4 Benefits of Using Baby Sign Language

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Last Updated on July 18, 2024 by Samantha Flores

Did you know there is a way to communicate with your child before he/she is able to speak?

As a person with a background in caring for toddlers for several years in an early childhood education setting, I will be the first to tell you how difficult it is to communicate with toddlers. Imagine having multiple toddlers yelling and/or screaming at you all at once trying to express their needs.

It is difficult for a caregiver (no matter how many babies they are caring for) to pinpoint what a young human needs at this age because of their underdeveloped communication skills. As a teacher, I learned how to communicate with toddlers through Baby Sign while they learned to develop their communication skills into verbal communication.

Prior to my experience working in a daycare setting, I had a small background in American Sign Language. This background including taking classes beginning in middle school and enhancing my skills here and there throughout the years.

My major in college was in speech pathology and audiology. Therefore, prerequisites for this major included basic American Sign Language. Due to this background, I learned the importance of Baby Sign long before I actually needed to use it.

As a mother, I sought out an early childhood education environment that would incorporate Baby Sign into my son’s education. Because of my background and knowledge for this skill, I thought it was imperative that my son learn to communicate through Baby Sign. This would ensure that he could express he needs at school and at home.

The Busy Mom Planner

What are the benefits of Baby Sign?

1. Baby Sign allows your baby to communicate with you before they are able to speak

What better reason is there than the simple fact that you are able to communicate with your son or daughter BEFORE they are able to actually say words? As many may know, most babies don’t really start communicating effectively until they are almost two years old. The keyword in that last sentence is “most.”

Yes, some parents get lucky to have a child who begins speaking earlier than most. But, this is not always the case. If you think about it, two years is a really long time to play a game of charades with your child.

2. It’s the beginning process of bilingualism

Many can agree that being bilingual is a skill that is great to have as a child and even into adulthood. Once a child develops the basics of communicating in sign, there is an opportunity to continue to have sign language be part of their learning.

This can occur by taking your child to sign language classes specific to their age group. Baby Sign Language tutors are also available!

3. Boost your baby’s self-esteem

When I am in an environment where everyone around me is speaking a language that I don’t understand, I tend to feel uncomfortable. I feel incompetent and begin to question myself.

This feeling is similar to what a baby might feel when they are unable to tell their caregivers what they need. Having the skill to communicate using Baby Sign gives babies that boost of self-esteem. It gives them the confidence to know that they can communicate to have their needs met.

4. Boost your own confidence

When I became a new mom, I cannot tell you how many times I felt incompetent to be a mother. I constantly question what I am doing. When your baby cries, you try everything to get him/her to calm down and be content. Hungry? No. Dirty diaper? No. Too hot? No. Too cold? No.

As your baby screams louder at you, you become frustrated and want to yell back, “Can you be more specific?!” All the while having a possible breakdown of your own. Being able to communicate with your child at an earlier age would increase your confidence to know how to meet your baby’s needs.


Of course, not all Baby Sign is perfect; there is definitely room for trial and error. Like learning any language, you have to learn the basics before you can advance your skills into more complex language.

With Baby Sign, babies use a modified version of the sign. Their sign language won’t be perfect, but you learn to adapt to their modification of the sign. In the video below, you can see my son become frustrated when the cat takes the toy. He asks for help by using his modified version of the sign for “help.”

While babies won’t be communicating with you in full sentences using sign language, getting key signs down will go a long way in being able to communicate their needs to you.

Basic signs that I found helpful were “water,” “milk,” “eat,” “more,” and “help.” These were the signs I noticed being used more often with the toddlers I was teaching and now with my own son. If you consider why a baby would cry, these signs could point you in the right direction of why a typical baby would being upset. They are hungry, thirsty, or need assistance to complete a task they cannot do alone.

Keep in mind that babies can begin to learn this skill as early as six months old! This was the time I started to introduce Baby Sign to my son. As soon as he was able to clap, that gave me the indication that he had the motor skills needed to begin learning to sign.

What do you think?

Communicating with your baby is something I know I couldn’t wait to do with my son. Aside from just curving the frustration of not knowing why he is upset, the fact that he can understand me when I sign to him amazes me!

Having the ability to communicate with your little one sooner rather than later is such an incredible experience. My son’s favorite signs right now are “duck,” dog,” and “shoes.” He seeks out these items in book or in just daily activities just so he can show me that he knows what they are.

I love that he is so excited about his knowledge and that he is confident in himself to communicate with us! We are currently working on the manners part of it by getting him to say “please” and “thank you.” That should be easy to grasp, right? 😉

Do you have experience teaching your child baby sign language? What advice would you give to someone trying to teach baby sign to their child? Please share in the comments below!


