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Teach Baby Sign | How Babies Communicate Before Speaking.

 

Teach Baby Sign And The Communication Process Is Elevated.

Teach-babies-sign-languge

Education is ‘key’ when learning to teach baby sign

Maybe you’re reading a book just to educate yourself on how the ear works. Or you may want to show your youngster a new educational toy, show fun pictures or work on a new word. Also, to understand and teach baby sign, is not a bad thing either.

Even if its just something as simple as changing a diaper, you’re doing invaluable work. In regards to the importance of caring and the teaching task you perform each day, there is no hierarchy.

In the beginning, start simple with activities and words you already frequently use.

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When you spend time communicating, it’s a very rewarding experience for both the child. Signing validates the work of early childhood educators because it accentuates the importance of your interactions with children.

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MORE/MEALS – Bring your hands together and gently tap your fingers together repeatedly.

Once you’ve come to the realization regarding your child’s issues, you must then resort to learning the necessary signing techniques to communicate.

There are benefits to parents in regards to babies communicating early. It bridges the gap between comprehension (understanding language) and expression (speaking).

Toddlers who sign experience less frustration. When a child has a way to express her needs and wants, there is less opportunity for frustration to set in.

Young children soon discover that signing is more satisfying an productive than crying or grunting and pointing. Showing and interacting with them through a list of children’s books featuring deaf characters, will help the communication process go smoothly.

Think of this: You’re feeding your baby and he or she looks at you with their mouth open.

He or she in indicating wanting more. You say; “Oh, you want more?” while mimicking more.

If your child isn’t looking at you, but is looking at the baby food jar or box of mini crackers, what you can do is make the ‘more‘ sign right in front of the food and say “more.”

He or she may eat them quickly and reach for the box to indicate she wants more. To practice communicating ‘more’, give the baby just a couple of bites of food at a time, then you’ll have the chance to repeat the ‘more’ sign over and over.

The daily care you give your child during meals, diapering, and dressing is the best place to start using this special language. It is in these care giving rituals that relationships and trust form. Constant communication is ‘key’ for parents of hearing impaired toddlers.

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MEAL-TIME  – Tap your fingertips to lips as if eating.

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Children who communicate this way develop larger vocabularies in the early stages of language acquisition.

Research proves that by age two, these children have 50 more words than those who don’t use the other form of communication.

Communication through these skills is ‘key’ to a child’s expansion and understanding.

Youngters who learn can also experience a close bond with their caregivers. The real reason to encourage this is to support relationships through successful communication.

ALL DONE/FINISH  – Move open hands outward as if 

finished with something or pushing something away.

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Now that you are communicating ‘more’ and ‘all done’ throughout the day, begin adding other ones within your daily routine.

Using these skills throughout the day is great because they are meaningful to the children.

The repetition also provides practice. Young kids need to see and hear you mimic over and over before they will produce it.

Children thrive when they have an environment that provides predictability.

Using these special skills within your daily routine adds another level of predictability for kids, thus fostering their feelings of security and safety while they are in your care.

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Although some toddlers will be able to rotate their wrists to  imitate ‘all done,’ here are some  common ways children sign ‘all done:’

  • Flapping their hands in front of  them
  • Pushing their hands toward you
  • Opening and closing their hands several times
  • Swing their hands from side to side

Young Kids Seems To Understand A Few Words.

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He or she lets us know through their eye contact and body language that they understand words. For example; when a child looks up to you with a special awareness, anticipation, and intelligence, you can see they knows what you are talking about.

Say another person’s name, they looks to that person. When you mention that it is time to go outside, the child looks towards the door.

When little children have these symbols in their heads, but they do not have the oral motor skills to produce the words, it’s the perfect time to begin using signs.

It not only gives them visual symbols for the words (as they watch you repeat the word and mimic together), it will soon give them the ability to communicate with their hands. MOST BABIES POINT

Some toddlers start pointing at objects as early as eight months. Most master pointing and do so in a deliberate  and determined way by 12 – 14 months. 

Pointing is an amazing early accomplishment that is easy to take for granted because it is such a natural part of our daily communication system.

Over time, as you understand how complex the act of pointing is, you can see how closely it is related to communication and language.

The most important thing to remember is that language develops through interaction.

 

teach-baby-sign

MORE  – Baby pointing to hand to communicate ‘more’.

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Pointing is symbolic. In doing so, the child makes an imaginary line, connecting the object in the distance to the end of his or her finger.

The child also trust those with whom they hope to communicate can do the same.

‘More’ is usually the first one the child produce. They get a lot of reinforcement when they communicate ‘more’ and get ‘more’ of what they desire. Often, they will generalize this sign once they’ve found it to be successful.

They will mimic ‘more’ for everything;’ every time they want to communicate.’

This is similar to generalizations that toddlers make when they’re learning to talk. For example, a child will learn the word ‘dog’ and will call all animals ‘dog’. After practicing the new word or sign, they will begin to differentiate.

Generalization is a normal process in language development.

It is good to communicate eat and drink often, particularly at meal and snack time.

Remember And Understand That Babies Aren’t The Same. Most Have Different Comprehension Levels.

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teach-baby-sign

DRINK  – Cup a hand at your mouth and tip your head up as if drinking from a cup.

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With drinks, parents should consider mimicking drink to represent all drinks, or use specific signs, such as bottle, juice, milk, and water.

When your child start mimicking this back to you, you should follow up with; ” Want more to drink?” Repeat saying this a few times just to to make sure this is what he or she wants from you.

WATER  – Put a ‘W’ to your lips.

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Water is a sign that up often, not only in terms of drinking, but because many children love playing in water during baths and water play.

teach-baby-signA child will typically modify ‘water’ by putting one finger to their lips.

Always remember in regards to beginning actions, that before a they can speak, he or she can communicate their needs by gesturing, gazing with their eyes, using facial expressions, him or her kicking their feet and waving their arms when their happy.

