The following is a list of clues that your baby is ready to start learning to sign. If your baby does five to seven or more of the following, it might be time to start the sign language course, or if you have already started, then shifted into higher gear.
– Baby looks to your face when you speak.
– Baby does repetition in motions as if trying to get something.
– Reaching or pointing at things as if wanting something specific.
– When baby drops a toy he tries to see where it went.
– Baby looks inquisitively to you when seeing a new object or toy or brings toys to you looking for a reaction.
– Baby reaches for things or puts their arms up to be picked up
– Baby looks intently at something or at you as if wanting it.
– Your baby seems to watch you when you make signs and seems fascinated.
– Your baby tries to copy or mimic your movements, however vague, or babbles when you sign.
– Your baby seems to understand your sign or words you use by bouncing or getting excited especially something good is coming. For example, when you say “milk” he seems to know that it’s coming.
– Your baby does rhythmic patterns at predictable times during the day such as nearing feeding time in anticipation of receiving something.
– Baby gets frustrated when you don’t understand what he needs.
– Baby imitates or copies gestures you do.
– Baby shakes their head for “no” or nods for “yes.”
– Baby already does signs such as waving for “bye-bye”
Any of these are indications that a baby is really close to a sign because they have preexisting ideas in their mind about what is about to happen. Communication requires that a baby understands their wants or needs as well as the body language patterns that can help them gain access to them. Remember that sign language follows the same fundamentals as spoken language, and is innate to all people. Babies are hardwired and designed to learn language, so eventually without having to force it, it will happen. It’s in all babies to learn to communicate, but it takes time for a baby’s brain to reach their personal readiness.