Wednesday, May 5, 2010

When Will My Baby Sign Back to Me?

I get asked this question a lot. Unfortunately there's no exact date as to when your baby will start signing because there are so many factors that play in. It's fine to start modeling signs the day your baby is born. However, most parents prefer to start signing closer to the time their baby is ready to sign back.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to see if your baby is ready to sign:

  • Is your baby beginning to point to things?
  • Is your baby bringing toys or objects to you and looking for a response?
  • Is your baby beginning to wave "bye-bye"?
  • Is your baby beginning to shake his/her head for "no" or "yes"?
  • Is your baby beginning to take an interest in picture books?
  • Even though your baby knows some words, are there still important things your baby would like to talk about but can't?

Do more than 2 apply to your baby? If so, it's likely that he is ready to sign.

How soon your baby starts signing back to you depends not only on developmental readiness, but also on: How often you demonstrate the signs you want to teach and How interested your baby is in communication.

Being consistent will help your baby learn faster. Sometimes, even when parents are consistent, babies just won't start signing until they are good and ready! Just as with crawling, walking, or teething, every baby has his or her own unique developmental timetable, and it's important to respect that.

Remember that the point of using the Baby Signs® Program is to enhance the fun of communicating with your child, not to add stress to your life. So if your baby isnt' signing back just yet, go with the flow and stick with it. I guarantee that the proud smile on your baby's face after he's made his first sign will be worth the wait.