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The 4 Stages of How Babies Learn to Sign Back

Let's break down the four stages of exactly how babies learn to sign.

At first, adding sign language to your daily life can feel like a bit of a mystery and you may find yourself with questions…


Will my baby understand my signs?

When will they start signing back?

Is this really going to work?


Generally speaking, babies can start signing back around 8-12 months old.


Of course, each baby is different, and factors like when you start signing, how often you show signs, and even which signs you teach, will affect the timing.


But there is a certain flow to how babies learn sign language that can help you gauge where your little one is at. 


Let's look at how to recognize and understand each of the stages that happen as we show sign language to our babies and toddlers. 



No matter what age or stage of your baby,

they will go through these 4 stages before signing back to you:


The excitement is real when they reach stage 4 and start signing back to us!!


Until then, we can pay attention and support our little ones' efforts as they spend time in each stage. We can be confident knowing there is a learning process and they will go through each stage.


No need to worry if they'll learn the signs, when they'll sign back, or if it will work.


Just show the signs so they can follow, respond, mimic and start signing themselves.


FACT: our babies will learn anything and everything we show them consistently with lots of repetition and immediate context. 

What stage is your baby at with signing?


P.S. Whenever you're ready, here are ways I can help you create success and more signing with your baby with ease:

Free Guide: How and When to Start Signing with Your Baby

1-Hour Mini-Course: Baby Signing 101 with Confidence, Clarity and Calm ($25)

Sing & Sign Circle: a private learning hub with immediate access to the Baby Signing 101 mini-course, live Sing & Sign classes to learn and meet virtually with other families each week, monthly Q&A sessions, and a growing library of our recorded 30-minute Sing & Sign classes to watch when it suits you ($28/month).


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