Mom life

Baby Sign Language

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve started teaching Desirae baby sign language. I figured this would be a much more effective form of communication than my child screaming like a banshee during dinner.

I decided to start by teaching her the sign for “all done.” When Desirae is done eating, she usually tells me by squealing and tossing her leftover food all over the floor. These are both signs of communication that I’d like to avoid, so starting with “all done” seemed like a logical choice. I’m proud to say Desirae learned the sign quickly. It’s pretty adorable watching her raise her arms to flop her hands in the air while her face is splattered with peanut butter and jelly.

Now, one of the benefits of having a dog, is that dogs are great cleaning systems when you have children, especially during dinner. Anything that Desirae drops, spits out, or spills, Lincoln is right there to eat. (If Lincoln could also clean the fur that he leaves all over the house, dogs would be a serious must-have for moms.) When Des is done eating, she signs “all done.” I clean her up, lift her out of her highchair, and wipe any excess food off the highchair on to the floor. Lincoln, being the selfless and servant-hearted dog that he is, kindly cleans it up for me.

After Desirae is finished eating, I set her down to play. Even though she said she was done, she decides to crawl back to her highchair, where the dog is quickly devouring her leftovers, and starts eating the food on the floor. My child and my dog eating off the floor together – what a wonderful picture of my success at motherhood. I guess I missed the memo, but it turns out that eating off the floor alongside the dog is much more appetizing than eating in a highchair. Or maybe Desirae just REALLY doesn’t want to share. I thought that “all done,” meant Desirae was full and didn’t want to eat anymore. Apparently she thinks “all done” means freedom from her high chair and the ability to eat wherever she wants. It’s a good thing our baby sign language is a work in progress, because we’re going to have to work on our communication… and my teaching skills.


5 thoughts on “Baby Sign Language

    1. Desirae is 11 months old now, and she is catching on really quickly! She is getting better with her “all done” sign, but I’ve found that she needs more signs. For example, I can tell she wants more food, but she isn’t sure how to tell me, so she says “all done” in hopes to communicate what she wants. So I’ve started teaching her the sign for “more” and we’re working on trying to differentiate between the two. But all in all, she is learning quickly! I probably could have started teaching her sooner, but I’m not sure if she would have picked it up as quickly.


    2. I’m a Deaf/Hard of Hearing Teacher and a mommy, but…the earlier you start signing with your baby, the better! 🙂 Even at 3/4 months we would sign milk every time we gave our daughter milk and at 6 mo she was signing to us when she wanted milk! It’s really fun to see the development. We don’t use a lot of signs, because her language took off when she was a year old and just started chatting up a storm. But, the signs we use – milk, please, more, eat, all done, we also did bye-bye as a variation of all done where she would just wave to something if she was done. Now she says, “bye, bye bath” and “bye, bye food”. VERY helpful from 6-14 months when they can’t quite get the words out, but know what they want! 🙂


  1. Oh I want to do this! I wasn’t sure when to start though as Bear is only 2 months old….don’t want to seem too keen! ha ha! Let us know how it goes. : ) Seems like it’s working…sort of. ; )


  2. HI Heather! Thanks for visiting my blog. Just read “Baby Sign Language.” I loved the line, “she thinks ‘all done means freedom from her high chair….” I think D might be on to something!


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