Sometime they may even throw things or push things away when they’re mad or upset. Two basic needs babies will communicate first are ‘more’ (“I like that,” “I want more of that,” “That makes me happy.”) and the other ‘all done’ or ‘finished’ (“No thanks,” “I’m done with that,” “Stop,” “I don’t like it,” “Take it away.”)

Learn these two and use them consistently throughout the day. These two things will satisfy more needs when communicating with preverbal babies.

PAIN  – Touch your fingertips together quickly on your forehead to sign headache.

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Pain, hurt or ouch are directional signs. So if your ear hurts, you should communicate ‘hurt’ near your ear. If your knee hurts, communicate sign ‘hurt’ near your knee.

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Keep in mind that most children will not mimic this until they are 12 months old.

But it’ll be good practice for you to start teaching this skill early. In reality, you can work with a young child at any age.

This action from the child can be an invaluable tool one day, when a baby has an earache and can actually tell you she is in pain.

BED  – Rest your head on your hand.

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When he or she sees this action mimicked, they will know playtime has ended. All toys put away for the day, pj’s on and now it’s time for bed time.

If it’s during the afternoon, he or she will know it’s nap time.

teach-baby-signYou may have to repeat this one a couple of times for you may fight a little defiance from your child.  But they’ll soon recognize that it’s time for bed.

 Show Praise and Acceptance

It would be very beneficial to you to greet all forms of a child’s nonverbal and gestural communication with enthusiasm and warmth. The satisfaction you receive when you teach baby sign is over-whelming.

A child can understand the subtleties of nonverbal communication very early in life. (see hearing loss symptoms in children.)

He or she can tell by reading the parent or caregiver’s facial response and eye contact if her communication attempts are received or rejected. Also, you may want to check into what the role of an audiologist is and the importance of this department.

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These are my opinions and are not representative of the companies that create these products.
My reviews are based on my personal experience and research. I never recommend poor quality products, or create false reviews to make sales.
It is my intention to explain products so you can make an informed decisions on which ones suit your needs best.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 19, 2017 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

I consider myself one of the most hardest working, helpful guy in regards to online marketing. Earned my Associate Degree in 2000. majoring in mortuary science and hearing loss in children and adults.

75 comments on “Teach Baby Sign | How Babies Communicate Before Speaking.”

  • This article was very moving. When you discover that your child is deaf must be so devastating to new parents. It was good to have such a practical way of teaching a deaf baby to sign.

    My sister has a severe hearing disability since birth. This was not picked up, until she was well into adulthood,  due to us moving rather a lot during our childhood.  She now has to wear two hearing aids.  When she isn’t wearing her aids, she cannot hear a thing. 

    Amazingly, she taught herself to lip read very early on.

    Deafness is in the family as I had two totally deaf  great-aunts.

    It is wonderful to become aware that there are so many ways to teach little ones to sign. Perhaps this should be a subject taught in schools. 

    • Yes Jill, It’s devastating for any family to deal with a child born deaf or to find out later they have partial hearing loss. Regarding your sister, it’s sad no one recognized her disability until she was older, but good she taught herself lip reading. I see it runs in your family. I agree that this is something educators should include as a prerequisite for students studying within the health field.

  • I had a deaf auntie that would sign, but I didn’t know sign language so as you have demonstrated it was learning by hand communication. This is not easy for everyone that is able to communicate by talking. My aunt’s husband’s parents were deaf so they had to learn at an early age to communicate with his parents, he volunteers today to teach and communicate with deaf people. This a well worth website that can be useful for many many people.

    • Hi Pam and thanks for checking in. Signing could be easily learnt just by the study of various cd’s offered in today’s market online. (I offer these as well.There are series of levels to be followed). Your aunt’s husband at an early age seem to have no other choice regarding his way of communication. It’s great that he’s using his signing skills to teach and communicate with others dealing with hearing impairment. 

  • Hi Ronald,

    Thanks a lot for sharing this clear and compelling post.There are 2 principles you mention that really stood out for me:

    A: When a child has a way to express their needs and wants, there is less opportunity for frustration to set in

    B. Supporting relationships through successful communication

    If we had more of the above, at all ages, levels, and circumstances, many of the relational challenges we suffer through as children and later adults, would be greatly lessened.

    Thank you for such a wise and compassionate article.

    All the best,

    Norman

    • Thank you Norman. I’m glad you found some value in my post. When it comes down to bonding among children with a hearing disability and adults, parents or caregivers, good communication is ‘key.’ Without it, confusion will surely set in, leaving the child with no sense of direction and clearly a lack of social skills.

  • Your article is very informative. I am interested in trying to teach my baby how to sign.
    I have a 14 month old baby and he points and tries to talk. It would be less frustrating and more fun for both of us if I taught him how to sign.
    He is my 4th child and I have never tried anything like this before. I am going to have to try it because it sounds like lots of fun.

    • Hi my friend, Thanks for stopping by. I’m also glad you found some value in my article. I’ve heard other parents say the same thing, about learning baby sign language and teaching it to their young child. They say It’s fun and educational. I can recommended a set of cds specifically designed for adult/toddler training. These have helped others and I know these cds will help you as well. Give it a try!

      Go to this link my friend and read up on some incredible sign language training cd’s you can start using with your child: https://babydosign.com/sign-wi… 

  • Hi! Ronald,
    The case of my daughter is different. She has Congenital Heart Disease -VSD Repaired where a delayed in speech or difficulty talking are one of the symptoms of babies or kids with heart disease depending how severe is the defect . I remember when she was between 2-3 years old ,now she’s almost 4 and speaking so well and good, meaning 1 year of her life she suffered speech delayed. She was the one who make sign languages for me to understand her. So, I always paid attention to her signs. She made herself her own sign language. I let her do that because I believed she expressed herself better to sign language she created on her own. Yes, sign language is very important in the communication between babies/kids and to people she interact everyday. Thanks for your article.I learned a lot.Hope you continue encouraging people the power of sign language.

