10 Signs for Newborns

Here are 10 signs you will have MANY opportunities to teach your baby the first four months. Although your baby may not start signing back at this time, your baby will be ready to sign back when s/he needs or wants it the most. And, oh my goodness, the increased eye contact and speech you will do as you find opportunities to sign will help your baby’s development and help your baby to bond with you.

1. Milk

Wouldn’t it be great to know when your baby wants some milk? Start teaching this sign as soon as possible, so your baby can start making the association and start signing back to you. Your baby may physically be able to do this sign at two months–although not consistently. Many babies will start signing back around 6 months. However, if milk isn’t super important to your baby, your baby might start signing after 12 months. The older the baby is, the faster the baby will learn the sign. The more consistent you are, the more opportunities your baby has to learn the sign.

2. Change Diaper

As you change hundreds of diapers, get your hands in front of your baby’s face before, during, or after the diaper change and sign change while saying, “I’m going to change your diaper!” or “I’m changing your diaper,” or “I changed your diaper.” Watch for a modified version of this sign. My first HATED wet diapers and, at 2 months old, would hold both his fists together up into the air while he stared me down. His diapers were always hot with pee. Amazing. He cried less. More amazing.

3. Bed

Babies sleep A LOT the first couple months. You will have many opportunities to start teaching your baby this sign… if your babies eyes are open when you put him or her down for a nap! This sign can also help your new baby know that it’s time to go to bed before you put your baby to bed. It’s great to incorporate into your routine. As your baby gets older, s/he will be ready to let you know that they just want to go to bed!

4. Outside

Fresh air and a change in environment is so nice for new mommies and babies. You can do this sign before you take your baby with you to get the mail, to go on a walk, or to go visit family. Your baby will then start making the association of you doing the sign and then going outside. As your baby gets older, s/he will be able to let you know that s/he wants to go outside.

5. Pick Me Up

Up and Down, Up and Down. You will pick your baby up and put your baby back down many times during these first couple months. This is another sign that your baby can physically start doing during these month but may start signing back later. It just depends on when your baby wants to start. Try to be consistent, and let a loved one in on this sign. It’s easy to remember, and they will feel confident doing the sign.

6. Take Me Out

You might be surprised, but you will use this sign a lot as you take your baby out of baby carriers, high chairs, car seats, cribs, and so forth. To sign, put me in the car seat, for example, do the sign the opposite direction by putting your hand into your cup shape. This sign will help your baby to stop crying and ask to be taken out.

7. Binky

Not only is this a great sign to start teaching your baby so he or she can ask for a binky, but this sign will also help you find many, many binkies. As your baby recognizes this sign (he doesn’t even need to be able to sign it back), you’ll be able to ask where a binky is while doing the sign, and your baby will run off, and often to your surprise, come back with a binky! It’s so great. I use a lot of signs to ask my baby to find things that I just can’t find.

8. Sing

Singer or not, your baby will love to hear you sing. Before you sing or while you are singing, you can do this sign. Watch for a modified version of this sign. Your baby may wiggle his arm in the air, or your baby might put to of her fingers or more in her mouth. As you continue to sign consistently, your baby will get better and better at doing this sign.

9. Get Dressed

With dressing and redressing your baby multiple times a day, you will have a lot of opportunities to show your baby this sign. This sign can also help your baby to transition from drinking milk or playing to getting dressed. As your baby gets older, you can ask your toddler to get dressed or they can let you know that they’d like to get dressed. (If you’re not doing this sign until after 12:00 pm, it’s totally fine. I get it.)

10. Swing

For baby’s who like to rock back and forth in their baby’s swing. As your baby gets older, you can use this sign at the park as well.

When your baby first starts signing, your baby might use one sign to mean everything. That’s part of the learning process. Try to show them what they are asking for, and then sign and show them what you think they are asking for if the first thing did not work. So, if they are signing milk and are trying to get to the diapers, you can say, “Do you want some milk?” Then offer your baby milk. If your baby refuses, then ask your baby if he wants his diaper changed and change his diaper. Soon your baby will catch on to the different signs.

If you are signing with your baby and found this post to be helpful, I’d love it if you shared it with other moms to help them out. I am sure they would appreciate it!


Thank you,



free baby sign printable

You’ve reached the end of the blog post. While you’re learning, get a free printable emailed right to you to print out and put on your wall. It includes babies signing 10 most used signs.