Communicate with Your Infant Using Baby Sign Language

Baby signs are gestures for common words and phrases that have been simplified from American Sign Language. Signing helps children communicate their needs and emotions before they can do so verbally, reduces frustration during early stages of language development, and improves children’s self-esteem.

In our infant program, we start using baby sign language from the earliest months. Teachers say the word aloud as they sign, which helps children connect the spoken word to the sign and eventually learn to recognize and verbalize the word associated with each sign.

Below are some baby signs you can try with your child at home. As you sign, say the word aloud and perform the movement repeatedly.

  • “More”: Make an “O” shape with each hand and tap together.
  • “Eat”: Make an “O” shape with your hand and bring your hand up to your mouth.
  • “Book”: Press your hands together, palm to palm. While holding your pinky fingers together, open up your hands as if opening a book.
  • “All done”: Place both hands in front of your chest and flip them outwards and inwards.
  • “Daddy”: Tap your thumb on your forehead.
  • “Mommy”: Tap your thumb on your chin.
  • “Dog”: Tap your hand flat against your thigh.
  • “Happy”: Place your hands in front of your chest and brush upwards.
  • “Bath”: Make a fist with both hands and move them vertically up and down your chest.