    All the Best!

    • Hi Shierly, how are you? Sorry for the late reply back, got pretty tied up. I’m so glad you found value in my article. I makes me feel good knowing I can help many people out there through my writings. It’s a remarkable thing that your daughter now is able to communicate so well, after a very difficult first year. (As a parent, I know that had to tough on your family as well).

      As I read your story, it really amazed me how creative your daughter was and the ‘take charge’ attitude she exhibited. Creating her own sign language; that’s sweet! Like you stated, it made it more easy and comfortable for her to communicate. (At least, you did not push the traditional ASL. It seems it worked out better this way).

      Shierly, thanks again for stopping by. Please share this article with all of your social media contacts. And for sure, I’ll keep doing my part providing helpful information to a public seeking more info on this critical subject.

  • Thanks for this practical article Rj!

    I have found teaching my baby some signs so helpful and its so amazing when they start to communicate with you. It helps them (and us) feel less frustrated when needs can be communicated and met.

    Will be bookmarking this page for future reference and babies 😉

    • Thank you SJ for stopping by and commenting. I’ve always said in past articles that babies are smarter than we think.Those ‘little minds’ can absorb so much. But of course, all babies learn at different levels, and most at different ages.

      I’ve found that hearing parents are often uninformed about effective strategies for communicating visually with their deaf or hard of hearing children….. Even if parents begin to learn sign language along with their children, the children typically are not exposed to fluent sign language during all of their waking hours.

      Studies also have shown deaf babies of deaf parents babble with their hands in the same rhythmic, repetitive fashion as hearing infants who babble with their voices, a new study has found.

      The deaf babies, who presumably watch their parents use sign language at home, start their manual babbles before they are 10 months old, the same age hearing children begin stringing together sounds into wordlike units.

      SJ, let me know if you need some helpful CD’s that will teach you sign language you can use on your child. Thank you for reading and please share this with others.

  • Hey RJ thank you so much for this great article.

    My sister has 2 boys and a girl which are all young. When they were babies I was amazed a how they were able to communicate with her she taught them those signs.

    I saw first hand how much they can be a major aid in communicating with toddlers.

    Thanks again RJ.

    • Hi Duby96 thanks for commenting on this subject. I’m glad you found some value in my post. I’ve said many times before that babies are smarter than we think. A lot of families, now-a-day, know the importance of early communication among the young. Their children do not have to be deaf to learn sign. Parents figure their children will eventually come across non-hearing children and then the lines of communication would be better served. Now sign language is being taught in some schools, depending on the state you’re in. 

      Your sister was smart to teach them early sign as toddlers and how to communicate using the language. These sign language skills will come in handy as the toddlers grow in life and starts communicating with others within the hearing & non-hearing communities. Easy and better understanding at its best!

      Thank you my friend for checking in with me. Let me know if I can help you with anything else.

  • Hi, thanks for such a great article. I had heard just a little about sign language with babies and toddlers. I never used it with my older son. We used to speak a lot to him and not just baby talk, but we would speak loud and clearly to him and point to things so he would have a larger vocabulary, and it worked really well with him. He never got so frustrated with just pointing and crying, like you said. However, my baby is a more quiet type and has lots of patience 🙂 (not too common). I can see how I could use the help on this article for my second baby. He is very different. He can get really frustrated, and he is not even 6 months old.

    Thanks for sharing great points in how to add sign language to the development of babies.

    Oscar

    • Hi Oscar, Thanks for checking in with me and happy new year! I’m really happy you saw value in my article. This is a serious subject that hopefully, through my information, will give readers more insight into this disease. This is a world-wide growing issue affecting millions of families around the globe.

      Oscar, it’s great to hear you had great communication with your older son. It seems it worked well with your use of hand gestures and other things you done. With younger children, crying and frustration usually does set in when they feel a since of struggling to communicate. You were lucky with yours in that category. 

      With your second 6 month old baby, i can provide you with some additional help. Go to the link below for a quick reference guide and DVD. The material is called, “How to communicate with infants before they can speak” I strongly recommend this. Oscar, I’ve helped many other families wanting to learn & teach sign language to their infant. They were impressed! I’m sure you’ll be impressed as well. Let me know how it goes my friend.

      https://tinyurl.com/ybgaszcg

  • Oh, Ronald, thank you so much for this article!! I was looking exactly for something like this! I have a child with a rare genetic syndrome, and he has some autistic-like behaviors (although it’s not autism what he has). So he is now almost 3 years old and still doesn’t speak a word. Not even “mama” or “dada”. So we started now to use the sign language. He shows when he wants more of something, and when he is finished (or doesn’t want anymore), but we need to teach him more signs, because without some basic communication it’s REALLY hard…
    Thank you again for your very informative and useful article!

    • Hi Anna, Thank you for checking in and commenting. I’m so glad you found some helpful value in my site. I try to provide as much helpful and knowledgeable information as I possibly can to my readers. I’m sorry to hear that your son suffers from a rare genetic condition and display autistic behaviors. I also understand you probably have trouble seeking help for this.

      Healthy children can be a hand full at 2 and 3 years of age, so I can imagine what you’re going through. Your decision to start signing with your child was not an option. To expand your ‘signing’ vocabulary is a smart move and I’m here to help you in that area. I recommend this great software that will help you and your child. Here’s the link below:

       http://amzn.to/2BtFy5E

      Here is the product description that I know Anna will fit your needs: This Codie award-winning computer software for kids, ages 3-7, contains 5 original stories and 15 educational games (3 for each story) that foster early developmental skills. Signing (video) and ⁄ or audio are options for accessing stories and instructions. Stories use techniques recommended for young readers (e.g., repeated phrases, patterned language, predictable structure) and teach important features of American Sign Language (ASL) when signed. 

