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Entries in Baby sign language (3)


Three FREE baby sign language resources

Going to a baby sign language course is a really enjoyable activity to do with your new baby. It gets you out of the house and you meet other mums. But you don't need to go to a course to learn baby sign language.

Here are links to my three favourite free resources to get you started.

  1. Auslan tutor iPhone or iPad app

I’ve found most of the baby signing products use a cute cartoon baby to demonstrate the sign. Sure it’s cute, but the sign isn’t always clear. This app is created by the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, obviously for deaf and blind children. It is not a baby signing product, it’s even better! You get a free dictionary of 150 words with photos and videos to demonstrate. You can purchase 500 words if you are really serious, but I've found about 80-100 words is plenty for pre-verbal babies! Search Auslan Tutor on iTunes to download the app.

  1. Free printable flash cards

These are loads of fun for long car rides when you need a game you can keep playing over and over and over again. Again they use real, easy to recognise photographs instead of abstract cartoons. My daughter loved these cards when she was just starting out. This website also offers a poster which you can stick up at day care or the grandparents house so they can understand your baby. The only problem is the signs are American, not Australian

  1. Youtube videos for inspiration. This is totally achievable!

If you are feeling like baby sign language just isn’t going to work then jump on you tube and search for baby sign language. If a video of a one year olds signing a six word sentence  “I want some milk please mummy” doesn’t motivate you nothing will!


Check out Newborn Mothers Intro to Baby Sign Language workshop here!


3 baby signing stories to inspire you and make you laugh

Airplanes and cars

When my signing daughter was just over one year old we took her to visit family in Melbourne. She absolutely loved watching airplanes fly overhead, but when we saw the airplane on the tarmac she insisted it was a car. I kept explaining it was an airplane but she kept on signing car and looking at me as though I was crazy. Clearly if it was driving on the ground it was a car.

Next came one of the highlights of my career as a mum. As we took off she was looking out of the window and she had the biggest light bulb moment I have ever witnessed. Suddenly it clicked and she kept signing airplane over and over again. I think she didn’t stop signing airplane for at least a fortnight. It made the trip so much more enjoyable.

Teddy bear and sleep

My daughter was always more interested in partying than resting, even at 13 months old. She had a teddy bear from her grandparents that we put in her bed and one night at bed time I asked her what it was. I had just read and signed to her the book “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” and expected her to sign bear. Instead she signed sleep. Her little brain had put the teddy in the sleep category, not the bear category. I found it fascinating to see how she was understanding her world.

Peas and strawberries

OK, I promised you laughter, even though I’m a little embarrassed to share this story. When the little one was 15 months old she was having a bath with her dad. She pointed to his nipples and signed ‘peas’. A few days later I was breastfeeding her when she pulled off my nipple and looked at it very seriously. She announced that my nipple was a strawberry, and even she thought this was funny! To this day we still call male nipples peas and female nipples strawberries!

Check out Newborn Mothers Intro to Baby Sign Language workshop here!


How to communicate with your toddler and stop tantrums

Teach them sign language! It’s so easy. If your baby can wave, dance, do actions to a song or give you a high five they are already doing sign language. Next it’s time to teach them some more useful words, so they can tell you what they want or need instead of whining, crying or screaming.

  1. Choose 5 or 6 words to start with and don’t introduce any more until you’re little one has mastered them. I recommend starting with eat, drink, more, help, milk and something just for fun like dog or car.
  2. Repeat, repeat, repeat. The starter words above are all words you will use many times a day, now just add the sign whenever you say them.
  3. Have fun. Add your signs to songs, rhymes and games. Use flash cards. Read board books in sign language.
  4. Get excited when your baby signs back, even if it doesn’t look much like the sign at all! They’ll get more accurate as fine motor skills improve.

Check out Newborn Mothers Intro to Baby Sign Language workshop here!