Baby sign language can help you communicate with your baby and cut down on a lot of frustrations. Here are the best baby sign language books to get you started.
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Your baby is happily playing with a toy independently, giving you a much-needed breather.
Suddenly, he starts crying for no apparent reason. You picked him up, all panicked that something is terribly wrong.
Did he hit himself with the toy?
Is he hungry?
Does he have a dirty diaper?
Or maybe something a lot more serious?
Wouldn’t motherhood be so much easier if babies can COMMUNICATE?
Well, guess what? They can!
Through baby sign language, babies can convey to us their basic needs and beyond!
Some babies can learn simple signs as young as 6-8 months. And once your baby can sign his needs to you, things will be so much easier. No more guessing games!
What to Look for in a Baby Sign Language Book?
The internet is full of videos and illustrations of baby signs. So why should you spend money on a baby sign language book?
Instead of looking up random signs to teach your baby, these best baby sign language books are easy to comprehend and guide you through which signs to start with to start communicating with your child.
Also, I don’t know about you but have trouble memorizing all the signs. The books give great tips on how to remember the signs and how to teach them to your baby.
Here are a few things to consider when buying a baby sign language book:
The Number of Signs
When it comes to the number of signs included in the book, the more may not be better. You want a baby sign language book that goes through the basic signs but also gives you additional signs without overwhelming you.
Think about how many signs you want to learn yourself and how long you want to continue signing with your kid.
Some of these books are meant for adults to learn the signs and then teach them to the baby. Others are intended to be storybooks you can read to your baby.
Since sign language is all visual, the quality of the illustrations/photos is extremely important. After all, how are we supposed to learn the sign if we can’t decipher what to do with our hands and fingers?
Some of the books come with videos online so you can see the signs in action. Others come with illustrated flashcards that you can use to practice signing with your kid. My favorite extra feature is when the author shows you how to sign the lyrics to a popular song or the storyline of a book.
Without further ado, here are the best baby sign language books!
Top Baby Sign Language Books
1. Baby Sign Language Made Easy
Complete with easy-to-understand illustrations, this baby sign language book is a must-have book for parents who want to learn and teach baby sign language to their babies.
Not only does the book include 101 practical signs organized into categories like “bath time and bedtime” and “mealtime and manners,” but for each sign, it also has advanced tips such as:
- Memory tips
- When to use the sign
- What to look for
I remember just how useful the “what to look for” tip was for me. My daughter had been signing a few words, but I didn’t pick up on it because she would clap her hands instead of just touching her fingertips or use closed fists instead of open. This book allowed me to realize that my daughter had been signing a modified version of the signs due to her lack of hand control at the time.
The first couple of chapters in Baby Sign Language Made Easy walks you through when to start teaching your baby to sign, how to teach signs, how to capture your baby’s attention to he can see you sign, and other helpful tips to get you started. The book also addresses some of the most commonly asked questions, such as:
- Will signing delay my baby’s speech?
- How do we sign in a bilingual household?
- What do you do when your baby is doing the signs wrong?
- What should you do when your baby makes up his own signs?
- Is it normal that, for seemingly no reason, your baby stop signing altogether?
Baby Sign Language Made Easy also includes songs and books that you can sign while you sing or read to your baby. Plus, it comes with a free online video dictionary!
**Note: The author, Lane Rebelo, has written a second book called The Complete Guide to Baby Sign Language. This book includes 200+ signs for you and your baby to learn together. If you enjoy Lane’s first book and want more signs to teach your baby, I highly recommend getting this one!
2. The Baby Signing Book
If you want to make sure that you are signing correctly, The Baby Signing Book is the book for you.
For each sign, the book has details on the hand shape, body space, and movement. Not only does this book come with easy to understand instructions and illustrations, but it also gives you memory aids to remember the signs.
This book includes 450 ASL signs ordered alphabetically so you can continue to teach your baby more signs as he masters them.
3. American Sign Language for Kids
American Sign Language for Kids organizes 101 basic signs into color-coded chapters so you can find the signs quickly. The illustrations are clear and easy to understand, and there are detailed instructions on how to do the sign underneath.
Off to the side of the illustrations, the author included more helpful information to help you succeed. For example, there are teaching tips to help you show your child how to sign. If applicable, she would point out similar signs, such as mom and grandma, to help you recognize the slight difference. There are also sign variations to help you express the difference between, for example, a light or heavy rain.
4. Teach Your Baby to Sign
Moms like Teach Your Baby to Sign because it’s easy to navigate so you can start signing with your baby right away. Not only does it have illustrations that are simple and easy to understand, but it also contains photographs of babies doing the sign.
Teach Your Baby to Sign also has practical advice on what to do if your baby stops signing, takes forever to sign, and other tips to motivate your baby to sign.
5. Baby Signs
Unlike the other baby books so far, which are meant for adults to read and teach their babies how to sign, Baby Signs is a board book that you can read with your baby. It has cute illustrations of a baby signing the most commonly used 14 signs, such as milk, more, and mommy.
The downside is that the illustrations are not very clear about the movements and placements of the signs. Also, you will need to buy another book after your baby masters these 14 signs.
6. Words by the Handful Box Set
This collection of 4 small, sturdy board books are great for little hands. Each book teaches 4-5 signs through short, upbeat stories your little ones will love. Baby Ellis gets frustrated when his parents do not understand what he is trying to say. His friend BB, the stuffed bear, comes to the rescue and shows the family that you don’t need spoken words to communicate – you can communicate by signing.
The illustrations are cute and clearly demonstrate the signs. This Words by the Handful Box Set is great for baby shower gifts!
7. My First Signs (Baby Signing)
This large-format board book is a great resource to start signing with your baby. Each page has adorable pictures with 4 or 5 toddlers illustrating common signs such as diaper, wash, toilet, and bath. Some signs are modified to make signing simpler for babies. My First Signs is a simple book to start you and your baby signing.
8. My First Signs (Signing Smart)
My First Signs by Signing Smart is another adorable board book to read with your babies. The best part about this book is the photos of an adult on each page modeling the sign. Above the adult picture, there is a picture of a baby making the signs so parents can easily identify the signs as young hands might make it.
9. Sign About Series
The Sign About Series is not just one book, but a series of books focused on a specific category of signs in each book. Each book has colorful, cute illustrations as well as detailed descriptions of how to form the signs with your hands.
Although it costs more to purchase several books instead of one comprehensive baby sign language book, you can strategically place the books where your baby will need to sign the most. For example, you can put the mealtime book in the kitchen, and you can set the playtime book in the playroom.
10. The Gallaudet Children’s Dictionary of American Sign Language
Featuring more than 1,000 ASL signs paired with colorful illustrations, The Gallaudet Children’s Diction of American Sign Language is the ultimate resource you need to learn sign language. It comes with a DVD with children demonstrating the signs and adult signing sentences. If you want to continue learning sign language and teaching it to your baby even after your baby starts talking, this is the book for you.
Start Signing Today!
Whatever book you decide to get, enjoy teaching your baby sign language! It’s the most adorable thing in the world once they start signing, and I guarantee you it will cut down on a lot of frustrations!