      Linda Bove, the deaf actress on Sesame Street, dressed as Paws the dog, signs the stories, directions, and game instructions. A User’s Guide explains instructional objectives and the educational intent of each activity. http://amzn.to/2BtFy5E

      Anna, let me know how it goes and if this works for you. (I feel it will). At this time Anna, I want to thank you for checking in with me. Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

  • This is such a great and informative article! My kids are older now, but I did teach my oldest child a lot of sign language as a baby, he knew almost 100 signs by the time he started talking! I have a few friends with newborns who mentioned they were interested in baby sign language, I will forward your site onto them!

    • Hi Corrine, thank you for checking in with me. I’m happy you found some value in my site. This is an issue that affects many families. This is why I’m hoping my articles provide better insight into this issue. Your story about your children is an enlightening one. It’s known that a young child’s mind, starting at the age of 3 months, is strong and at a developmental age, able to absorb, digest and maintain important information.

      That’s why as you said, those 100 signs were held in your child’s memory bank. Your teachings paid off in a big way. I’ve always said when a young person learn sign, they’ll be better able to communicate with other youngsters in the non-hearing community.

      As far as your friends go, I would really be so thankful if you’d pass my informational site along. (I do offer some great cd’s that teach babies sign language). Also. you can share this info on your Facebook, twitter, or google+ page. I’d appreciate that!

      Thanks again Corrine, for your comment and let me know if you have anymore questions or concerns.

  • oh this is really interesting!

    It is so helpful when baby can actually communicate their needs, it helps sooo much and take the guesswork and frustration away.

    My main issue I found was learning the signs and I kept forgetting them. Are there like signing cards to place around the house to remind me how to sign?

    • Hi SJ. thank you for stopping by and voicing your comment on this touchy subject. Hearing loss of an infant is something no parent should have to deal with, yet it affects many.

      Studies have shown that about 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears. More than 90 percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents. Approximately 15% of American adults (37.5 million) aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing.

      Babies are much smarter than we think. Those little amazing minds can absorb and comprehend more than we could ever imagine. As parents wanting to teach are children by communicating using sign, it makes our jobs much easier as a teacher. As you stated, it takes away any issues of guesswork that may arise and frustration that may persist.

      SJ, You mentioned about flash cards you can put up around the house. What I highly recommend are flash cards on a disc you can use. Working from a disc would be better, then to have loose paper-like cards hanging every where that could possibly get damaged or lost. Go to this link and check it out: https://tinyurl.com/ydgtewjc

      I like to thank you again SJ, for stopping by. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

  • Hi,

    I read your post with great interest, and these 2 statements, in particular, stood out for me: “Toddlers who sign experience less frustration. When a child has a way to express her needs and wants, there is less opportunity for frustration to set in.” I have a child with special needs and from my own experiences in raising my daughter, I know how much signing helped where words couldn’t, due to my daughter’s delayed speech and inability to properly convey her thoughts. We lived in the UK for many years, and over there a simpler version of signing is used for babies and toddlers as well as for special needs kids, and that’s Makaton. Learning Makaton as a family really helped us on being on the same wave length as my daughter, and also encouraged her to learn more signs till she knew more than the rest of her family members did.

    Now, we live in the US, and my daughter is forgetting her ‘Makaton words’, sadly. Signing doesn’t seem to be in the forefront of communication for special needs children, at least not here in our school district, which I think is a shame.
    I wonder if I should look into this as a medium of communication for my daughter that we, as a family, can all get into at home for her benefit? That’s something to think about.

    Anyway, thank you so much for your post.

    Judi

    • Hi Judi how are you? Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I’m so glad you found some value in my post. I try to provide quality information that will help many others and help them seek answers to their questions. I feel that line you pointed out from the post, do hold a lot of truth.

      With loving parents, disabled children will show more openness towards them and experience, in what they feel, as a better close and relaxed environment. All special needs children need that family bond for proper social growth. I’m sure you saw the changes within your daughter in regards to her growth and development.

      With Makaton, children and adults can communicate straight away using signs and symbols. Many people then drop the signs or symbols naturally at their own pace, as they develop speech. Also Judi, when you mention the UK, there is a difference in the type of sign language used,such as BSL This is very similar to ASL, with slight variations.

      Perhaps the most obvious difference is that ASL uses a One- handed fingerspelling alphabet while BSL uses a two-handed alphabet. … The BSL sign is similar, except that the index and middle fingers (held together) make the movement. However, in BSL, the sign for “Hearing person” is the same sign for “Deaf” in ASL  

      The response I’d like to give regarding your question, is that perhaps over time, your daughter developed better communication skills without the use of ‘Makaton’. Because of this, the family should benefit by capitalizing on better communication skills and bond as a tight-knit family. Congrats on your daughter’s improvement.

      Thanks again Judi for checking in. Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. 

    • Hi Ronald,

      thanks for responding to my comment. Yes, I know that BSL and ASL have some signing variations.

      You made a really good point – “your daughter developed better communication skills without the use of ‘Makaton’ “. Yes, that’s true. She is speaking much, much more, which is something we always hoped and wished she would be able to do as she grows up, so yes, that’s something to be really thankful for. She’s 7 years old and is able to speak in sentences, and get some of her needs across to us, which really does help to minimise the build up of frustrations.
      Thanks for your comment 😉 It made me consider being thankful for the communication progress that my daughter has made and continues to make, rather than complaining about what was before, Makaton, which was really a medium to help with her communication difficulties.

      Judi

      • Hi Judith, nice to hear from you again. I’m happy that my post shed some light on your issue and it’s good that your little daughter has made great progress. (She’s the same age as my grandson, He’s also seven) When I pick him up from school in the afternoon, I look at his school and wonder why they don’t offer a special needs program dealing with hearing impaired children.

        I personally think it’ll be a great thing. But all schools are different though. Many schools don’t offer this and in some states they do. Again Judith, I wish you and your family well and continued growth and improvement with your daughter. I really agree with you when you touched on ‘not to worry and complain about what happen in the past, but think in the now and what’s to become in the future.’ Also Keep in mind Judith, that if you want to brush up or learn signing skills for babies & toddlers, I offer some fantastic cd’s. Let me know I’ll send you the link.

