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20 Baby Sign Language Words to Help Your Child Understand You

Baby sign language is a way to help toddlers communicate by using hand and body gestures before they’re able to speak. You can start with this method soon after your little one is born, but you should keep in mind that they may not sign back until they’re older than 6 months of age.

5-Minute Crafts has created this article with 20 common signs you can use to communicate with your baby.

Important: This article has been created for informational purposes only and does not replace professional advice.

Before you start:

  1. Use simple signs during daily experiences, keeping your attention on 3 different signs or words. Pronounce each word clearly and slowly as you sign.
  2. Practice this method by signing to your toddler often and asking others to use signs too. The more exposed your baby gets to signing, the more likely they’ll start doing it.
  3. Consistently sign when communicating with your baby. After around 2 months of using this technique, your baby might start signing too.

✅ Remember that all toddlers are different, and it may take a while for them to understand and finally sign back. So, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results immediately.

Common signs in baby sign language:

1. Mom

Place your thumb on your chin by keeping your palm open and all of your fingers facing up. Then, move your hand forward.

2. Dad

Place your thumb on your forehead by keeping your palm open and all of your fingers facing up. Then, move your hand forward.

3. Hungry

Rub your belly.

4. Drink

Cup your hand and place it near your mouth.

5. Eat

Join all your fingers together, including your thumb. Then, bring your fingertips toward your mouth.

6. Sleep

Join your palms together and support your head as you tilt it.

7. Milk

Bring one of your hands forward and squeeze your fingers in and out.

8. More

Bring your hands forward and join your fingers together on each hand. Then, repeatedly touch both hands at the fingertips.

9. Please

Place one palm open in front of your torso and move it in circles.

10. All done

Bring both hands forward with your fingers facing up. Then, turn your hands back and forth.

11. Help

Extend one of your hands flat and make a fist with the other hand by keeping your thumb up. Then, place your fisted hand over your flattened hand and move them up together.

12. Thank you

Extend one of your hands and place your fingers on your chin. Then, bring your hand forward as if you were pulling it away from your face.

13. Play

Bring both hands forward and clench your fingers against your palms, leaving your pinkies and thumbs extended. Then, with your palms facing you, turn your wrists back and forth.

14. Hurt

Clench your hands into fists and extend your index fingers. Then, touch both index fingers together at the fingertips.

15. Bath

Clench both hands into fists and bring them in front of your chest. Then, move them up and down.

16. Sorry

Make a fist with one of your hands and place it on your chest. Then, move it in a circle.

17. Book

Join your palms together by leaving your thumbs up. Then, hinge your palms open without separating your pinkies.

18. Share

Extend one of your hands with your thumb pointing upward. Then, place your other hand repeatedly at the top of your extended fingers.

19. Medicine

Place your middle finger onto your opposite palm and twist it.

20. Poop

Make 2 fists and place them on top of each other by tucking the thumb of the bottom fist inside the upper hand. Then, move your bottom hand down while keeping your thumb extended.

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