I remember the first time I heard about baby sign language.  I was about twenty years old and a college student studying psychology.  I was babysitting a little eight month old and her mum told me she was teaching her sign language.  She showed me the sign for “food” and asked me to sign to her little girl every time I fed her a spoonful of food.  I was really intrigued and thought it was so cool that babies could actually learn to sign before they could talk.  They have the capability to communicate very clearly before their language develops.  A couple of years later when I had my first little boy I remembered this experience which led me to teaching my own baby sign language. 
 
He has just started to sign “milk” and “all done.”  It’s really amazing to see them sign and be able to communicate without getting frustrated.  There are many months in between their desire to communicate and being able to effectively communicate what they feel through words.  Teaching them sign language allows them the opportunity to do this very clearly without the frustration. 
 
I know there are others out there like myself who are visual learners.  I have looked up various videos of baby sign language throughout the years.  Below are a few videos I have recorded of different signs we have been teaching our baby.  There are many more you can do. We started signing to him when he was about six months old and now at eight months he is just starting to get it! Have a look at the videos so you can learn and start teaching your own baby.
 
 
 
This first video is of my middle boy showing my baby how to sign “book.”  I love this video because after he signs it once I ask him to sign it again to him.  He of course puts on a shocked and devastated face and starts complaining. Classic!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This next video is of my husband showing our baby the sign for “dog.”  Our dog and cat are very popular around our house…especially with the baby. He loves them.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Here I am signing “food”  He LOVES food and will probably sign this any day now! Besides breastfeeding, eating solids is pretty much his favourite activity.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Here I am signing “milk” and breastfeeding at the pool!
 
 
 

                                         

 
 
 
OK, I know I sound like a total dork in this video…here I am signing “no.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This is the sign for “up.” I always sign this to him before I pick him up.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Here is a link to a chart of different signs for your baby.  There are different variations of baby sign depending on where you look.  It doesn’t really matter as long as you and your baby know what you’re each trying to say!
 
 
If you would like to look at some really interesting research you can look at the work by Dr. Linda Acredolo and Dr. Susan Goodwyn.  They have written a book titled, “How to Talk with Your Baby Before Your Baby Can Talk.”  There has been a longitudinal study which showed really amazing results. Parents who followed the Baby Sign program had children who spoke sooner, were ahead of their peers and had a higher IQ!  This is not the reason I have signed with my babies though. I just started doing it because it’s  really cool to see your baby sign to you!
 
Start by incorporating a few signs into the day with your baby, and have fun!

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