        So take care for now my friend. Keep in touch! Contact me anytime.

  • Reading this brings a smile to my face as I remember using certain sign language with my son when he was a baby. Signing ‘milk’ or ‘all gone’ or ‘more’ was a regular thing and watching him respond was so positive.
    Are the signs mentioned here also the same for British Sign Language too?

    • Hi Teresa. How are you? Thank you for checking in and commenting. I’m very glad my site gave you a ‘feel good’ moment by bringing back memories with you and your son. I always recommend that parents with young children should take up this additional knowledge of learning sign language.

      You didn’t mention if your son had a hearing disability or were you just studying the practice of using sign language on your child? Either way, it’s a great skill to obtain and store in your arsenal. And with your son responding, back then in a positive way, it shows you were doing something right. Good job.  

      In reference to your question regarding BSL, although there are some signs which appear similar to the other’s, the lexicon is largely quite different in each language. Under ordinary circumstances, these two languages are mutually incomprehensible to the other. … However, in BSL, the sign for “Hearing person” is the same sign for “Deaf” in ASL.

      Using British Sign Language (BSL) means you very often need to spell out words using signs for individual letters.

      Thanks again Teresa, for checking in. Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

  • I have to say I have never thought about the need to teach sign language to a baby with hearing loss, and yet of course it makes perfect sense. I agree that it would definitely reduce the frustration level for both the child and the parent.

    I think the sign more meals would be the one most often used by me. 🙂

    When would this be best to start?

    • Hi Vic. Thank you for checking in with me and commenting. Glad you enjoyed and saw some value in it. It’s always a surprise to many of my readers as to how you can teach simple sign language to toddlers. As the child grows, not only will the communication bond between child and parent be better, but his or her involvement among the deaf community will be more satisfying and rewarding.

      To answer your question, you can start teaching signs to your baby when you think she’s ready – even if she can’t sign back yet. The younger you start signing, the earlier your baby will start signing back.

      Some babies can learn simple signs as young as 6 months. But your baby may not have the hand control to be able to sign back to you until she’s 8 or 9 months old. But when you start very young, you need to be more patient. With a newborn, for example, it may take six months before that child signs back, while a six-month-old may only take two months to sign back.

      Vic, I hope I provided some better insight for you and answered your question. Please let me know if I can do anything else for you.

  • Wonderful post! I think sign language can also help children without hearing disorders before they can speak. If I would have known any sign language when my kids were babies, I would definetly have tried it. So practical! What a feeling it must be for both the parents and the baby when they connect and understand each other.
    Marika

    • Hi Miqa, thanks for dropping in and commenting. And also, I want to thank you for the compliment regarding my article. I feel there’s not enough good information out on this issue and it would be very helpful to inform parents on what ‘could be.’ 

      No family wants to deal with an issue like partial hearing loss or complete deafness. Thousands of children each year, around the globe, are born into this world with a hearing disorder. Studies have shown, many were born to ‘hearing’ parents. (They probably acquired this disability through someone down the line in the family tree).

      Yes, I agree that ‘signing knowledge’ would be helpful to ‘hearing children’. I mentioned this before in one of my other post. As children age and meet other children in society, it’s possible those ‘other children’ may come from a deaf community, and therefore; can only communicate through signing.  

      There’s a great deal of satisfaction parents and children experience, when they know they’ll be a good level of communication among them and their peers.

      I want to thank you again Miqa for stopping by. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

  • It’s a great post about Sign language. I’ve learn lots of new things about how teach babies different sign language and how to deal with deaf babies. Sometimes, I feel awkward to communicate with a deaf child. Your post really gave me lots of knowledge regarding sign language.
    Thank you for such informative, knowledge oriented article.

    • Hi Himbru. Thank you for checking in and commenting. I’m glad you found some value in my article and increasing your knowledge on hearing loss among infants. I always said before, that parents even of hearing children, should learn sign because you never know when this special skill would come in handy.

      As the infant grows and develop in life, It has been known that many non-hearing children have been placed in classrooms taught with hearing children. I find this is an excellent way for students to mingle together, communicate and learn sign. 

      Himbru, you mentioned about feeling awkward when it comes to communicating with a deaf child. How often do you communicate with deaf children? If you’d like to learn sign or brush up on your signing skills, I offer some incredible items geared toward hearing impaired children. Just go back to my ‘review pages.’

      Thanks again my friend for stopping by. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

  • Hi Ronald,

    I’ve found your article extremely helpful!
    A good friend of mine has a baby boy that was born deaf. Today he is one an half year old, and she finds it quite difficult to communicate with him. Once a week she meets with other moms that are in the same situation, and it helps. However, I will show her your article. I am sure she will love it!
    Thank you very much for this excellent post!

    • Hello Daniella and thank you for your comment. I’m glad you found enough value in my article that you will share with others. Daniella, research has shown that approximately 3 million children in the U.S. have a hearing loss; 1.3 million of them are under the age of three.

      Hearing loss affects 48 million people in the United States. Hearing loss can occur at birth or can develop at any age. Daniella, there have been many advances in all aspects of hearing health care so that from the youngest infant to the eldest senior citizen, there are new and exciting options available to help.

      I also carry many products and other helpful items posted on my site, geared to help and assist parents of hearing impaired children. Please share this link with your good friend: Treatment options vary depending on the degree or type of hearing loss, age of onset and individual lifestyle needs. If you suspect that you or a family member has a hearing loss, the best place to start is with a hearing evaluation by a licensed audiologist.

      It’s good that your friend has a support group of other moms, where as they help each other through these rough times. That will surely help emotionally.

      Thanks again Daniella for dropping by. Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

  • This is awesome! One of my friends is a psychologist and she taught her baby sign language and was talking about all of the benefits of it. It was amazing to see the bond between her and her daughter and how well they communicated even before she could talk. I really like the fact that you have pictures so that we can see what everything looks like.
    It seems like signing practice is something that you incorporate with your daily activities. About how long should you spend practicing and how much is too much??

