Many signing parents wonder how long they should continue to sign. The answer is that you should continue to sign with your baby as long as it’s useful to your baby and as long as your baby expresses interest. Giving up signing is not something that usually happens in a child. As spoken language takes over, your baby will slowly transition out of signs.
In the earliest stages your baby will use both signs and words and will use signs most often when your baby finds it difficult to say a word. While your baby learns to speak, signing will become a great asset in reducing frustration and assisting communication so this is not the time to give up signs cold turkey. Just stick to signing as your baby replaces signs with words – pretty simple.
Some toddlers might express signing as being for babies, but this comes with a certain level of maturity that might not happen until a child pushes over the 2 year mark. So really, when people discount signing as being a short window, it’s actually quite lengthy – think 10 months until 24 months and sometimes even until 36 months. In an adults life, 2 years isn’t much, but in the life of your developing baby, this peak learning and development timeframe is huge and massively important. You are setting up the framework for all their future learning and the more stimulation and challenge you can offer your baby – the better. Remember that signs also reduce frustration and builds integrity through proper communication. Babies also learn emotions through signs too. All these factors helps put your baby on the path to success.