Most babies will sign back after about 2-4 weeks after being introduced signs at about 10-11 months of age. However, the exception remains where a baby will take up to 6 months or even longer before making their first sign. This can be very frustrating for signing parents and naturally they start to worry that something is wrong with their baby because they don’t fit neatly into the mould of the children before them.
To these parents, it’s important to stay the course. The longer your baby takes to sign back necessitates that you remain diligent and persistent. Your baby is giving you a clue about their learning needs, so if you give up on them now, you will be doing them a great disservice. I should also mention that just because your baby isn’t signing back, does not mean that they aren’t benefiting from the signing that you are doing. Many parents find that signing, like talking, can require an unseen “switch” to flick. Once that happens, baby rapidly signs or talks and catches up quickly to their peers. In fact, there are times when an early start does not always predict future success as can be confirmed by many successful adults today.
What is important though, is that you remain constructive and encouraging without scolding and without grilling or pressuring. Just take the time each day to do your routine based signs, paying particular attention to other signs you might add for things your baby really finds interesting and sit back ready to catch your baby’s first sign. While you think it might take an eternity, you’ll look back on this early experience and realize just how quickly everything went. Always enjoy the moment instead of rushing your baby to grow up. One day your little guy is going to be off to school, getting a job, buying a house and having his own family, so be in the here and now, and enjoy each moment as it comes.