    • Thank you for stopping by, my friend and commenting. I appreciate that you thought my site was awesome. I try to put my all-in-all into my articles with the best and most current updated information. That’s a smart move on your friends part to teach her baby sign language.

      She’s right about the benefits to the child. You didn’t mention if her child had any hearing disorders, but it’s still ok to teach a hearing child sign. One of the most important benefits, beside the mother and child bonding, is that her child will be able to communicate with others in the deaf community. 

      In addition, when the child attend a school offering special programs for the hearing impaired, he or she will easily be able to communicated with the deaf students. That’s the beauty of it all. As far as a time limit on teaching and learning sign. it all depends on how much time a person want to put in.

      It also depend on the learning and comprehension factor of the child. Some toddlers learn and catch on faster than others. The practicing time will vary per child. I think starting with just an hour each day, then slowly increasing the time each day should be fine! You’ll start seeing a difference.

      Again, thank you for checking in Asmithxu . Let me know if I can assist you with anything else.

  • Oh my goodness, I really love this article and your website! My daughter is 2 months old and she’s not hearing impaired, but in a couple of months, I’d really like to start teaching her sign language. I really found your article to be very helpful and informative. Also, it makes the process seem very doable and even easy. I’m really excited to start teaching my daughter sign language and I’ll definitely be re-visiting your website when that time comes! Thank you!

    • Hi my friend Allison. Thank you for dropping by. I’m glad you enjoyed my site and found some value in it. I must also add that this particular website was selected a few weeks ago by Jay, who host the live video training each week. He selected this site above many other submissions and presented it on the ‘Hot Seat’ webinar. (I thought that was pretty cool).  

      Allison, In regards to hearing impaired children, Infants and toddlers can absorb and comprehend sign language much easier than you’d think. I also think it’s great that you want to start learning the skills of sign language, so that you can start working with your young daughter. That’s a smart move on your part.

      Allison, if you’d like a head start now with learning and training regarding sign language, I’d like to recommend some remarkable cd’s designed for young children. These cd’s has helped other parents in the past, teaching sign to their kids. Allison I’m sure it’ll help you too. Here’s the link. Check it out: 

      Allison, I want to tank you for commenting and wanting to re-visit me. You’re welcome any time. Also, let me know if I can help you with anything else.

  • OMG this is an incredible site. I guess people with good hearing don’t realize what its like not to hear.

    At least for a baby its all they know so it is just a different form of learning to talk at a young age.

    Honestly I think it is harder for adults.

    I know my grandson has been learning sign language in school so I am going to show him your site and see how much he remembers.

    • Hi Dale. Thanks for dropping by and reading my site. I’m glad you found some value in my site. I try very hard to supply my readers with the most updated and comprehensive information I could provide. As you mentioned, the hearing public don’t know how good they have it.

      As I’ve said many times before, babies are smarter than we think. Of course, some toddlers may absorb information more quickly than others. Dale, I’m not sure how much signing experience you personally have, but here is a great tool. It’s called Ready! Set! Sign! Dale, this is a comprehensive, 24-lesson program that teaches American Sign Language.

      It provides approximately 13 hours of video instruction and teaches over 1,200 signs equating to more than 3,000 English words. Signing at an early age, in my professional opinion, is a great communication tool. Dale, this is something you can work on with your grandson after school. to help further along his communicative signing education. Here’s the link, Dale. Check it out: 

      Again, I want to thank you Dale for stopping by. Let me know if I can do anything else for you.

  • I love the idea of sign language for babies! I think it would be a great idea for ALL little ones! I have a 3 month old grandson and I think I’ll start working on sign language with him! Children are eager to learn and what a great way to start. Thanks for your very informative and useful article.

    • Hello Walker2. How are you? Thank you for checking in and commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed and see value in my site. Learning sign language to communicate with babies is a skill all parents should carry in their arsenal. This type of communication in language can be used on hearing and non-hearing babies.

      As a parent, you’d never know when this additional knowledge may come in handy. Babies and toddlers are smarter than we think! When this technique is applied to hearing and non-hearing children, you’d be amazed at how quickly they adsorb this information. (Those little minds are clicking on all cylinders).

      It’s great Walker2, that you’ve decided to start working with your little grandson in regards to learning sign. I don’t know how much signing you already know, but I can definitely help get you going. I offer some excellent cd’s and training which focus on educating you in teaching sign to toddlers in a step-by-step format. Here’s the link:

       Others has used these cd’s with great success. They will get you started and headed in the right direction. As you stated, children are eager to learn.

      Again, I want to thank you Walker2 for dropping by. Please let me know If you have any other questions or concerns. 

  • Hi Ronald,
    Great article about how to teach baby signs. I will be trying it out with my 14-month-old granddaughter. She has been communicating with hand signs but not the correct ones because we don’t know them ourselves.
    For example, she has grown from making a grasping sign with her fingers when she wanted something to now pointing with her finger.
    It is amazing to see her grow and learn new ways of communicating what she wants. Hand signing will certainly advance her skills now and even after she learns to speak.
    Keep up the good work.
    Thanks,
    Ed

    • Hi Ed and thank you for checking in with me. I’m happy you found some value in my site. More information is needed in regards to informing the public on this devastating handicap. Hats off to you Ed on the decision to teach and communicate to your 14 month old granddaughter sign language.

      Ed, I’d like to recommend some excellent cd’s called;These cd’s will guide you along, every step of the way, in regards to learning easy sign, understanding and communication. Ed, you’ll love these cd’s! After implementing this knowledge, you’ll be able to work with your granddaughter and have more confidence in your ability to teach.

      I agree with you when you stated how amazing it would be to see a child’s growth and them develop new ways of communicating.Thanks again Ed for checking in. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

  • Hey Ronald!

