How to Know When to Start Signing With Your Baby

Posted on 09. Jun, 2012 by in Baby Sign Basics

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Eeeep! You’ve been home with your new bundle of joy for weeks now, and your excited to start signing with your baby, but you’re asking yourself… “when should I start??”.

Giiiirl! don’t worry, there is really no wrong time to start signing with your baby. But, if you want to get the most out of your signing experience I suggest you start signing between 2-8 months.

Are you wondering why there is such a large age range when moms like to start sign language for babies?

There are actually several reasons why some moms decide to start signing early and why others prefer to wait until their baby is older. Lets look as some of the pros and cons of starting at different ages…

Start sign language for babies at 6-8 months…

Traditionally it was suggested that you start signing with your baby at 6 months. The reason for this is more for parent satisfaction, not because it’s what’s best for your child.

Pros:

  • Most babies don’t start signing back until 6-11 months, which means you would be signing with your child for a shorter period of time when you start seeing results.
  • The instant gratification gets you excited and boosts your confidence to continue on.

Cons:

  • Your baby will have a smaller signing vocabulary when they first start signing because they have been exposed to fewer signs for a shorter period of time.

Start sign language for babies at 2-4 months…

If you are confident that baby sign language is the way to go and you understand that you will have to wait a few months to see results, you can start signing with your baby as early as 2-4 months.

Pros:

  • Allows you get into the habit of signing early on so that it becomes a natural extension to your daily activities.
  • You have more time to practice and learn new signs so you don’t need to look up new words every time you’re ready to sign one.
  • When your baby is ready to sign back, they will have an arsenal of signs stored in their memory to draw from. You’ll notice your baby will be able to sign several words right away rather then 1 or 2.

Cons:

  • You may feel discouraged and lose your motivation to sign with your baby when you don’t see results in the first few weeks.
  • Some parents who don’t have success right away will give up too soon.

ALL babies can learn baby sign language as long as you are consistent.

After weighing the pros + cons, choose the method that resinates with you the most. Ultimately whichever technique motivates you to stick to it is the right decision.

Share your specific feedback in the comments below. Please leave feedback in a way that inspires and instructs other moms to move ahead from a place of love and compassion.

I’m looking forward to hearing your perspective on this!

xo

*Disclaimer: The milestones we mention in this post are a guide only, your baby may start signing earlier or later then what we’ve suggested as typical results. Every child is unique and develops signing skills in their own time.

Marcie Page | Baby Sign Language StrategistMarcie Paige is a creative and engaging baby sign language strategist and positive parenting advocate. Marcie creates baby sign strategy plans for new moms that are, fun, engaging and powerfully effective. The result: a warm and comforting home free of obsessive crying, temper tantrums and misbehaviour. A true reflection of how we dream our experience of being new mom will be.
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4 Responses to “How to Know When to Start Signing With Your Baby”

  1. Sally Hope 11 June 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    Ahhh awesome post!! I love your writing style. Very casual and conversational. I don’t have kids yet, but when I do I’ll make sure to come find you.

    Best,
    Sally

  2. Marthe 10 June 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    I found you through Bschool and this was a very interesting read as I have never heard about baby signing before! I will definitely keep you in the loop and remember this when I decide to have kids one day :)

  3. Elise 10 June 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    I found that with friends who didn’t know any signs at all, it was fun for them to start one or two with their babies when they were still really tiny, mostly so the parents themselves could get used to it! There’s no wrong time to do it, in my experience, but starting at around 6 months was great for us. Both of my kids were signing back by 8 months and signing like crazy by the time they turned 1!

  4. Esther 10 June 2012 at 9:33 am #

    I’m such a big fan of baby sign language! It draws attention to our inherent ability to communicate through our bodies and facial expression! Apparently research has shown that the neurochemistry of baby girls makes them more inclined to look to faces for communication information and as a way to make connections with people (mom especially!), so this is a great way to enhance that process – in both girls and boys!


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