Baby Sign Language Basics

A Baby-Sized Introduction to Speaking with Sign Language

It’s Baby Signing Time

101 Signs to Start Communicating with Your Child Now

Samantha <3

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Benefits of Baby Sign Language | HerJournal.blog

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  3. tingandthings.com

    August 16, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Thanks for educating me on the importance of baby signs I’ve never thought about that.

  4. Binge on Basics

    August 15, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    This is a great way to boost up your baby’s confidence and communicate with him/her. Will spread the word

  5. ansh997x

    August 15, 2019 at 6:41 am

    I would love to try this with my nieces and nephews. this sounds fun

  6. The Travel Bunny

    August 14, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Don’t have any kids yet, but I will look more into this for the future. However, with three languages that the child will have to learn at a young age (French, Romanian, English), it might become a bit confusing for the little one.

  7. SiennyLovesDrawing

    August 14, 2019 at 7:57 am

    yeah!! I enjoy reading your sharing. Thanks for your sharing & learnt the benefits & tips of baby sign languages too. cheers, siennylovesdrawing

  8. Francisco

    August 14, 2019 at 6:52 am

    What a great idea! Something to think about when I have kids

  9. Pool Operator Talk

    August 14, 2019 at 2:51 am

    I think this is fantastic! Teaching someone to communicate in another language, literally from the start!!!

  10. Adventures with Shelby

    August 14, 2019 at 2:10 am

    This is interesting! My siblings have done this a little with their kids but I didnt know that much about it until reading this!

  11. Jackline A

    August 13, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    Baby sign language is very interesting to me. I did not do it with my daughter but I do see the benefits

  12. Luna S

    August 13, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    I think this is a wonderful idea! I bought some of those “Signing time” videos before my daughter started talking to help her communicate what she wanted and it was a huge help.

  13. Nia DeLaTorre

    August 13, 2019 at 7:11 am

    This is a really awesome learning skill, kudos to you!

  14. beautybeyondphysique

    August 13, 2019 at 3:46 am

    great post, i dont have kids but i see how this can help with effective communication

  15. Sanjota Purohit

    August 12, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    AS they grow up they develop their own language. Understanding and being interactive with them is the most difficult and important task for parents.

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    […] a bear, we pointed out that it was a large bear that was brown. We also showed him how to use his baby sign language to say “bear.” We did this for as many of the animals as he would listen […]

  22. JK Darling

    March 20, 2019 at 5:14 am

    This is great information. I can use it when my time comes. ????

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 21, 2019 at 4:49 am

      Thank you so much for reading!

  23. Style High Guy

    March 19, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    What an awesome skill to teach

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 21, 2019 at 4:47 am

      Thanks for reading!

  24. iiipphy

    March 19, 2019 at 11:38 am

    This is very helpful and educative post! As an intensini parent I find this super helpful. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 21, 2019 at 4:47 am

      So glad you found this helpful! Thanks for reading.

  25. lm10adhi

    March 18, 2019 at 4:52 am

    Helpful article. I will share this article to my cousin sister for her baby. Thanks for your thoughts.

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 18, 2019 at 5:48 am

      Thank you for reading and for sharing!

  26. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul

    March 18, 2019 at 4:05 am

    I think baby sign language is so cute!

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 18, 2019 at 5:48 am

      It really is when the baby gets the hang of it!

  27. Jerri Clay

    March 16, 2019 at 4:44 am

    Yeah I have definitely used baby sign language.

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 18, 2019 at 5:47 am

      Good to know! I hope it was a positive experience, Jerri.

  28. Danielle

    March 15, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    This is so good to teach your child how to use sign language since it is a good way for them to communicate.

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 18, 2019 at 5:45 am

      So glad you think so, Danielle! Thanks for reading.

  29. Nicole

    March 15, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    We loved baby sign language. Wish we had continued sign language as they got older.

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 18, 2019 at 5:45 am

      I’m considering continuing sign language with my son as he gets older. I think it would be great for his future!

  30. Coleccion De Fotografia

    March 15, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    I agree with your post by 100%. I was able to take care of my siblings when they were babies and baby sign absolutely does the trick! Definitely, works well.

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 18, 2019 at 5:44 am

      I’m so glad you have this personal insight! I love sharing this information and love even more when others are able to relate. Thanks for reading!

  31. aisasami

    March 15, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    I never heard about Baby Sign before. I give this post to my friends who have babies.

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 18, 2019 at 5:43 am

      Thanks for reading and for sharing with others!

  32. Elizabeth O

    March 15, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    such a beautiful post and informative for all the parents. is so useful especially for the mothers. thanks for sharing tips

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 18, 2019 at 5:43 am

      Thanks for reading, Elizabeth! I’m glad you found such insight through my writing.

  33. blair villanueva

    March 15, 2019 at 7:13 am

    These are very educational and helpful when I encounter a baby.

