Baby sign is a term used to describe the introduction of Sign Language to a pre-verbal infant or toddler. It is also, often the first step for parents learning to sign with a child who may not ever be able to communicate orally.
A small set of signs are usually adopted first, based of common objects and terms, that would be familiar to the child's everyday life. In Australia we adopt these from AUSLAN (which stands for AUStralian Sign LANguage). We use Auslan with infants, even if the intention is not to continue signing after the child begins to articulate as it is our indigenous sign language. It is nationally recognised and used within many childcare centers, amongst family day care centers, and of course by sign dependant Australians. By choosing to learn AUSLAN, even at the Baby Sign level, your child will be able to communicate these signs with our AUSLAN users; which may include a deaf child at their childcare or school later in life.
Below you will find a list of the most commonly adopted baby signs. Start simple. Select 3-5 signs and introduce them into your daily communication. Then build up from there. Many parents have reported finding household labeling beneficial. Use the images below to create your own labels, or download our pre-made ones SOON.