4 Reasons Your Baby Should Learn Sign Language

4 Reasons Your Baby Should Learn Sign Language | Raising Seraphim: 4 Reasons Your Baby Should Learn Sign Language

In early pregnancy, I took a look at all my friends and their parenting techniques. I found that all of my friends had strong feelings about baby sign language. They either loved it and used it with their child or they thought it would inhibit speaking and passed on it. I am here to tell you that we decided to use it with our daughter and it has been an amazing experience!


My husband and I decided to start baby sign language from the very beginning. When I say that, I mean at 4 weeks old when my daughter would cry for milk, we showed her the sign before we gave it to her and whenever she had her eyes open. From then on, every.single.feeding, we showed her the sign for milk. We continued this process for every sign we decided to teach her and the results continue to amaze us.

Are you thinking about starting baby sign language with your child? I assure you that anytime you start is a good time to start. If you are on the fence like we were initially, here are some of the reasons we decided to go forward.
  1. Promotes early communication - From your child's first cry, they are communicating with you. In the early months though, it is a guessing game while we are trying to fulfill their needs and wants. Teaching them the most basic of signs can help them communicate to you earlier than they would be able to talk. In our case, at 6 months my daughter could ask for milk and signal for more solids that she liked. 
  2. Reduces {or eliminates} tantrums - Kids of all ages throw tantrums. Most tantrums from babies and toddlers are because a child is trying to tell you what they want and you aren't 'listening' to them. Arming your child with a way to share their vocabulary before they can speak is a powerful tool for them.        
  3. Reduces the need for excessive crying - Once your child knows that they can 'talk' to you through signing, there is no longer the need for excessive crying. Most of the time they can just tell you what they need or want. The only time that a signing baby may cry is:
    • To get your attention when you are not watching them
    • When they are hurt
    • When they are tired
  4. Communication is clearer - My daughter has what we call the 'mighty finger'. Her little pointer finger goes all around the room to anything she wants, she will point to who she wants, she will also demand that you sit down, stand up or turn around. But sometimes the 'mighty finger' isn't enough. She uses her signs when she gets tired of us guessing what it is she wants. and many times, children will use it in conjunction with words they are learning. 
Consistency from you is the only way that a child can be successful with signing. You need to learn the signs yourself. You need to spend the time reinforcing it. All of this is well worth the result! And we can help.

This is the first in our series on baby signing. The series will include tips, tricks, first hand experiences and methods in teaching baby sign. Be sure to sign up to get each post delivered right to your email. If you sign up on this page, you will receive ONLY these posts for baby signing. {You can sign up on the side to receive all of the posts from Raising Seraphim, including these Baby Signing posts.} 



I hope this information helps you make a decision for your baby and thanks for following along!
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28 comments

  1. So true! My daughter is 20 months and we just started learning sign language a little over a month ago. I love learning along with her and she is having fun as well. I wish we had started when she was younger! Now we work with a tutor. Sign language is her first homeschooling subject and so far it has been so great for her!

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    1. That is amazing! I don't think a child is too old to learn ever. It really can help boost their vocabulary too. There are so many words they have trouble articulating :)

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  2. I wish I had known about this when my son was small! He could talk just didn't want too he wanted sister to talk for him

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  3. This was great...went to the library and brought home some sign books!

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    1. Great! I will be providing other resources here too :)

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  4. And one more reason. ASL is accepted as a foreign language for most college requirements (that is later on, but my college daughter used it)

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    1. I had no idea!!!!! That is a great thing to know. Maybe we will keep it up even after she gets older....

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  5. Here from Sunday Features. I taught my grandbaby a few signs when she was 9 months old. I dearly wish I had learned, then taught her more! So helpful that she could actually tell me what she wanted! And no, it won't inhibit speech! She still signs, as she talks!

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    1. Isn't it amazing! My daughter just started replacing some of her signs with words, but still uses the signs as she says the words :)

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  6. I'm glad you've found such success! I teach infant, toddler, and preschoolers along with their families ASL and tools and strategies to use their signs as part of every day life using the Signing Smart curriculum. You are giving your whole family a precious gift - especially your little one who will continue to benefit far into her schooling from this great start! Thanks for sharing your experience.

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    1. That is great! I had no idea there was curriculum out there for this with young kids. I will have to look into that :)

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  7. I taught my first son but said I was too busy with the second and we didn't keep it up. Guess who turned out to have hearing loss? Yep. He had tubes placed last week and we've seen an incredible improvement, but we're definitely continuing the sign.

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    1. Oh I'm so sorry. I am glad you are seeing improvement. Keep up with the signing I am sure even with improvement it will help him out. How old is your son?

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  8. I love hearing from other parents how much baby sign language has helped them! My mom is Deaf so I was for sure going to teach my babies to sign and started from birth. It is so wonderful to be able to fully understand your baby and have that special bond.

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    1. It really is. Wow having a mom who is deaf would for sure make me want to teach the baby sign language. What a special bond your kids and mom have.

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  9. We did this with our babies and I swear by it! Being able to communicate, at least a little bit, before they can speak words was soooo helpful for both baby and parent. And they both turned into very verbal kids, so I think there's really no foundation to the fear that it will hinder their ability or desire to speak. I think that when kids see that you want to communicate with them, it just kindles that fire to learn how to communicate even more.

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    1. I absolutely agree. I am starting to find that my daughter is starting to actually say a word in conjunction with signing or starting to replace certain ones - like mama and dada. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  10. We have signed with all of our children! I love this post... I am working on a post about our signing experience, perhaps you would like to read it when it's posted? @hscraftymama

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    1. Absolutely! just shoot me an email when it's done. I would love to read it and share!

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  11. Thanks for the tips! I'd love to do sign language with our baby, and this just reinforces that even more. :)

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  12. Amazing! Thanks for sharing on Worthwhile Wednesdays
    www.mylifeinprogress.org

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  13. I love this! My husband and I were just talking about this the other day. Our daughter is almost weeks, and we haven't started teaching her any sign language, but would love to! I subscribed and will be pinning this too. :) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for subscribing! We will be sharing some great tips. Congratulations on your baby. Can't wait to get to know you better.

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  14. This is excellent advice! We had to use sign language with my daughter when she was little. We didn't know much, but there are still something we use today. Please come share your blog posts over at the Home Matters Linky Party! We'd love to have you for a visit. The Door is OPEN. http://lifewithlorelai.com/2015/06/25/home-matters-linky-party-43/ :)

    ~Lorelai
    Life With Lorelai

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    1. Thanks for hosting the party! We didn't know much either - it is amazing how much you learn along with them. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  15. My grandson learned sign language at daycare. I just couldn't believe he knew it. I need to remind my daughter of this for my granddaughter. Thanks for the reminder and also for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty

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    1. My younger cousins learned at daycare too. They came home and their parents had no idea what they were saying! this will for sure help out those parents a bit :) Thanks for hosting the party.

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