    This is a very practical idea for children with hearing loss to get so frustrated and learn things at the same time at their very early age.

    I think this can have a very positive effect in the interaction of these poor little things with their close environment.

    Very nice article, so helpful and thorough.

    Thank you for sharing it.

    • Hi Israel and thank you for stopping by. You know Israel, babies are smarter than we think. With those little minds, they can absorb so much more than folks would imagine. So parents teaching sign to their child should turn out being an easy task.

      I guess you can say the little toddlers can multi-task. Just being a normal acting child like any other child, now having the duties of learning sign, will help the child better communicate within the deaf community. But you always must remember, that some children adsorb more information and a quicker rate than others.

      I also recommend parents teaching sign to their toddlers at an early age. Learning this information themselves, parents can now venture out among other deaf adults and be better able to handle themselves in a proper way, understanding what sign to use to communicate the correct letters and words.

      Thanks again Israel for dropping by. Let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns.    

  • Very informative post and awesome overall. I find the video above very useful and understanding before I start to read your article at first. Thumbs up.

    Overall I lam able to learn basic of sign language and perhaps would able to use them communicate with hearing disable in the near future.

    Good work and keep it up.

    • Thank you very much Maxx. I’m glad you found some value in my site. Hearing disability affects millions of folks, children and adults, world-wide. Some are born this way or later in life, looses their hearing all together.

      The video does touch on just what it feels like when someone in school, or any other public place that’s usually over taken by the hearing, have a difficult time functioning day-to-day. Hearing individuals learning to sign is always a ‘good thing’ and this additional knowledge never hurts no one.

      I also glad you were able to pickup on a few signs. There are plenty of resources and other material on learning and communicating with deaf children that you can pickup from my site. Check my widget on the page.

      Thank you Maxx for stopping by. Let me know if I can do anything else for you.

  • This is a great page to get started with signing! I am fascinated by how signing can be used to communicate with not only hearing impaired, but also those children and people who aren’t able to vocalize very well – babies and handicapped. The ability to communicate is so important to us humans! Do you have any tips for how many words to do at a time? Or how long to wait before introducing new words?

    • Thank you Kristi for checking in. Sorry for the delay in responding back. It’s a wonderful thing when parents can learn these special skills to communicate with their child and other parents and children suffering with this incurable illness. Some people just want to always have this knowledge stored in their arsenal. (you never know when it will come in handy).

      As far as your question go regarding the word count, as a parent working with a deaf child, you Incorporate signing in your daily routines, make this repetitious. Every child is different and comprehend information more quickly than others.

      Their is really no wait time before inserting new words. By age three, typically developing children have achieved extensive vocabulary and syntax skills that facilitate both cognitive and social development. The deaf babies, who presumably watch their parents use sign language at home, start their manual babbles before they are 10 months old, the same age hearing children begin stringing together sounds into word like units.

      If you’d like to get a very good informative cd regarding communicating with a deaf baby, then go here (only one left in stock:

      Thanks again Kristi for checking in. Let me know if I can assist you with anything else.

  • Hello there

    I do not have any children but I am one who does have hearing problems. I am deaf in my right ear and have recently been hit with a case of tinnitus. This makes my communication hard. I had to resort to using a hearing aid.

    As I read your article about the different sign that one should use when communicating with a child that is hard of hearing, I was really intrigued. I wanted to learn more myself. I think to myself that if one day my hearing goes away completely, I need a back up.

    You are doing an amazing service through your website, I have bookmarked it and will be following your work.

    Thanks

    Roopesh

    • Hi Roopesh, how are you and thanks for checking in. I’m glad you found some value in my post. It makes me feel exceptionally great that I can help others through my writings. Regardless of age, hearing loss can affect us all. Sad to hear that you’re suffering from hearing loss in your right ear and tinnitus in the other, brings a great deal of concern.

      In regards to the tinnitus, the constant whistling, spinning feeling and humming from the tinnitus is enough of a problem to deal with within itself. Good news is that relief for your tinnitus is just a click away. Roopesh, Go here:

      You mentioned that you would like to learn more about how to use sign, which I feel is an excellent idea. Like you said a ‘backup’ may be needed in case you go totally deaf all the way. Roopesh, If you go back to my site, along the right side in my widget, you’ll find some helpful guide books and a series of courses that you may find helpful.

      Again, I’d like to thank you Roopesh for checking in. Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

  • Thank you for sharing such valuable information. Parents that have children that are hearing disabled need more resources like this to help them put their best foot forward. I especially liked your video clip. I have a nephew who has a cochlear implant now, but I know that my sister lamented over how to to best care for him.
    Take Care,
    Heather

    • Thank you Heather for checking in and commenting. I’m glad you found some value in my site. Hearing loss among children could be devastating for any family to bare. It’s also difficult to deal with a parent or both parents suffering from hearing loss. This is an issue affecting many around the world. I agree that the more resources parents have at their disposal, the better off they’ll be.

      About 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears. More than 90 percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents. Heather, with statistics like these, that’s growing each day, I feel there’s still more research and development to be done.

      It’s good to hear that your nephew received the care and treatment needed. Please share my site with your sister. Hopefully, it will provide additional info for her to use in the future.

      Again, thank you Heather for stopping by. Please let me know if I can help you with anything else.

  • It is amazing to think that with a little patience you can teach your baby sign language. I am sure this will be so helpful in being able to communicate better with your little one.

    I think everyone should learn the basics of sign language that you have shown here. Then we can communicate with both the deaf and normal babies.

    • Hi Michel. I’m glad you found some value in my article. And yes, I agree with you regarding learning sign language early. Even before a woman give birth to her son or daughter, learning early sign will surely help at more communicative levels towards both non-hearing and hearing. But every thing takes time. It also depends on how quickly a child can grab hold of this new found language.

      All little kids are different. It seems so many of our children today, are diagnosed with hearing issues and other infectious ear diseases. Only an ear specialist can determine its extent.

