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Baby Signs: How to Talk with Your Baby Before Your Baby Can Talk
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Baby Signs: How to Talk with Your Baby Before Your Baby Can Talk

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  597 ratings  ·  88 reviews
The Essential Parenting Guide- NOW COMPLETELY UPDATED AND EXPANDED! In 1982, child development experts Linda Acredolo, Ph.D., and Susan Goodwyn, Ph.D., discovered that babies can communicate with simple signs-even before they're able to talk. The result: Baby Signs, the groundbreaking technique that has changed parenting forever.

Now, with the widespread popularity of signi
...more
ebook, Third Edition, 208 pages
Published March 15th 2009 by McGraw-Hill (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 906)
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Sarah
Originally I was really annoyed with the trend of teaching babies sign language. Like parents need another thing to feel inadequate about. But for whatever reason I picked up this book at my public library, and learned about what started this craze. Originally teaching babies sign language was not about giving parents another way to compete with their gifted tots, but a tool to help parents understand the needs of their very young children who hadn't mastered spoken language yet. Basically, the ...more
Liz
Everyone with a child should read this book before hopping on the baby sign wagon. This is the original book by the professors who "discovered" baby sign with their children. I like how it points out that baby sign is not about teaching a second language or continuing it for the rest of their lives. It's about relieving the frustration of a baby able to understand but unable to communicate back because their vocal muscle control isn't good enough. It's about building relationships so a child can ...more
Sarah
Great! Nice introduction to the reasoning behind teaching baby signs--which I think everyone should read. Seems several people I spoke with just skipped to the dictionary at the back and then said they "didn't understand the fuss" my little guy knows "Milk" by heart now and will wiggle his fingers though he has not mastered the sign. I am feeling confident! Not sure I'll use 100% of the dictionary, but I like that I have it. I like that it is NOT ASL, because I'm not interested in teaching ASL t ...more
Sarah (Tail-Kinker)
Easy to read, clear, concise with a nice introduction explaining the benefits of signing. The pictures are easy to interpret and I appreciated the 10 Quick Steps to Get Started list.

A fast read that I recommend to parents to help avoid those frustration tantrums. Who wouldn't be frustrated when you want the Christmas tree lights turned on and instead your parent keeps giving you Cheerios or handing you different ornaments?

I have only recently begun signing with regularity to my son (14 months) i
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Chelsie
Loved the concept of signing to your baby, and I loved the signs at the back of the book. but all in all I think you would be better off just skipping the whole book and looking at the diagrams of different signs! There is nothing really worth reading in the book, and the pictures seem to make the book seem outdated! Not a book I would buy!
Kelly
This book provides a more robust introduction to baby sign language than a book I previously reviewed on this topic, Sign with Your Baby: How to Communicate with Infants before They Can Speak.[return][return]I especially appreciated the easy-to-digest "Ten Steps to Success" in this book:[return][return] 1. Start with just a few signs[return][return] 2. Always use the baby sign and word together[return][return] 3. Repeat the sign and word several times[return][return] 4. Point to the object when ...more
Shira and Ari Evergreen
May 20, 2010 Shira and Ari Evergreen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: future parents, people who care about children, pediatricians, psychologists, linguists
This book is awesome. It's full of clear instructions and useful diagrams and photos showing how to use symbolic gestures to communicate with your baby before your baby can use spoken language. This speeds spoken language acquisition, increases bonding between parent and child, builds self-esteem and self-confidence, and helps prevent a lot of frustration and stress.

It's not a very vegan-friendly book, but the authors appear to be sensitive to other issues and they encourage families to make up
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Skylar Burris
I asked for this book years ago, back when my first child was a baby, because I wanted to try Baby Sign Language. The book was helpful in that it gave me some basics to work with, and my daughter was able to tell me, beginning at about nine months, when she wanted "more" or was "hungry" or wanted "milk." (I wish I had been more persistent in teaching more signs. I started a bit early and the lack of pay-off perhaps discouraged me, as this book warned it might. I'd suggest not starting until 9 or ...more
Amber
There is not a description for how horrible i thought this book was! I thought about buying from the library so that no one else would borrow it.

