The fact is, signs happen quickly to a non-signer who is not attuned to signing. They also happen subtly and can appear like regular mannerisms. Imagine a baby bringing up a finger to request WATER – you know what your baby wants and can serve the request, but a non-signer will just assume your baby is teething or has an itchy lip or maybe they’re in deep though!
This is why, as a signing parent, you should take the time to demonstrate a few signs and act as your baby’s interpreter for others. At first, your apprentice will confuse mannerism for signs and vice versa, but eventually they’ll catch on. At some point non-signers think that all body movement means something. To signing parents, the messages are clear because we know what to look for and we’ve developed an expertise.