Baby Signs®, the ORIGINAL sign language program for hearing babies, has been bringing powerful, research-proven benefits to babies and their families around the world for over 25 years!



I offer a wide variety of classes for parents and educators including workshops, mommy and baby play classes, and trainings. Read about my newest class Rumble, Tumble Tummy Time for infants and see how this class can help your baby during her early stages of development. Check out my class schedule page for current dates and times for all my classes



Over two decades of scientific research on the use of sign language with hearing babies, has shown that sign language helps babies learn to talk sooner, jumpstarts their intellectual development, reduces frustration, biting and other aggressive behaviors. .


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Potty Train Before age 2

By helping babies learn simple potty-time signs, the Baby Signs® Potty Training Program makes it easy for parents to both begin and end the whole enterprise before age 2.


About Baby Signs

The World's Leading Sign Language Program for Hearing Babies

Baby Signs®, the ORIGINAL sign language program for hearing babies, has been bringing powerful, research-proven benefits to babies and their families around the world for over 25 years. The Baby Signs® Program is the world's leading program for hearing infants and toddlers because it is the only baby sign language program that:
  • was developed by child development experts specifically for hearing babies.
  • has been scientifically tested and proven to provide positive benefits for babies and their families.
  • is based on American Sign Language with added flexibility to meet the needs of all families.
  • offers a full range of signing classes and products for babies, parents and child development centers.
How Two Moms Started a Baby Sign Language Revolution

It started on a summer day in 1982 when Linda and her twelve-month-old daughter, Kate, were out in the garden. Enchanted by the colorful blooms all around her, Kate pointed to a rose bush, wrinkled up her nose, and sniffed repeatedly. Life with children often slows parents down long enough to "smell the roses," and Linda had often picked them for Kate to smell, all the while saying things like "See the flower, Kate! See the pretty flower!" Clearly, Kate remembered the connection between the sniffing action and the object, and she trusted that the adults around her would, too. For the rest of the day Kate continued wrinkling her nose and sniffing-her sign-for all kinds of flowers, in the house, on her clothes, and in pictures in her books. Kate continued to borrow or create signs for other things she wanted to talk about, like fish, elephants, monkeys, swings, slides, and balls. It wasn't until two weeks later that we realized the significance of what Kate was doing.

Out of Our Living Room, into Our Laboratory

As child development researchers, the whole experience left us eager to see if other infants were using signs, too. To find the answer, we began systematically interviewing parents to find out if their babies spontaneously created signs, as Kate had done. Within days of starting our interviews, the answer was clear. Not only did many parents give us examples of signs their babies were using, but the babies themselves would occasionally interrupt our visit to "talk" to Mom, including a sign or two in the process.

We learned a great deal from these families, and the more we learned, the more convinced we became that, in their eagerness to communicate, babies creating signs is not an unusual occurrence in day-to-day family life. Many babies spontaneously seem to develop at least a few signs beyond the universal bye-bye, yes, and no, usually sometime between nine and twenty-four months. We also noticed that some babies take to the idea with particular enthusiasm, creating an impressive variety of signs for favorite objects and important needs. Invariably, these babies had families who shared their enthusiasm and encouraged the signing. Moreover, it tended to be the case that the more signs an infant used, the faster that child learned to talk. This was our best clue yet about the effect of the Baby Signs® Program on spoken language development. Signing seemed, if anything, to speed up the process.

It was at this point that we knew we needed to figure out a way to help babies along. Thus, we began encouraging parents to purposefully teach their babies a few more signs to help them communicate their basic needs, feelings and interests-anything their babies wanted or needed to "talk" about-until they could talk well enough to communicate with words. And thus, the Baby Signs® Program was born!

The Original Baby Signs® Program

The Baby Signs® Program began with baby-created signs-simple movements and gestures that babies themselves took from their routine experiences with the people and things around them. Drawing from songs, games or playful interactions with toys and other objects, babies were finding ways to "talk" before they could talk. For example, several babies we observed twisted their index fingertips together to label spiders-real spiders, pictures of spiders and even plastic toy spiders. What these babies had in common, we discovered, was the experience of learning the Eency Weency Spider song, along with the hand gestures that accompany key words, like "spider," "rain" and "sun." Other babies, we found, stuck their tongues our and "panted" to call their parents' attention to dogs-clearly an imitation of what they saw real dogs doing. Creations such as these not only provided indisputable evidence of how smart babies are, they also showed just how strongly motivated babies are to communicate with the people around them.