The authors of this book encourage parents to just make up any old thing as a sign, as long as you and your baby can understand each other. It describes the author's own homesigns, and they even include a dictionary in the back of the very limited signs they've made up... admittedly a few are actual ASL or signed english signs.

This is a bad thing becaus
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Hilary
Interesting to learn about what babies want to talk about.: Not just what they want to eat or whether their diaper is dirty, but also the things that they see in the world around them. It's also useful to teach babies about safety signs and ways to describe when they are sick, when something is too hot to touch, etc. One thing is that the book totally didn't mention was teaching politeness, etc. I think that baby sign language could also be a valuable way to teach children about please and thank ...more
Rosa
Feb 22, 2008 Rosa rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents
Shelves: parenting
This idea intrigued me because I loved how it allowed us to communicate (aside from basic gestures and body language) with our baby before she could talk. So, I read this book to learn how to do it.
Rachel (our first child) learned over 70 signs and I believe they helped her learn to talk faster because she loved to communicate with us. She is 2 years old now and speaks in complete sentences. Her signing started to fizzle out around 18 months because by that time she could pretty much say all
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Heather Stewart
We got this book when our daughter was 7 months. She started signing by 8 months ! It was so neat to be able to communicate ideas like "more" "sleep" "sad" "again" and even later, "more milk" "More Juice" (she would sign MORE but say JU) and eventually, at 11 months to 1 yr, bigger concepts like "light" -in fact one day she kept signing "light" and I thought she was just fascinated with them, and then looked up and realized she was trying to tell me that one of the light bulbs in our 5-bulb dini ...more
Charity
The authors in this book encourage parents to work with their children and make up their own signs. This might be an effective approach for some families, but it wasn't for us. For one, I could never remember the signs we made up. Having set ASL signs helped give me a reference to remind me what I was teaching my daughter so I could be consistent. Also, my daughter has signing cousins and it was important to me that she learn actual ASL signs so she could communicate with them (in baby talk, of ...more
Diane Wheeler
was wonderful to learn to communicate effectively with my daughter long before she could talk.
Nifferjen10
I HIGHLY recommend this book to all prospective parents! If I could give a new parent one single piece of advice, it would be to read this book. Worth 10 times the cover price. My daughter is 18 months old and has a vocabulary of over 350 words (no I am not exaggerating). She used signs for a while, but I think because of hearing so many words reinforced to her all the time, she started using so many of them that she doesn't even need the signs anymore. She still uses some of them, just because ...more
Ellis
saai, onduidelijk. Niet waar ik op hoopte. de foto's hadden veel duidelijker gekund (en moeten zijn!)
Jennifer
The guts of this book is really the last 20 pages or so of the "signing dictionary" and the rest is the author trying to convince parents of the benefits of signing with your baby. So I probably wouldn't invest the $$ to buy this book, just check it out from the library and photocopy the back section. Also I coupled this book with watching a couple of signing videos which I think is helpful.

As an addendum to this review, I recently found out (from a friend who teaches deaf ed) that many of the s
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Heather
This book is about communicating with your children when they are old enough to understand and want to communicate, but not old enough to get their point across very well (age 11 to 30 months). To appease this frustration there are baby signs. The signs are actually less complex than you would think, and you can make them up as you go. Numerous studies have shown that children who use baby signs have better vocabularies, higher IQ's, fewer tantrums and more confidence. My son is almost to that s ...more
Jennie
When I was given this book as a gift, all I could think of was that gorilla years ago that learned sign language. Unsettling association for some reason. But! I was surprised to find out how not "out there" this book is. Much less hard core or opinionated than I expected, and probably very helpful to any conscientious parent or day care/nursery teacher trying to relate to a child's awareness of their world. Like many parenting books, though, this would make a much better pamphlet than book. Redu ...more
Raine Carraway
I liked the ideal behind this book, but it is not a very practical book for baby sign language. It encourages the use of made up signs and really pushes signing up for the "Baby Signs" programs, rather than being an all-in-one way to learn.

