How long does it take for a baby to learn baby sign language?

Baby Sign Language has brought about a barrel full of benefits. It may seem impossible to think that a baby will be able to form a hand gesture to try and show the parent what he wants. It is however, very possible. Parents have been using this method for years and have been reaping the benefits.


Some pre-requisites for the parent to remember:

Although sign language may have been portrayed as an easy one-step process, once a parent actually gets round to teaching it to his child, he realizes it isn’t such a walk in the park. Being able to effectively teach one’s baby how to communicate through sign language requires that the parents have a patient attitude; they should be able to remember to repeat the signs and words every time and every day. A baby does not catch on in the first few tries. Even when he finally starts getting the hang of it, he may not sign exactly the way that he is supposed to. That should not be considered a problem as that is all part of the learning process. As long as the child carries out effective communication, the parent’s job is done.


How long before the baby gets it:

This factor depends very much on the baby itself. All babies are different, and they all start signing at different ages. However, it takes on average, a 6 to 9 month old around 4 to 6 weeks to get the hang of a sign. Although some experts say that it is a good idea to start signing to one’s baby at around 2 months, it is very unlikely that the child will sign back until he is at least 5 months, when motor skills have developed (although this may vary from child to child). The same rule can be applied to a child of 14 months. At that age, motor and cognitive skills have both developed, and it may in fact take that child less than the average 4 to 6-week period of a 6 to 9 month old to start signing.


The parents must remember that the first couple of signs that the baby does learn will be far from perfect. They may even be downright incorrect. It takes time for the baby to learn, and it is a good idea for the parents not to keep unrealistic expectations.


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