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10 Simple Signs for Babies

November 10th, 2017 | 1 min. read

By Ashleigh Craven

When children are very young, attempts to communicate can be frustrating. Infants can’t verbally express what they want or need. Parents are often left guessing through trial and error. However, research indicates that babies are capable of communicating before they can speak; they want to tell you, but can’t yet talk, so how can caregivers cross this language barrier?

The answer is sign language!

Babies are capable of learning simple signs well before they are able to talk, and infants who learn to sign also have a higher vocabulary by the age of two and higher IQ by the age of eight.  Even better, signing makes it easier for caregivers to communicate with their children. Who wouldn’t want to be able to talk to their baby?

Simple Signing with Young Children and the Sign with your Baby Kit (DVD) is a fantastic resource about sign language. Offering tips and summarizing the latest research, Carol Gaboden Murray’s book provides everything you need to start teaching your baby to sign, while the signing kit provides live examples.

This is one of Baby’s favorite words. More milk, more playtime, more cuddles! To make this sign, bring your hands together and tap your fingertips repeatedly.


Of course, manners are important too! To make the sign for “please,” place a flat hand on your chest and rub in a circular motion


Thank You
The sign for “thank you” is easy! Start your hand at your lips and move it outward.


To make the sign for milk, open and close your hand repeatedly, as if milking a cow.

If Baby is thirsty, they can sign for water by putting a W (three fingers) to their lips.


All Done
To indicate that being done with food, water, or playtime, start with your palms facing up and then flip them outward.

How can babies sign your name? By keeping their hand open as they press their thumb to their chin and wiggle their fingers!

How can babies sign your name? By keeping their hand open as they press their thumb to their forehead and wiggle their fingers!

Love of reading starts early! To sign book, open and close your hands in front of you as if opening a books.


I Love You
The best sign of all! To make this sign, bend your middle and ring finger so that only your index and pinkie stick up. Have your thumb stretched out as if making an “L.”

Author(s)Carol Garboden Murray

Ashleigh Craven

Ashleigh Craven has a decade and a half of diverse category experience from agency communications to athletic apparel to automotive to education, developing and executing communication strategies in both traditional and social media. She has supported national product launches and corporate events for the likes of Soffe, Buick, Chevrolet, Wake Forest University , Kaplan, and others. She has an BA from the University of Michigan in English and Communication Studies and an MA from Wake Forest University, where she focused her studies on argumentation and presidential rhetoric and speechwriting. She served as director of marketing for Gryphon House from 2017- 2020.