8 Baby Signs To Help Communication


By the time most children are 9-12 months old, they are saying their first words. They will, however, comprehend more than they can say. Baby signs are a great tool to help your child communicate their needs or desires with you. Baby signs can be learned as early at 6 months old. Signing can save a lot frustration for both the child and caregiver – less whining and fussing. The following are 8 Baby Signs To Help Communication ! (signs, descriptions, and usage notes were found on www.babysignlanguage.com)

1. Eat
Make the sign for eat by taking your strong hand, with the tip of your thumb touching the tips of your fingers and tapping it on your mouth. (The universal sign for eating) The same sign is used for food.

UsageEat is one of the most common first signs. Make the sign whenever you offer food to baby, when she eats, and just after she has finished. Baby will be highly motivated to learn this sign, and will quickly learn that using the sign enables her to get food when she is hungry. Hungry fussing be gone!

The milk sign is a lot like milking a cow (or goat), but without the vertical motion – you are just squeezing the udder. You take both hands, make them into a fist, relax, and repeat.

Usage: Milk would be one of the first signs that I would teach baby, because it corresponds to something they find highly desirable, and so they are highly motivated. Also, teaching the milk sign helps reduce frustration where baby wants to feed but cannot communicate it effectively in any other way than being cranky. Make the milksign before you feed baby. If baby takes a break during feeding, then wants to feed some more, that is a good opportunity to do the sign again. And you can do the sign one final time once feeding stops.

3. All Done
For all-done we usually do the ASL sign for finished because it is a little simpler. You start with palms facing in, then turn the hands so that they are facing out.

Usage: All done (or finished) is a great introductory sign. You can use it at the end of every meal, and they allow your baby to signal when they are done with their food instead of getting fussy sitting in front of their plate. “Are you all-done?”

all_done4. More 
To do the sign for more, flatten out your hands then bring your thumbs under to make an O shape. Then, bring your hands together and separate them repeatedly.

UsageMore is one of the most popular signs with babies because it gives them a lot more control over their life. We start using more when eating or drinking to communicate when they have not quite had enough of something. So when I am giving our baby her bottle and she stops half way. I will ask her, “Do you want more?” (while at the same time doing the more sign). Then give her back the bottle.

more5. Please
To sign please, take you hand with fingers extended and all together, and thumb extended and sticking out. Take the hand with palm facing in and rub it in a circle on your chest.

To teach the please concept to an intermediate baby signer, when your baby makes a request (e.g. milk) acknowledge the request and ask them to say please (while doing the sign). “I’ll get you milk, can you say please?” Even if your baby does not understand at first, they will learn to copy. Then reward them by fulfilling their request.

please6.  Help
Place bottom hand flat, palm facing upwards. Place the bottom part of your fist onto your palm of the other hand. Lift your hand as if the palm is helping/lifting the other hand.

Usage: Often babies have a task they want to accomplish but don’t have all the skills they need to do it. By asking for help, you can lift that heavy toy, untangle the pull-string, or reach the lost toy under the couch.

help7. Tired
To sign tired, extend your fingers and hold them together. Start with your fingers touching your chest, with your elbows up. Drop your elbows down. It is as if you are so tired you cannot keep holding your arms up.

Usage: The Tired baby sign gives your baby a way to tell you when they need to take a nap without getting fussy.
tired8. Up
The sign for up is made by taking your index finger and aiming it skyward. Raise and lower your arm so it is like you are pointing up at the sky.

Usage: Teach up by pointing at things that are above your baby’s field of vision. It is often useful to teach down at the same time, because the two signs are complimentary.



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