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BABY SIGN LANGUAGE: WORDS AND SIGNS TO KNOW!

  • JWB Post
  •  January 18, 2014

Babies are developmentally ready for their parents to start signing to them after 4 months old, but won’t be able to sign back until 7-9 months, when they have better coordination. Open up the lines of communication with your infant with signs for “more”, “done”, “eat”, “change” and other signs for everyday items. Check it here!

1. When your baby puts finger tips together twice, it indicates the Sign: More.

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2. This sign will help babies transition from one activity to the next. It also helps Mommy explain that something is all gone. Sign: Done

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3. Signing to baby that it’s time to sleep is a good way to start the bedtime routine. Even better: when she lets you know she’s tired by using the sign. Sign: Sleep

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4. This sign comes into handy when babies are teething and want to tell you they want medicine to ease their pain. Sign: Medicine

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5. Stay consistent with your signs. Use them frequently – every time you engage in the activity or say the word. When you’re eating, use the “eat” sign and say, “We’re going to EAT. Do you want to EAT?” Sign: Eat

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6. “Change” is an important sign because it gives your baby a heads up that you’re transitioning from play to diapering — something he probably won’t want to do. Signing “change” will help them understand the toy break is temporary. When you’re done, sign “done” and say, “We are DONE,” so that your baby knows changing time is over. According to pediatricians, many parents report that when they use the “change” and “done” signs, the struggle of diaper time goes away. Sign: Change

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7. Should you step in to help, or let baby figure things out on his own? This will let him communicate when he needs your aid — or that he wants to help you. Sign: Help

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8. Teach your baby words he’ll be able to practice often, like “bath,” since you do it every day. Sign: Bath

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9. Don’t expect the signs to look perfect. Babies might do the signs a bit differently, since their fine motor skills are not as advanced as yours are. If you think your baby is trying to sign something, help her out. Say, “Oh! Are you signing WATER? Do you want some WATER?” and continue to make the sign correctly. Sign: Water

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10. Foster an early love of reading with the simple sign for “book”. Sign: Book

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Baby sign language proponents say that signs not only help your child communicate with you earlier and more easily, it also helps them speak sooner too. Be patient — and don’t pay compare your baby to the champion signer at music class. It takes some babies longer than others to have the dexterity to sign, but keep at it. You can keep adding signs on your own, but the most important thing, to be attentive to what your baby gesticulates to you – many signs you can develop from there.

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