16 answers

Baby Sign Language - Grand Rapids,MI

Im interested in starting baby sign language with my 5 month old. Has anyone ever done this? I read you are supposed to start at 6 months but I was just wondering if anyone who might have tried it had started at a different age or might be able to offer some general advice about it.

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I did sign language with all three of my girls with my oldest I started at 6 mo like the books say to, but with my other two I started when they could start to understand and talk back to ne with my third she was about 4 mos old when she started asking for milk, so I would start when you think is best.

baby sign language is awesome, we did it with my daughter and she responded really well. We only picked a few signs at a time ( food sleep etc.) and I forced my husband to learn them with me and use them while talking to her. at first nothing happened, but after about a month or 2 she started using them (correctly) to tell us what she wanted...she's also an early talker (i think it helps develope that part of the brain faster). the signs we used were from a little lamenated cardboard pamphlet and we let her have it to play with so she looked at the signs all day long~ good luck, it really makes life easier~~~

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I did the baby sign language with my son and began around 4 months. It never hurts to begin early. It took a while for Trevor to respond, but he always paid close attention and just "took it all in". Finally...boom, he began signing back. But before he signed back, he always understood my signs and responded accordingly. Don't think it's not working if the child doesn't sign back. And, don't make them sign back if they don't want. They are learning the signs and will respond when they're ready.
I bought the book, Baby Signs by Linda Acredolo. I like the book. I used the signs for lots of things but mostly necessities like "drink, eat, sleep, hurt (that's an important one), more, all done..." Start only with the basics and gradually build. The book will help direct you.
I gradually phased out the signs when his language really picked up, but some professionals recommend staying with the sign language and just add words. That makes sense.
I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did. He was very entertaining when he become proficient with the signs and other people were very impressed. It really reduced his frustrations while learning to communicate. And it helped me when he was able to tell me that his ear hurt at one year of age. He ended up with an ear infection with no other signs of fever..etc. What a great thing!!
Oh, and everyone else is right...you have to be consistent. I taught the babysitter the signs too. It must be reinforced by everyone in your child's life.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A.-

My husband and I are signing with our daughter right now and it has been great! We started signing with her when she was about 8 months old, but many families start from day one. It all depends on you and your family. Just know that the sooner you start signing, the sooner they will USUALLY sign back.

We use the Baby Signs(R) program and when I started looking at programs I loved this one so much that I decided to become an independent instructor for it. I would love to talk to you (or anyone else that is interested) if you would like further information. You can also go to my website, www.familieslearntogether.com to get information on the program, upcoming classes, etc.

Where are you located at?


I experimented with it, but found it to be of little use. I was usually so in tune with my son's body language, that I knew what he wanted before he could communicate it. I could see it being of some use if you are trying to make sure that your child can sign when they are older, like if you know a hearing impaired person that your child should know how to communicate with.

I used just a few signs to get things across, like more, milk, eat, juice. He is 17 months and still uses them. I have noticed that he still isn't talking alot because he can get across what he wants with sign, but my dr said eventually he will catch up.

We started signing with our son when he was around 8 or 9 months. It took him a few weeks before he started signing back to us, but once he did he just took off with it. It has been great for us! It has allowed him to communicate things to us that he wouldn't have been able to otherwise. He's now 22 months and is now talking our ears off. He has stopped using most of his signs - instead saying the words - but there are still a few of his favorite signs that he still does as he says the word. I imagine he'll completely drop all the signs within the next few months as his verbal language continues to develop. It has been a great "bridge" to get us through the time where he couldn't talk, but still wanted/needed to communicate with us. It definitely has cut down on a lot of frustration that would have surely occurred had he not had a way to communicate with us. I highly recommend it.

Good luck!

Hello A.,

I do signing in my daycare I took a class on it as well. They say that a good time to start it is around 8 months. You may not see anything receptive till later on. But you will be suprised how much frustration and anger can be alleviated when a child can express themselves in a way where they are understood.

It really does help before they are able to speak to have communication with you. It also reduces biting / hitting etc. I know with my daycare kids it really helps them and myself. I also watch special needs children and they are much happier when we can understand each other.

Below are some links where you can get some more information on baby signs. Start with one word at a time. I usually start with words like " more, please, up. People will tell you that it will hinder their speech. It actually will help them.





Thing signing is a great way of communication. I have 2 boys 13 and 15 and when we are in the store and they are doing something i don't like. I can do the sign stop and they know. You can communicate to them things in a quiet calm manner. If we don't challenge them to communicate with you then that can set them back. When we always get what they want without requiring them to communicate, then they don't have a reason to.

It will take awhile to learn but you will be amazed one day when your child just out of the blue will sign to you. If you want more assistance you can email me offlist. I have child in my care who was adopted at age 3 has downs. I have had him since he moved to the USA. Within a 1 1/2 along with his mom we have been extremely successful in teaching him how to sign and communicate with words. I can communicate with him very well and he is such a happy and wonderful child. I have had numerous successes. One non-verbal child who has taken me 6 months he is 3. But he finally will say More, and signs it along with eat and please. It can't hurt to try it but you need to be consistant.

I did sign language with all three of my girls with my oldest I started at 6 mo like the books say to, but with my other two I started when they could start to understand and talk back to ne with my third she was about 4 mos old when she started asking for milk, so I would start when you think is best.

I used a few signs with my older children and want to learn more so I can teach them to all of my kids. I am a very busy person with school, work, and keeping up the house. I believe that 6 months is the age recommended but you can start signing now when talking to her. You are letting her know what you are saying in 2 languages then.


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