Baby sign language is such a great way for parents/nannies/caregivers to communicate with their little ones before they can even speak. These signs are tailored so that our little ones can begin using them as early as 9 months old. If you want to teach your child sign language, I suggest beginning with just one sign. Choose the one that you feel they could receive the most practice with; lets start with ‘Milk’. Everytime you give them a bottle, point to it, and say ‘Milk’, and then do the sign for ‘Milk’. If it feels like you’re doing this 100 times a day with no response, chances are you’re doing it right. Our little ones take time to understand the concept of language and communication. Once they feel the gratification of using the appropriate sign and then receiving the object, they’ll begin to use it more frequently.
Once you feel that your child is beginning to understand the concept of using these hand signals, feel free to introduce a new one; like ‘More’ or ‘All done’. You’ll be glad you put in all this effort to teaching your child baby signs. I’ve noticed it helps with the frustration a learning baby/toddler (and parent) feels when they’re trying to communicate a specific need, but you can’t seem to decipher it. Don’t give up if you’re child isn’t utilizing the signs right away. I started doing baby signs with the little boy I nanny for at 9 months old. He didn’t start using them until he was 14 months old! Be patient. It WILL pay off!