Baby Sign Language Quick Start

This guide will have you ready to start teaching your child Baby Sign Language in just 5 minutes. It includes:

  1. Starter Signs: Learn mom, dad, eat, milk, and dog.
  2. Teaching Signing: Learn how to teach your child the signs.
  3. Signing Kit: Get guaranteed faster results with the Baby Sign Language Kit.

Baby Sign Language Basics

1. Your First Five Signs

We start by introducing signs that your baby will use frequently every day and will be motivated to learn. We recommend the following five signs:

(If those signs don’t make sense for your family, there are other great  starter sign options on the Top 10 Starter Signs page.)

Top Five Starter Signs (Mom, Dad, Eat, Milk, Dog)

2. Teaching Your Baby

These four principles show you how to teach sign language to your baby:

  • Fun – Keep signing playful and focused on motivating signs.
  • Repetition – Incorporate signing in your daily routines.
  • Encourage – Reward progress with praise & attention.
  • Expand – Grow vocabulary based on your baby’s interests.
Teaching Baby Sign Language Quick Start

3. Sign Faster and Easier
with the Full Kit

Our award-winning Baby Sign Language Kits get your baby signing faster.

  • DVDs – Your baby learns to sign while being entertained by the music of Rachel Coleman & the Signing Time Crew.
  • Flash Cards – Extend your baby’s vocabulary to people, foods, and animals with these sturdy flash cards.
  • Teaching Guide – Utilize advanced topics for faster results, potty training, and transitioning to speech.
  • Signing Dictionary – Have the right sign at your fingertips to satisfy your child’s curiosity.
  • Wall Chart – Help grandparents, babysitters, and caregivers learn the basic signs.

141 Responses to “Baby Sign Language QuickStart Basics”

  1. Nicki Uyaguari

    I’m learning and teaching ASL to a third grade class, is it okay If i teach them while using baby sign language?

    • Kathy

      Our website and products use ASL so it would be okay to use for your class!

  2. Lu

    Hello!! If i want my baby to learn my mother language Spanish, which i will be speaking to all the time, is it okay to teach them at the same time ASL. We live in Canada.


    • Kathy

      The majority of Canada uses ASL or Quebec Sign Language so you it will be okay to teach the ASL!

  3. Ya Ting Kuan

    I’m really interested in your books and products. Do you have a Chinese version?

    • Baby Sign Language Administrator

      Hi, Thanks for your interest! We don’t have a Chinese version. If you are learning BSL right now, you may consider your own “hack”, i.e., either download our flash cards and write the Chinese translation for each word, so that you can teach your baby bilingually speech-wise, but with only one hand sign, or buy any of our card sets so you can write the Chinese translations on those cards more easily. Cheers.

    • Baby Sign Language Administrator

      Hi Jamie, No app yet. In the meantime, feel free to browse our new dictionary pagesfrom your mobile phone. Flash cards can be directly downloaded on your phone as well. Cheers.

  4. Carlos

    Is this based on ASL ? I am an teacher of English as a foreign language, and I am trying to teach using some ASL.

    • Baby Sign Language Administrator

      Hello, Carlos. Yes, Baby Sign Language is based on ASL. Cheers.

  5. Paula

    My daughter is 18 months old. We started sign language because she wasn’t saying one word. Now in less then a month, she is using like 20 signs or more, and now she finally says three words. Should I expand her vocabulary in baby sign or would it make a delay on speech?

    • steve flint

      Baby Sign Language has three types of benefits:

      Practical: less fussing and more fun.
      Emotional: creates a closer child-parent bond.
      Cognitive: boosts brain development.

    • Baby Sign Language Administrator

      Hi Paula, That is great news — both that she has learned so many baby signs and that she has started to speak as well! Don’t worry about impeding her speech development if you continue signing. Baby Sign Language studies have actually indicated no speech impediments even in the continuance of signing, and in fact, BSL is known to help boost the child’s intelligence. So, keep signing and enunciating the words to your daughter. Speaking and signing at the same time can only help activate multiple senses in her. Have fun!

    • Baby Sign Language Administrator

      Hi Jasmine,

      Yes, Baby Sign Language is based on ASL. Please do note that ASL itself has some sign variants due to different source regions across America. Having said that, the signs are generally widely used by ASL signers spanning both coasts. Cheers.

    • Baby Sign Language Administrator

      Hi Ken, Absolutely, though this wouldn’t preclude them from trying to utter their first words (or babble) with each other either. 🙂

  6. Alissa McClure

    I was given some of your DVDs and don’t have a player. After watching a few of your introductory videos, I’d like to know if you have downloadable content for sale in lieu of DVDs?
    Thank you!

    • Baby Sign Language Administrator

      Hi Alissa, Thanks for asking. Have you tried playing the DVDs on your PC’s/laptop’s CD/CD-ROM player? That should work fine. Cheers.

      • Mel

        Laptops don’t have cd/dvd players anymore. At least not the good ones 😂 Young people having kids now, don’t have DVD players. Haha! I’m 34 and It’s been over a decade since I’ve owned or used a DVD/CD. I’d love a digital download as well.

      • Ashley

        I also would like a digital version. I don’t want to buy a DVD (it would be the only one in my house). I would pay the same price if you updated your medium to digital.

        • Baby Sign Language Administrator

          I’m afraid we don’t have a digital compilation for sale at the moment. However, I hope you’ll bookmark our sign pages as our videos are readily accessible on each page. We’re also developing a few hundred more sign pages now. We will keep you posted when we eventually get around to a digital version of our products. Cheers!



  8. toni amado

    We have used the ‘milk’ sign, ‘eat’, ‘more’, and ‘all done’. It’s so amazing! I will be ordering a kit as well.

    • Jennifer

      I’ll be ordering a copy of the book for signing to help my son learn easier!!!

  9. Leanne

    If a grandparent is called nana or papa would you will use the grandmother and grandfather sign?

    ADMIN – Hi Leanne,

    Yes, the sign is for the relationship and not for the naming attribute.

  10. Margaret Hallock

    Great stuff! The Basics/Quickstart info helps us know where to begin learning and teaching sign language to our kids. Keep up the awesome work!

  11. Brianna

    Is there a separate sign for nursing? Or should I just use milk for both a bottle and nursing?

    ADMIN – Hi Brianna,

    I use the same sign for simplicity

  12. Brittany Pugh

    At what age do you recommend starting to teach signs to a baby?

    ADMIN – Hi Brittany,
    We have seen the highest levels of impact when parents begin using between six to eight months.

  13. Victoria

    Is this American Sign Language, or are any of them made up “baby signs”?

    ADMIN – Hi victoria,

    It is adapted ASL. This means some signs have been simplified to match the motor skills of a baby.

  14. Jennifer

    This was very helpful! I am definitely getting your Baby Sign Language book!

    • Baby Sign Language Administrator

      Great to hear that, Jennifer. Let us know how it goes once you’ve ordered the book for signing. Have fun learning with your son!

  15. Shawndra Higgins

    The more I learn about ASL, the more fascinated and intimidated I get. ♥

  16. Shawndra Higgins

    My husband keeps thinking that the 10 week old babies that are signing are just super smart babies. I think it’s due to the amount of exposure and/or better fine motor skills the baby may have. Can you set us straight? lol

    ADMIN – Hi Shawndra,

    It is not a matter of IQ. It is generally a matter of engagement and environment.


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