A better option would be one of the books or videos that teaches actual ASL sign language, or simply using a free ASL dictionary online and teaching your baby basic signs as they learn about new things. I loved the "Baby Signing Time" videos, but they are expe
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Mona
The book is more to convince one to start with baby signs. I was already up for it so I felt a bit bored. At the end some signs are shown that go along with rhymes, stories, poems that are written at the end of the book as well. Some signs are not like those new baby signs one can find on apps but at the end its all about making your own signs as well. It doesn't really matter because one can modify or change signs as they like. Baby signs are great, and I can't wait until my baby starts signing ...more
Gail
I really like the concept and am interested in trying it. However, I feel like they could have condensed this into a much shorter book. At least it is a quick read. If you already read their Baby Minds book, you probably don't need to read this one too (the chapter about signs in Baby Minds is sufficient to get you started). However, if you aren't convinced or if you need ideas for signs then you might find this helpful.
Joannah
Cool book! To be honest, I didn't read the entire thing BUT I'm glad I picked it up. It is a good book, interesting, easy to read and from what I hear this method of teaching babies to communicate actually works! I mostly just perused through the book and then made copies of all the baby signing pictures I thought we would use most and that might come in handy when trying to communicate with our daughter.
Sarah
My oldest son LOVED baby signs- he could tell us exactly what he wanted, which meant that there was much less frustration than there might have been otherwise. And in case you've heard that sign language might delay speech development, we had no issues. In fact, his language was (and is, might I add) much more advanced than many kids his age. I think every parent should read this, and try it with their babies.
Heather
I like the idea of giving a baby a means of communication as a bridge between his ability to grasp concepts and his ability to use spoken words. This book explained the idea well (I must have read a newer edition than some other reviewers because many of their complaints were addressed clearly in my reading). I'll try to remember to update my review in six months or so once I've had a chance to try it for myself.
Deirdre Keating
The authors picked up on the newest trend and ran with it, but in the wrong direction. Why on earth "make up your own signs" when there is already ASL? One of the beautiful things to come out of teaching babies to sign is that children who are deaf will have peers who are already familiar with their language.

I highly recommend Joseph Garcia's books (Sign with your baby) and the Signing Time DVD series.
Brandy
80% of this book is all about why you should, y'know, communicate with your baby, instead of ignoring them. Then there's a glossary of signs that will be really useful to you and your child (diaper, eat, sleep) and others that seem so very not-useful, but most of the pictures demonstrating all the signs are small and hard to understand.
Better source: http://www.signingsavvy.com/ for a video dictionary.
Greg
Extremely straightforward and full of plain common sense. And yet, I really needed to read this. I'm finding recently that validation means an awful lot to me. It's one thing to know something, whether through intuition or a reputable source, but to hear it again and again is really comforting. This book makes Baby Signing a reality for any family. I can't wait for Mer's first sign!
Christen Sarah
Cannot wait until Lena starts signing with us! We have started learning the signs for ourselves and implementing them when we talk to her. It is fun to feel like we are teaching her already.

I loved the anecdotes in this book. I also love that they mark the ASL versions of the signs in the dictionary. We want to venture into ASL after baby signs, so this will be a perfect start.
Adriana
May 05, 2015 Adriana rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Adriana by: I found and searched this book out on my own, prior to getting it.
This was a great bonding experience for my daughter and I. She was very receptive to learning and it made parenting much easier. Our babies cannot tell us when they are hungry or if their tummy hurts, or if the are cold, etc. But with sign language they can. It opened up a whole new world of communication for my daughter and I. I highly recommend this book.
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