Five Ways Baby Sign Language is Helping Babies Deal With Anxiety & Fear


“Anxiety is rooted in uncertainty; empowering a baby to communicate basic needs

is the key to a less anxious and more content little one.” 

Let’s talk baby anxiety. One of the most commonly voiced concerns from parents is knowing how to meet and understand the needs of their babies. The earlier a parent learns to recognize and address specific needs and wants the better it will be for everyone involved. During the first six months every mom and dad makes a concerted effort to identify general needs for food, warmth and security. But even when a parent invests a great deal of time and personal attention with baby it is not uncommon to face a tantrum or a frustrated child who is unable to voice their true needs.

Teaching our babies how to sign will give them the communication tools needed for the pre-verbal stage. During the pre-verbal stage babies are not anatomically or intellectually ready for speech but are able to understand concepts. Language development begins during the neonatal stage but most little ones don’t begin speaking until age one to two. Let’s take a look at five common situations where having mastered basic baby signs will make a world of difference.


When we developed our introductory guide to baby sign language we asked many friends and everyone agreed that hunger and thirst are the most common reasons for a frustrated baby. In fact, if there is one sign you want to teach your baby first, it is the sign for milk. For some parents this is done in the context of lactation, for others the sign is introduced as soon as the baby begins to take formula.

Environmental Comfort

We loved introducing our babies to signs related to environmental comfort. Cold and hot were part of our ten first signs. We reinforce the signs by signing cold when we are about to go outside and signing hot when our babies get sweaty and we are about to remove their layers. We also use games of contrast by putting a couple of bowls with iced water and warm water.

Emotional Needs

We firmly believe that affection and attention are as important as food. To help our babies communicate emotional needs we incorporated signs like hug and scared. We also taught our kids to sign when they wanted to be picked up.

Recreation & Exploration

Every baby is unique and they will form unique interests based on their personality. When babies become bored it is not uncommon to see expressions of frustration and anxiety through crying. To help your baby further explore his interests consider teaching signs for objects and locations that bring your baby joy and satisfaction. We were quick to introduce the signs for playground, bear (for a favorite teddy) and outside. It is beautiful to see our little ones sign to let us know their specific desire to engage with a particular toy or head to a certain setting like the park.

Favorite People

We can’t emphasize this enough. Knowing the signs that identify those that mean the most to our babies will totally change their communication dynamic. Signs like mom, dad, grandma and nanny can allow your baby to quickly access the person they need the most.


If you have not yet started to sign with your baby we invite you to take a look at our quick start guide. Thousands of parents around the world have benefited from sign language. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to give your baby an edge.


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)