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What Age is Best for Baby Sign Classes?

11 February 2023

Parents often wonder when the best time is to start baby signing classes. The answer, as with so many things in parenting, is that it depends. Each stage of a baby's development offers different opportunities for learning and growth. Here are the five stages of signing classes, from birth to toddler.


In the earliest stage of life, babies are learning to communicate through sounds and facial expressions. Signing can help them learn to communicate more effectively and understand the world around them sooner. Some basic signs that can be introduced in this stage include milk, eat, more, please, and thank you. Signing to a newborn baby helps to create a foundation for communication that will be built upon as they grow and develop. It can also help them develop a stronger bond with their parents and caregivers.

0 to Six Months

During this stage, babies are beginning to learn how to use their hands and fingers. They can start to mimic simple gestures, such as waving bye-bye. This is a great time to introduce more signs, such as up, down, change nappy, and sleep. As babies learn to sign, they will also start to understand the meaning of words. This can help them learn new words more quickly and communicate their needs more effectively. At this age, signing classes can be a great way for babies to socialise and interact with other children.

Six to Eight Months

During this stage, babies start to develop hand-eye coordination and will be able to sign more complex words and phrases. Signs that can be introduced during this time period include ball, bike, car, dog, cat, hat, house, mummy, and daddy. As babies learn more signs, they will be able to communicate their needs and wants more effectively. This can help to reduce frustration and tantrums. Signing classes can also help babies to develop their fine motor skills and prepare them for writing.

Eight to Twelve Months

At this stage, babies are becoming more independent and will be able to sign a wide range of words and phrases. They will also be able to follow simple commands. At this age, babies are also starting to understand the concept of object permanence, so they will be able to understand that when they sign a word, the object or action being referenced still exists, even if it is out of sight.

Twelve to Eighteen Months

This is a time of rapid development for toddlers as they learn new skills at a phenomenal rate. In addition to continuing to learn complex words and phrases, they will also start signing whole sentences. Signs that can be introduced during this period include I love you, all done (or finished), no more (or stop), I want (or give me), what's this?, where's _____?, and do you want some water (or juice)? Speech and language development is also progressing rapidly during this stage, so signing classes can help toddlers to learn how to put words together to form sentences.

Each stage of a baby's development offers different opportunities for learning and growth. Baby signing classes can help babies and toddlers to communicate more effectively, bond with their parents and caregivers, and develop important skills. The best time to start signing classes is different for every child, but the earlier the better.

Check out the Hoop app using the links below to find classes local to you.

Photo by Henley Design Studio

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