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

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

Mommy

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.

RELATEDTeaching Baby Sign Language: A Guide for New Parents

Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito

Daddy

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.

Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito

Again

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.

Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito

Eat

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.

RELATEDYour Baby's Development Week-By-Week

Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito

More

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.

Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito

Sleep

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.

Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito

Cold

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.)

RELATED10 Ways to Boost Baby's Language Development

Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito

Milk

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.

Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito

Bath

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.

Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito

Bye-Bye

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

Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito

Cat

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.

RELATEDBaby Sign Language Made Easy: 50 Words With Animations

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

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