In these early years, before using sign language with hearing babies was a well-accepted practice, some parents were reluctant to try signing because, as they told us, their babies were not Deaf. Their babies could hear just fine. At that time, prior to our efforts to get parents to use signs with their hearing babies, signing was seen only as a means of communication for the Deaf. On the other hand, parents were eager to try using signs that our research had shown came naturally for babies. So we provided parents with 50 "sign suggestions,"-simple signs that we had seen babies in our research studies create. We also encouraged parents to watch for their own baby's creations and to create signs themselves when the need arose. This first approach to helping parents get started with our Baby Signsᆴ Program became the heart of the first edition of this Baby Signs book. Published in 1996, it launched the extraordinary baby sign language movement that has revolutionized the way today's parents communicate with their babies before their babies can talk.

Sign Language with Hearing Babies - A Worldwide Movement

Little did we know in 1982, when this all began, that 25 years later the Baby Signs® Program would become a worldwide movement. Baby Signs® workshops, classes and trainings are now offered in over 40 countries and Baby Signs® books and products have been translated into almost 20 different foreign languages. Throughout this amazing growth, our mission has always remained the same-to bring the benefits of the Baby Signs® Program to as many families as possible.


Over two decades of research by Drs. Acredolo and Goodwyn, much of it funded by the National Institutes of Health, has shown that using the Baby Signs Program provides many benefits for children and their parents. Using the Baby Signs Program . . .
  • Reduces tears, tantrums and frustration
  • Makes learning to talk easier
  • Boosts self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Stimulates intellectual development
  • Strengthens the parent-child bond
Using the Baby Signs Program reduces tears, tantrums and frustration.

By the time babies are 9 to 10 months old, they are quite capable of knowing what it is they need or want. What they don't know is how to tell us with words-which leads directly to frustration for baby and parent alike. All this changes when a baby is able to use signs. With signs like "eat," "drink," "hot" and "cold," literally at their fingertips, babies can make their needs known quickly and quietly without becoming frustrated and resorting to tantrums and tears. No wonder the answer we most frequently get from parents when we ask how using the Baby Signs Program has changed daily life is decreased frustration!
Using the Baby Signs Program makes learning to talk easier.

Some parents may worry that encouraging their child to use sign language might slow down learning to talk. Actually, the opposite is true! Drs. Acredolo and Goodwyn's federally funded research showed that using the Baby Signs Program actually helps babies learn to talk. They found that 2-year-olds who had used baby sign language had significantly larger verbal vocabularies than their non-signing peers. And by the time they were three years old, the language skills of the babies who had used baby sign language were more like that of 4 years old. Babies gain a lot of language knowledge when they are able to actively engage in communication with signs-knowledge that lays a good foundation for learning to talk. And, just as a child who learns to crawl is more, rather than less, motivated to learn to walk, so also a child who learns to sign is more, rather than less, motivated to learn to talk!
Using the Baby Signs Program boosts self-esteem and self-confidence.

What good self-esteem boils down to for any of us is the sense that we are perceived as both competent and valued in our own eyes and in the eyes of others. And that's just what the baby sign language gives to babies. Because they can communicate effectively with their caregivers, and because their caregivers respond so positively to these communications, Baby Signs babies develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments that lays a solid foundation for the development of their self-esteem and self-confidence.

Using the Baby Signs Program stimulates intellectual development.

Children who had participated in Drs. Acredolo and Goodwyn's study were revisited again when they were 8 years old. Each child was assessed using the WISC-III, a typical IQ test for children. The results were very impressive. After controlling for family income, parents' education and a number of other factors know to influence IQ, children who had signed as babies had significantly higher IQs (an average of 114) than the children who had not signed (an average of 102). That's a full 12 points higher!

Using the Baby Signs Program strengthens the parent-child bond.

Because babies using baby sign language are able to communicate effectively with their caregivers, the number of positive interactions goes up and the number of negative interactions goes down. In other words, when a baby and parent can truly understand each other and share what's on their minds, they feel more connected to one another.With signs, even very young children can "tell" their caregivers they would like some milk, they saw an airplane or they heard a dog barking. They can let their caregivers know whether they are happy, sad or even afraid. Life with a Baby Signs baby becomes a shared life and with greater sharing comes a stronger, sweeter parent-child bond.

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