Baby Sign Language Basics: 11 Words and Signs to Learn First

Introduce your baby to signing with these simple sign language symbols for common words. Go ahead: Give baby something to talk about!

baby sign language more
Photo: Peter Ardito
01 of 12

Mommy

baby sign language mommy
Peter Ardito

How to sign it: Spread out your fingers on one hand, then touch the thumb of that hand to the side of your chin several times.

RELATED: Teaching Baby Sign Language: A Guide for New Parents

02 of 12

Daddy

baby sign language daddy
Peter Ardito

How to sign it: Spread out your fingers on one hand, then touch the thumb of that hand to the side of your forehead several times.

03 of 12

Again

baby sign language again
Peter Ardito

How to sign it: Open the palm of one hand and curve the fingers of the other. Starting with your hands apart, bring your finger tips across your body and tap open hand, then repeat.

04 of 12

Eat

baby sign language eat
Peter Ardito

How to sign it: Squeeze the tips of your fingers together to form a point, and place that hand in front of pursed lips. Bring your hand away from your mouth, then back to it.

RELATED: Your Baby's Development Week-By-Week

05 of 12

More

baby sign language more
Peter Ardito

How to sign it: Squeeze together the tips of your fingers on each hand to form two points. Touch the tips of each point together, then separate and repeat a few times.

06 of 12

Sleep

baby sign language sleep
Peter Ardito

How to sign it: Place one hand in front of your face, palm facing toward you. Close your hand to a fist and drop in to your chin, closing your eyes. Drag that fist downward, eyes still closed.

07 of 12

Cold

baby sign language cold
Peter Ardito

How to sign it: 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.)

RELATED: 10 Ways to Boost Baby's Language Development

08 of 12

Milk

baby sign language milk
Peter Ardito

How to sign it: Close your fingers into a fist with one hand and hold it in front of your chest like you're holding a bottle.

09 of 12

Bath

baby sign language bath
Peter Ardito

How to sign it: Close your hands and hold them in front of your chest. Move them up and down in alternating directions as if you're scrubbing your body.

10 of 12

Bye-Bye

baby sign language bye
Peter Ardito

How to sign it: With fingers bent, wave your open palm from side to side next to your shoulder.

11 of 12

Cat

baby sign language cat
Peter Ardito

How to sign it: Pinch together your thumb and pointer fingers, splaying out the other fingers on your hand. Drag that hand up and away from your face a few inches, as if you were tracing a cat's whiskers.

RELATED: Baby Sign Language Made Easy: 50 Words With Animations

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Baby Sign Language: Starter Signs

Updated by Dean Schoeppner
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