Tips For Communicating Before Your Kids Can Speak

Today’s guest post is about communicating with your children before they can even speak. Sharon Rechter is an expert on the topic – she cofounded BabyFirst, the company that produces the I Can Sign TV series.

As a mom of two amazing young girls, I’ve always looked for the latest and greatest parenting trends, tips and tricks. From baby yoga to swaddling to BPA-free bottles – it can all become a little overwhelming. Some of the so-called “must-haves” or “must-dos” fall flat, but others have proven to be life savers!

For my family, signing with my daughters, Noa and Neta, has been truly transformative. I discovered the signing phenomenon when the company I co-founded, BabyFirst, decided to produce a television series called I Can Sign, that helps parents communicate with their children long before they are able to speak. I was surprised to find out how really simple and quick it is for little ones to pick up signs and use them properly. For me, it saved us a lot of frustration and also created a special bond.

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Here are a few tips from our child development experts at BabyFirst:

-          Try to start signing with your baby any time after they are six-months-old.

-          Use common words that are helpful and important such as “more,” “I want” and “I am hungry.”

-          Be sure to repeat the sign, and speak it verbally each and every time you communicate the sign.

-          Give your child a couple of days to absorb the signs and they’ll learn them just that quickly!

Even to this day, my girls and I use signing as almost a “secret language.” This past spring, my daughter was standing on stage for the first time for her ballet recital and was a little nervous. From my seat in the audience, I signed to her that I loved her. She signed back and smiled, and she knew that I understood, which made her feel better.

Sign language is like any other language, and just as teaching your child a second language develops their communication skills and develops their brain, sign language will provide similar benefits. I hope signing can help you and your family to “talk” with one another even before your baby can speak.

About the Author: Sharon Rechter, Executive Vice President, Business Development and Marketing, BabyFirst

Sharon Rechter, along with business partner, Guy Oranim, conceptualized and co-founded BabyFirstTV. In her role as executive vice president, she leads the business development and marketing activities for the company – with a clear passion to bring quality, new educational programming to families of babies and toddlers.

Rechter has a broad background in television programming and recently served as the vice president and head of operations for The Israeli Network (the Israeli television channel in the U.S.). She was responsible for the general management of the network, and focused on areas including business development, advertising and subscriptions. Before entering the television broadcast industry, Rechter headed the strategic planning department at GNS Advertising in Israel where she was responsible for developing strategic plans for a variety of lifestyle brands.

Rechter received her B.A. in business administration from the Arison School of Business and her L.L.B in law from the Radziner School of Law, both at The Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel.


  1. this is so amazing thanks for posting so helpful for my 2 yr old whom is a little behind and going through evaluation

  2. i use sign language on all of my children, it seems girls pick up on it quicker then the boys, sometimes.

  3. Signing makes such a difference with children. After communication struggles with our first child, we were intending to sign with our second. Turns out she was born with hearing loss so we did more than we intended but it has been great for us all to learn.

  4. I can appreciate the appeal of this, and the value. Sometimes it has taken parents I’ve observed a few tries to understand what their child is trying to convey, so this would be quite useful in those cases.

  5. This is great! I wish I had known more about signing when my son was younger.

  6. Great review. I, too, think that signing is great. Creating a signing language bond with your children is a great aid for both parties, and keeps the lines of communication open.

  7. Absolutely!
    Babies have linguistic capabilities before they have speech capabilities– they’re brains are ready for language, but their control over their vocal cords is not.

    Using sign language with your babies is the ideal solution! Not only is it great to bond with your baby in this unique way, but it cuts down on their stress level (they can finally communicate their needs) and your stress level (no more guessing about their needs, they can tell you!).

    Also– there’s no need to wait until your baby is 6 months old- if you know you want to use sign language with your baby, start right away. That’s what deaf parents do!
    Great post!

  8. Michelle F. says:

    Great information. I am going to try it with my baby.

  9. I should use sign with my little guy!

  10. since my son has autism we often used signs to help him learn to communicate before he could talk. They can be very helpful to all children but especially to special needs kids.

  11. Signing really worked with my son, but we weren’t diligent enough to teach it with my girls. I wish we had,

  12. I truly wish I would have instilled this in my children when they were little. I read this and I am sorta in awww by it! Dang me! Enjoyed the read and everyones else comments too!

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