Since you are taking the time to sign to your baby, there is also a pretty good chance that you’re one of those people who also spends quality time with your baby as you learn about their interests. The bad news, in this respect, is that if you watch your baby closely enough, you will begin to realize their needs before they have a chance to sign. For example, if your baby’s milk is running out, you might replace it with more without them having asked for it. You might think that there’s nothing wrong with this, however, from a communication standpoint, it would be more prudent to wait until it runs dry and allowing your baby to ask for it themselves. Being too conscious of your baby’s needs can easily spoil an excellent learning opportunity. A baby will not be motivated to sign if all their desires are immediately met without needing to communicate.
Therefore, always hesitate in giving your baby anything, especially when you know exactly what it is they want. This will give your baby the opportunity to tell you what they want by signing it. If they won’t sign, then prompt your baby by asking him what he wants and then give them plenty of time to model the sign back. If your baby still won’t sign back, then assist and guide him to do the sign or model the sign for him. If your baby starts to whine instead, then re-ask them what they want, and model the sign again. Teaching that whining is unacceptable is a good start to proper communication.
It’s not necessary to put your baby into fits to do a sign, but you should always insist that your baby use proper communicate to express their needs – like we all do.