Greetings to all mothers, fathers, grandparents, caregivers, teachers, and professionals! This site was born in 2000 so you can learn more about using sign language with babies, toddlers and children. Learn the basic steps, view photos of real signing babies, get your questions answered, and explore our offerings in our online Signing Baby Shop.
If this is your first time here, I would like to show you around a little bit. To your left, under Learn How, you will see the various sections of the site – from getting started signing to our wonderful photo gallery full of real signing babies.
Signing with babies — is it the new fad? Something only power moms who want superbabies do? A sure-fire way to form a speech delay?
You may already know that the answer to all of the above questions is a resounding NO.
People have been signing with their babies for years. The most common reason for doing so is an intense desire on the part of a parent or caregiver to find out exactly what is going on in a baby’s mind — what does she need? What does she want? What does she observe? What does she think about and remember?
It is a fact that infants develop the fine muscles in their hands before they develop those required for speech, so they’re equipped to communicate with you before they can speak.
Most babies will invent their own “signs” to get their meaning across. A baby may learn to wave bye-bye, for example, or point to his or her nose when it needs a wipe. How many of us for years have asked, “How big is baby?” and watched them fling up their arms in glee at the proper moment? These are symbolic gestures that are one form of communication used by pre-verbal infants and toddlers. In addition to pointing and grunting, a baby has the potential use of his hands and body to aid in communicating his thoughts, wants, fears, needs and memories.
Read more here!
Just launched! Signing Baby videos on YouTube!
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth? Find out this week as we launch the first in a series of baby sign language instructional videos! Subscribe to our YouTube channel here and check out our latest upload right now!
Featured article: Skepticism and How to Deal With It
By Monica Beyer
I don’t know one parent who signs with their baby and doesn’t come across even a little bit of skepticism from others. Sometimes it comes from outsiders, such as the pediatrician or the parent educator who doesn’t understand the immense benefits that stem from signing with your baby.
Sometimes, it’s closer to home and we may be subject to an unsupportive mother or father-in-law, or even worse, a questioning spouse or partner.
Parents who are starting to sign with their babies are most often excited at the possibilities offered through signing, and can’t wait to ease the frustration their babies (and they) experience. It can be disappointing when others don’t share their enthusiasm, and may lead to discouragement, especially when, as expected, a baby takes weeks to sign back to them.
Some common and negative comments parents hear:
“You’re wasting your time.”
“You’re going to delay her speech.”
“You look silly signing to a baby.”
“Are you teaching him how to talk, too?”
“He’s not signing, he’s waving his arms.”
“That’s great that she can sign, but what words can she say?”
Find out the best way to deal with it here!