“He just won’t stop crying! I don’t know what he wants! How do I make it stop?!”
We’ve all been there. We’ve tried everything, and the baby is still crying. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could tell us what they want? Well, they can.
Using baby sign can help give your little one the words they need to communicate. Giving them a way to tell you what they want will help limit their (and your) frustration.
How to start
Start early! Teaching your babies and their parents sign language – adds value to you as a nanny. It not only gives the baby a second language but also helps them look for early signs of communication. Knowing what a sign looks like and showing them what their infant’s variation is will help them be more attentive to their little ones’ efforts to communicate.
Introduce infant signs the same way you started teaching them their first language. Start signing to them while you’re speaking. Like how parents start talking “baby talk” to their infant from birth, you can start signing right away. When you first begin signing, pointing to an object, and signing about it will help.
Use the signs close to their face. Especially when their range of sight is still limited, this will help them start recognizing your handshapes. They will begin to associate objects and concepts to your hand movements. The closer the sign is to the actual movement of the object or action of doing something, the faster your little one will connect the two.
Do I need to take a class for it?
You don’t have to find courses for it.
I offer American Sign Language videos to my subscribers. I release them on Mondays! If you ever have a specific sign question or a word you would like to see in a future video, contact me through our contact form or leave a comment below. You can also send me a direct message through Instagram @ossimply. I’d love to help!
When should I expect to see progress
While starting to sign to your infant from birth is best, you can look for their first signs around seven months. Like any language acquisition, the earliest skill development is reception. This means that while your little one won’t be able to sign a word or phrase to you until they’re about seven months, they will understand you. When you sign to them, you can usually phrase it as a question, and they will respond with a smile or frown.
This was especially true of the little guy that I currently have. When he was fussy during playtime, I would sign “milk” and he would either smile or continue fussing. If milk wasn’t the answer, I would sign “nap,” and he would smile. He wouldn’t sign back, but my signing to him and searching his face for a reaction was good enough. He now signs a ton! We practice colors, foods, shapes, toys, different clothing pieces, and anything else we talk about during the day.
First signs (Sign Language Starter Kit)
You can get a printable poster of the baby’s early signs as a starter kit for the parents. You can find it in our Resource Library April 2020.
Once you’ve signed up for the newsletter you’ll be notified when our First Signs kit is released, and be given a code to access it – and all our resources – over at our Library. If the parents want more hands-on materials, they can order my Sign Flashcards or gain access through your Patreon account to the printable versions.
Is it included in my fee?
With the Nanny Rates Calculator, you add in a fee for teaching your little ones a second language. No matter the language, teaching infants different ways to communicate sets them up for success. You can gain access to my Nanny Rates Calculator by signing up for my newsletter below. You will be emailed a link and password to join our nanny community. If you have any other questions or want to share any tips on teaching little ones a second language, leave them down below in the comment section.
See you next Friday! 🙂