet", "hurt", "sleepy", etc...

When do you start?
There is general agreement that teaching babies sign language can begin as early as six months for almost any infant. Some baby sign experts generalize by saying that Baby Sign Language is normally introduced between the ages of six to nine months. Frequently, the approach is for the parents to begin signing in front of the child while learning the hand gestures. Somewhere between six to nine months, your infant will typically use their first sign.The fact is that Baby Sign Language can be taught as soon as parents are able to make and keep consistent eye contact with their infant.Teaching babies sign language requires your infant to be able to focus on the hand movement and have the cognitive skills to connect a gesture with a particular item.
A good way to judge when an infant is ready to begin using Baby Sign Language is when he or she can understand and use most simple hand motions. These include gestures for words like “hi” or “bye”, or Baby nodding head to mean yes, or shaking it to mean no. It is never too late to start teaching baby signing. Teaching babies sign language when they are nine months old all the way up to thirty-six months old is common.

How do you teach it?
Teaching babies sign language is not difficult at all. It is actually the same process as learning any language.

You begin with simple words and expand the word list as skills grow. You will begin teaching your baby how to sign before he or she can talk or even sign properly – usually between six and nine months. It takes hand coordination skills to sign gestures.
When you begin teaching babies sign language, you should have complete attention from your baby. You can start with words for things that are commonly done or used involving the baby. These will be words like “eat” and “toy” and “milk” and “book”. Start with a few signs and try not to teach too much too soon.



  1. Just Another Girl

    The aslpro website is awesome! I use it all the time now. Thanks for compiling these resources! Also, the Baby Signing Time videos have been great. Kaydra doesn't watch them yet (I am trying to restrict her TV as much as possible) but they have been so easy for me to learn from.


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