Signing parents need to continue to race ahead of their signing babies to keep them challenged. Your baby is learning more and more everyday, regardless of whether or not you actively teach them anything. Our brains are hardwired to decipher patterns in our environment, so when someone else isn’t coaching us, we’re still figuring stuff out on our own. Baby’s are no different, however, their wiring is being reworked at a far accelerated rate.
In the beginning you don’t need a lot of signs, but as your baby’s sign base grows, you should be consistently aiming to add new signs. You know your baby wants to learn signs when you’ve exhausted the list signs that you are currently working on. That is, your baby can do all the signs you’ve ever showed them. This is the time to look up some new signs and keep them working on adding new ones. At other times, your baby can even request signs. For example, while reading a book, your baby might look to an object or animal, then at you. They are expecting you to “label” this object for them. Now is the time to look up the sign. If you can’t get to an ASL dictionary, then do say the word to tide your baby over and make note to look it up later. Then when you have time, revisit the book and then do the sign. Chances are pretty good that your baby will still want to learn the sign, even if some time has passed.