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I understand my baby's cues so why do I need to use sign language?

Categories: babies, parenting, postpartum

February 27, 2015

GUEST POST by Sheryl White

Occasionally, I come across a parent that will tell me that they don’t need to use sign language with their baby because they are really in tune with and understand what their baby is trying to tell them. Here are a few of the points that I convey to them to help them understand why signing with your baby is useful.



A baby that can use sign language can communicate their needs sometimes without stress and crying. I remember when my daughter Rachel was fifteen months old and we were at our weekly playgroup. She wanted help with a puzzle and she signed “help” to me with a smile. The other moms in the room were amazed at how relaxed she was when she asked for help. I noticed that many of the other babies were getting their needs met but with tears and frustration. Rachel was content knowing she could ask me for help anytime in her day that she was frustrated.



My son Matthew signed “bird” to me one day when he was 11 months old. There was no bird around and I realized that he was signing about what was on his mind. I asked him if he was thinking about a bird and then I started talking about the bird we had seen the day before. He initiated a conversation!



When Matthew was 10 months old he signed “hat” to me one day when we were in the kitchen. There were not any hats around, I wasn’t wearing a hat and neither was he. Then I looked down on the counter and there was a pen with a cap lying next to it. Amazing! He was trying to tell me that a pen wore a hat. I was able to get an idea of what he was thinking about. A window into his mind.


Reduces Frustration

One mom is my class shared a story with me recently. Her nine month old son knew the sign for “milk” and when his mom put him down for a nap the baby was crying. She left for a minute and then came back and peeked in the crib. Her son was signing “milk” so she scooped him up, nursed him and them put him down for a nap peacefully. She told me that she was grateful that her son knew sign language because otherwise she may have let him cry for a bit thinking he was overtired. Perhaps he would have cried for a while because he had a dry throat or was thirsty or just needed a snuggle. He didn’t have to be frustrated and he was understood.



Yes that is true…..but here is what parents say.

  • It is more fun to learn this in a group.
  • Many of the tips that I learned in class I couldn’t find from reading a book or checking on line.
  • I keep signing up for the class because my baby loves coming every week and is full of smiles and wonder.
  • I like how this class is geared toward infants and there are not a lot of classes out there designed for babies.
  • Each week my baby loves learning the signs with exciting toys and props.
  • I have met some great moms and love how positive and supportive the environment is in the class.
  • My baby takes the best nap after all of that learning!


I would love to have you come and share in a fun class sometime.

Find out more about the classes by clicking here.



Sheryl White


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