These 5 Hand Signs Teach Babies to Talk

hand signs to teach babies


5 Hand Signs to Teach Babies

In This Article:


  • 5 Hand Signs to Teach Babies
  • BONUS Hand Sign
  • Why Do Babies Need Sign Language?
  • Is BSL Different from ASL?
  • How to Become Certified


You might have noticed that here at IPSP, we teach more than Baby Sleep Certification. That’s because as my school grew, I noticed that my graduates wanted to expand their offerings to clients. So I decided to add on a comprehensive, expert-taught class for the best hand signs to teach babies, toddlers, or young children with communication difficulties.

Today, that course is one of my most popular choices among students. There’s a good reason: communication is key when you’re working with litte ones.

Here is a sample of 5 basic hand signs all babies can benefit from. By the way, if you want the full course, I’d love to have you as a student! (I’ll show you how to apply for enrollment at the end of this article.)

5 Hand Signs to Teach Babies

The hand signs you will be learning today are:


  • Place Baby’s hand to their chest.
  • Gently move the hand in a small circle, upward and around.

“Thank You”

  • Place Baby’s hand to their chin, palm toward their face.
  • For younger babies, a slight fist is fine for making this sign.
  • Bring the hand out and away from the face.


  • Place the baby’s fingers or fist at their mouth.
  • Help her tap her mouth a few times.


  • Help Baby make a slightly cupped fist.
  • Alternatively, just a fist will do.
  • Help her bring her fist up to her mouth, as if drinking from a cup.


  • Help Baby place her hands together in front of her, fingertips touching.
  • Help her tap her fingers together a few times.

BONUS: Sign the Word “Sorry”

The reason I decided to include this bonus sign is that it is one of the most important signs an expert can teach a baby. Saying “I’m sorry: t communicates much more than a need, or even politeness (as with “please” and “thank you”). It communicates emotion.

This type of hand sign helps teach youngsters to express what they’re feeling — and that is so very important.

  • Help Baby put her hand to the center of her chest.
  • Move her hand in a small circle, touching the chest.

Why Do Babies Need Sign Language?

More and more parents are discovering hand signs to teach toddlers, and even babies, to better communicate. This comes on the heels of studies showing that better communication means less crying.

Not all babies become verbal at the typical 10-14 months. And even when they do have their first words, it can be difficult for the toddler brain to translate what they want into meaningful phrases.

Sign language can also help little ones who have language delays.

Is Baby Sign Language Different from ASL?

Some words can be modified for babies. American Sign Language (ASL) is emotive and very nuanced. Toddlers may not have the coordination yet for some of the more complex hand signs. So at IPSP, we teach a form of baby sign language (BSL) that makes communication easy for babies.

How to Become Certified

It is truly amazing to watch a toddler or preschooler’s world open up. Communication is key to that. If you’d like to learn hand signs to teach babies and teach parents how to communicate with their little ones, enroll in our Baby Sign Language Educator Course today. You’ll get everything you need to start teaching right away!

baby sign language training

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Sleep Consultant Certification Curriculum Outline


The Science of Sleep

Learn the biology of sleep, including the stages of sleep, sleep cycles, and how child development affects sleep.


Sleep Training Techniques

Develop expertise in multiple sleep training methods so you can match your skills to each client’s specific needs.


Bumps in the Road

Understand how to help your clients manage teething, separation anxiety, night weaning, illness, and more.


The Business of Sleep Coaching

Get the nuts and bolts of setting up and running a profitable business, including insurance and liability.


Infant and Toddler Sleep Basics

Know how to help with bedtime struggles, frequent night wakings, early wake-ups, and so much more.


Creating Customized Sleep Plans

Learn exactly how to create successful sleep plans and develop a sleep plan template you can easily and quickly customize.


When to Refer Out

Sometimes, sleep training may not be an appropriate solution, Know how and when to refer your client to another professional.