What’s the rush? Slow down and enjoy teaching baby sign language. I often hear from parents looking to speed things up, but without being rude, I never bother to ask what the hurry is. If you’ve been teaching sign language for 4 weeks, or even 8 weeks and your baby hasn’t signed back, you’re still progressing normally, so relax. You might ask why this is so. Well, your baby is on no schedule and they will sign back exactly when they are ready and not a moment sooner, so if your baby is not signing back yet, then that’s just right for them. Enjoy the time you are spending with your baby, and ignore for a moment, that you are headed toward an artificial goal.
The single most common reason babies fail to sign is due to their parents give up too soon. Do you want to be the reason for your child’s failure? Okay, now that’s a low blow, but it’s the reality of the situation. If you stick to your guns, pace yourself, then eventually your baby is going to sign. Don’t try to rush things by adding too many signs too quickly or overwhelming yourself or getting caught up in the boredom of constant repetition which signing requires. Just take is easy. Maybe mix things up a bit and discover what makes your baby really tick. If your baby “asks” for a new word to be introduced, seize the moment and catch it while it is current! Follow your baby’s lead and add signs when they want them added, not necessarily when you think it’s time to move on. Think of signing like talking with your baby. You wouldn’t suddenly give up teaching them to speak, or stop talking to them, would you? Hardly. So keep signing to your baby as you would talk to them, and eventually your baby will follow your lead.