Virginia Beach Speech Therapy on Why Your Baby Should Learn To Sign

So excited to welcome Andrea from Virginia Beach Speech Therapy to the blog today. She is an expert on all things signing and with the toddler tantrums starting for me, I reached out to her to get the details on baby signing! Thanks Andrea!

Why should I teach my baby sign language?

  1. Because they can!

Babies are born ready to communicate! As infants, they stare at you and smile when you look at them. Their eyes light up and their legs start kicking- this is one of the earliest forms of communication a baby has. It's like they’re saying, “Hi, Mom! Thanks for looking at me! I’m so excited to see your face!” As they get a little older, they develop gestures. The arms go up for “pick me up!” They can point to things that are new and exciting, they wave “bye-bye” when Mama goes to work. Babies have the capacity to use movements and gestures to communicate long before verbal speech develops. 

  1. Promote Language Development

Reinforce the powerful feeling of playing an active role in your relationship. Each time your baby signs “milk” and you acknowledge it (even if to say, “not now, milk will be later”), you’re giving them a voice.

  1. Reduce frustration 

Toddlers are ready and capable of doing much more than they are able to tell you. You know, the strong-willed tot who will move a stool to reach the tallest cabinet where his favorite snack is, only to kick, scream, and throw himself to the floor when you put the stool back where it was. Tantrums are often the result of a toddler knowing what they want and being frustrated that you just don’t get it! Having sign language allows him to say “Cookie please!...Thank you, Mama!”

But, will teaching my baby sign language make her not want or need to speak?

Nope! But you’re not alone, this is the first question everyone asks. 

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that early sign language use inhibits speech development. In fact, research has consistently shown that teaching sign language facilitates speech and language development, and that children who have learned signs tend to start reading at an earlier age and have higher IQ scores. 

First signs you can teach your baby:

Milk - open and close your fist 

All done- hands turn in and out

More - touch your fingertips together

Andrea is a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist and the owner of Virginia Beach Speech Therapy. She received her Master of Science in Communication Disorders from Emerson College in Boston, MA and has been practicing since 2015. She lives in Virginia Beach with her husband and two little girls, who have developed a love for signing as much as their mama. Virginia Beach Speech Therapy is proud to offer private, individualized speech therapy and baby sign classes in-home and via telehealth. Some insurances are accepted. For more information check out!