      Thanks again Michel for checking in. Let me know if I can assist with anything eles.

  • This is very informative and to be honest with you I never knew they could learn sign language at such an early age, its nice to know there is always a way around to communicating with someone, specially for babies.

    I have a cousin who has a hearing impaired baby I’m going to show him this, thanks a lot for the post.

    • Thank you for commenting Bassam. I try to be as clear and detailed as I could regarding this subject. Babies are smart little guys that can absorb so much information. Way more than what we can imagine. It’s easy that once an adult learn sign, they can start teaching this to their young child with confidence knowing they’ll pick it up.

      If you or your cousin need to be educated on teaching infants sign language, here’s a link you can pass along that will give both you & your cousin more education regarding the learning & teaching of sign to babies:

      Thank you again Bassam for checking in. Let me know if I can help you with anything else.

  • Very informative and educational post. For the first time I read about the signs of the baby, or thinking about your post I realized that I instinctively develop sign language with their children when they were babies. We had a water sign, a sign for food and a sign of sleep. Also, no no sign of himself regularly used when something is forbidden. I hope to use more characters when grandchildren come to order.

    • Thank you JelenaBB for checking in and commenting. I’ve said many times before that babies are smarter than we think. Their little minds can absorb so much information that us adults would convey. It’s a good thing that you’re learning sign; and there are so many to learn. With your newfound knowledge regarding these skills, you’re able to better communicate with children, maybe not your own, but as you stated, your grandchildren will benefit.

      Thank you again JelenaBB for commenting. Please late me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

  • Great article. As I have a little granddaughter who loves to talk with her gaga words, but sometimes it’s hard to get her to understand what I am trying to say. But I see what you mean about signing, the more we do it, the better the baby understands.

    Having raised four kids, I wish this had been more available back when they were younger, would of mad life easier on all of us.

    • Thanks for checking in Jagi, Yes, you would think if valuable information was available to folks families back in the day, then they’ll have no problems teaching & learning sign. I’m sure children and adults had issues hearing back then, like they do now. People in earlier years had it worse and dealt with hearing issue’s longer because information and procedures, along with our current technology, wasn’t available to them. Professionals in those days just had to ‘wing it,’ and hope for the best. Sign language wasn’t so available and not enough educators to teach and educate in this field.

      Continue to work with your granddaughter regarding your sign language teachings and what she learned. Let me know how it’s going, my friend. Jagi, let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

  • Very thorough article from start to finish. In a situation where a baby is deaf and throwing a tantrum and probably isn’t looking towards you to pick up on the signs that you’re giving them or they just aren’t giving any signs in that moment, do you wait for them to calm down or do you try to figure out what’s wrong?

    • Thank you Kerron for commenting. Glad you enjoyed my article. Babies are smarter than we think. They can absorb much more information than one realize. To answer your question, you first try to console the child, calming them down to a point, where you’re facing them. Now you’re ready to communicate through sign to find out just what the problem is. They would pick up on the signs quickly, and respond back to you what’s wrong. That’s why I’ve said before that ‘education is Key.’

      If you or someone you know, needs help with communicating to your baby through sign, then this is for you:

  • I really enjoyed your website, very informative. I have in the past had friends who were deaf, and from them I learned to sign, a little. I also learned a lot about you on your Things About Ron page, you are a very talented artist, I really like that painting. Your images throughout the website are great. I would like to point out a small typo in one of your titles, on your page Signs of Going Deaf I’m sure it’s suppose to be Failing to Admit, not Falling. I was an English major, typos jump out at me when reading. You’ve got a great website! Best of luck to you.

    • Thank you Erin for commenting. Right off the bat, I want to thank you for pointing out my typo. (that’s what happens when you type into the wee hours of the morning working with blood-shot eyeballs).lol. Glad you enjoyed my personal page. I love art and have been painting for many years. If you feel my site can help educate others, please pass this along. Also, please share this info through your Facebook site.

  • I really love this information. Wish I knew these things with my own kids way back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, however now that I have grandchildren it will come in handy, they grow so fast.

    Looks like you covered all the basis including potty training are their any other signs we could use for this?

    • Thanks Rich for checking in. Glad you enjoyed the information provided. I heard from others on how they wish they had updated and current info on this issue. They feel being educated early on, would’ve help them understand this hearing problem among children. There are plenty of other signs I didn’t cover on my site, including additional info regarding potty training. But you can gather much more detailed information here: Recommended

      Thank you Rich for commenting. Please share my page on FB & google + Let me know if I can help you with anything else.

  • I absolutely love this. I have 4 children, and I started doing this with my second child. I kind of did it with my first, but that was more instinctive than anything else. Once I started seeing more about this I amped it up.
    Having simple cues for words and actions made things so much easier.

    • Hi Jonelle, Thanks for commenting. I know it gave you a charged up feeling, working with your child and teaching sign. I’ve always said before it would be a good idea for parents to educate themselves learning sign, then teaching it to their children. As kids go through society, the communication between other children with hearing disabilities, will be more understood and easier to coup now that they know sign. Jonelle, If you need more guidance, here’s a great & easy learning tool for you to use with your children:

      Please let me know if you have any more questions or concerns. Thanks

  • This is so helpful to me. I have a deaf family member. That can only be communicated. With through sign language. I just get a little confused when I see certain signs and can’t really describe them or make out what they mean. But this site will be my study guide from now on. It’s clear and easy to follow. I want to thank you.

    • Thank you for dropping by William. I’m happy you were able to get something out of my site. I hope your family member is getting all the treatment he or she needs. You didn’t state any age, but I assume it’s a toddler. I’ve always said that babies are smarter than we think. They can pickup on the signs easily. It’s also important, like you said, for the adults to educate themselves on sign language for better communication.

      So that’s why William, I strongly suggest this for your study guide. There is more to display and shows you step by step how to learn sign. Easy to follow: (also please give me a ‘like’ by clicking my Facebook button.)

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