Baby Sign Language Basics

Baby Sign Language: Basic Routines
Give baby something to talk about with 20 simple sign language words.

Learn when to start signing with your baby, plus find out the benefits of baby sign language.

I Love You

On one hand, lower your middle and ring finger toward your palm, keeping your thumb, pointer, and pinky fingers up.


1. Hold one hand flush against your chest.

2. Brush that hand up and tilt it outward at about 45 degrees from your body.


1. With your head tilted down, place both hands in front of your face with fingers spread apart.

2. Drop your fingers down, in front of your chest.


Crossing your arms in front of your body, grab either bicep. (It's okay to rock back and forth a little as you give yourself a big bear hug!)


1. Squeeze the tips of your fingers together to form a point, and place that hand in front of pursed lips.

2. Move hands to your cheek to plant the kiss.


1. Place one hand palm up in front of you and another hand (palm facing your body) at your chin.

2. Lower the hand at your face to meet the hand in front on you.


With your shoulders slightly raised, clench both hands in front of your body, by your shoulders. (You can shiver a little bit, too, for effect.)


1. Bring the pointer fingers of both hands together, tucking your other fingers into your palm.

2. Pull apart your fingers, them bring back together.


1. Squeeze together the tips of your fingers on each hand to form two points.

2. Touch the tips of each point together, then separate.

3. Repeat Step 2 a few times.

Ready to learn baby sign language? Begin with these eight commonly used words.


1. Arrange your hands so that your palms face your body and the outside edges of your hands touch.

2. Slide your hands apart from one another.


1. Arrange your hands so that your palms face your body and the outside edges of your hands touch are a few inches apart from one another.

2. Slide your hands together.


With your palm on your chest, rub your hand in a circle.


1. Place one hand in front of your face, palm facing toward you.

2. Close your hand to a fist and drop in to your chin, closing your eyes.

3. Drag that fist downward, eyes still closed.


1. Point both pointer fingers outward on each hand, tucking in the rest of the fingers on that hand.

2. One side at a time, bring your pointer finger under your eye and slide it (as if it were a tear) down your cheek. Repeat on the other side.

3. Repeat Step 3 a few times.


1. Hold each hand in front of you so that your pointer and pinky fingers are sticking out, but the rest of your fingers on each hand are tucked into your palm.

2. Rotate each hand at your wrist a few times.

All Done

1. Clench both hands into fists in front of your body, knuckles pointing toward you.

2. Turn hands outward, extending your fingers.


1. Hold one hand, palm up, in front of you.

2. Curl your other hand into a fist with your thumb pointing up. Place it on top of your other palm.

3. Raise the fist a few inches off your palm.


1. Hold one hand, palm up, in front of you.

2. Use your other hand to bisect that palm.


1. Place both pointer fingers (with the rest of your fingers tucked into your hands) in front of you in opposite directions.

2. Roll those fingers over one another.


1. Place your pointer fingers at either side of your mouth.

2. Drag fingers up toward your cheeks, mouth forming a smile.

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What does your baby need? These signs will help your baby express himself.

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