When Is the Right Time?
The general consensus among baby-signing experts is that six to eight months is the perfect age to begin introducing your baby to sign language. At around six months, a baby is gaining comprehension of language and probably understands a few words. At around seven months, babies have developed enough fine motor skills to form some basic signs. This physical and mental development is what makes sign language a valid form of communication for babies. In addition, most babies are alert, observant, and eager to learn during this age range.
It is important to note that regardless of the age at which you introduce sign language, it may be a few months before your baby signs back to you. Even babies who are introduced to sign language at six months most commonly make their first signs between eight and ten months of age.
Even though there are great benefits to introducing sign at this time, you can be just as successful if you begin earlier or later. If you have missed the six-to-eight-month range, start signing with your child now because it is never too late. Similarly, there is nothing wrong with demonstrating sign language to your four-, five-, or even one-month-old.