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 18, 2019 at 5:42 am

      I’m glad you think so, Blair! Thanks for reading.

  34. mralexmathew

    March 15, 2019 at 4:43 am

    Interesting, and stress relieving thing to try as well
    baby’s are life!
    thanks for share

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 18, 2019 at 5:41 am

      Agreed! Thanks for reading.

  35. Yonnah M

    March 15, 2019 at 3:30 am

    I think that doing sign language with babies is a good idea. If I ever have kids I’d be interested in doing it.

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 18, 2019 at 5:41 am

      I think it helps tremendously! I hope this is insightful for your future reference.

  36. Nina

    March 14, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    Awesome! Never thought about it in this perspective. I think you have provided a really good insight.

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 18, 2019 at 5:40 am

      Thank you so much, Nina! I appreciate your reading this.

  37. ZyraKuma

    March 14, 2019 at 11:32 pm

    Based on speculation from movies and babysitting my aunt’s newborn, crying could mean they’re hungry or that they did an accident. I wish I knew earlier before babysitting haha.

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 18, 2019 at 5:40 am

      Yes, babies crying can be challenging to figure out what they need!

  38. TheKitchenDoc

    March 14, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    I am way past this stage but great information nevertheless.

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 18, 2019 at 5:39 am

      Thank you so much!

  39. Monidipa Dutta (@MonidipaDutta51)

    March 14, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    I am not yet a mother but I love reading this. It educated me a lot.

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 18, 2019 at 5:38 am

      So glad you read it! I hope this is helpful for your future reference.

  40. amayszingblogs

    March 14, 2019 at 6:33 am

    Wow! This is really fun and it helps especially to the all mothers

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 17, 2019 at 7:46 am

      Thanks for reading!

  41. Cendu

    March 13, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    I love this! I wanna start trying to teach my babe. He gets so frustrated because he clearly has things he wants to let us know but he does’t know how and it can be equally frustrating for parents dealing with a screaming toddler wondering what they need.

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 17, 2019 at 7:45 am

      Exactly! We truly want to help them, but we don’t know how to sometimes. I hope baby signs helps your little one!

  42. momelite2

    March 13, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    Baby sign language is amazing and works so well. I’ve really seen my nieces and nephews communicate really well with it.

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 15, 2019 at 7:22 am

      So awesome to hear of your experience!

  43. Kelsey Buterbaugh

    March 13, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    Love this! Will definitely try it when I’m a mother.

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 15, 2019 at 7:21 am

      Thanks, Kelsey! I hope it works for you!

  44. Ciara

    March 13, 2019 at 9:37 am

    I’ve found baby sign language super helpful with my daughter! She’s 1.5 and doesn’t say a lot of words but she can “say” “All done” or “Goodnight” to me though signs. It’s so cute.

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 15, 2019 at 7:20 am

      So cute! I love that my son can sign “all done” or “more.” Working on the please and thank you currently haha..

  45. Samar

    March 13, 2019 at 7:35 am

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

    Loved it, especially the pictures.

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 15, 2019 at 7:19 am

      Thanks for reading!

  46. Neil Alvin Nicerio

    March 12, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    I would try this one when I have a new baby. Sounds fun ????

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 13, 2019 at 2:19 am

      I hope you enjoy learning it with your little one!☺

  47. Taylor J

    March 12, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    This is super informative! I witnessed this incredible skill in person and never knew it led to becoming more fluent in other languages.

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 13, 2019 at 2:18 am

      Yes, it’s a very useful skill!☺

  48. You, Me and Benny

    March 12, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    I have had friends/family that do this and I think it’s wonderful!!

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 12, 2019 at 7:46 pm

      How great that you’ve witnessed such skill! I love using it with my son.????

      1. You, Me and Benny

        March 12, 2019 at 8:27 pm

        Yes!! Especially my cousin who has some issues he communicates like this – it’s wonderful!

        1. Jiten Chopra

          March 12, 2019 at 8:49 pm

          Nice topic, very informative.

          All the best.

          I also wrote on Snakes .. you can read it when you are free ..



        2. Samantha Flores

          March 13, 2019 at 2:17 am

          Very cool!????

  49. ramzy

    March 12, 2019 at 11:27 am

    communicating with your baby is like preparing to learn the language, sometimes you have to read stories

    1. Samantha Flores

      March 12, 2019 at 6:28 pm


      1. Evan Petzer

        August 13, 2019 at 9:10 pm

        I have only seen this in one or two movies before, never really thought it was an actual thing…

        1. Blair villanueva

          August 16, 2019 at 3:24 pm

          I remember when my sister was little, she uses sign language which made us easy to communicate with her. Luckily she’s no fussy baby.

Let me know your thoughts!