thankyou smFamilies who use the Baby Signs® Program know firsthand that there are many benefits to using signs with their babies. Using the Baby Signs® Program:

  • Reduces tears, tantrums, & frustration
  • Allows babies to share their worlds
  • Increases respect for babies
  • Strengthens the parent-infant bond
  • Boosts self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Makes learning to talk easier
  • Stimulates intellectual development

More than two decades of Baby Signs® research has shown that these proven benefits affect different areas of a child's development.

Language Development

Using the Baby Signs® Program Makes Learning to Talk Easier!

Some parents worry that encouraging their child to use signs might slow down learning to talk. Actually, the opposite is true! With the help of a large grant from the federal government, Dr. Linda Acredolo and Dr. Susan Goodwyn were able to show that using the Baby Signs® Program actually helps babies learn to talk. Just as a child who learns to crawl is more, rather than less motivated to learn to walk, so also a child who learns to sign more, rather than less motivated to learn to talk! The groundbreaking research completed by Baby Signs® authors Dr. Linda Acredolo and Dr. Susan Goodwyn showed extensive benefits for language development including:

By the time they were 2 years-old, Baby Signs® babies had significantly larger vocabularies than their non-signing peers. By the time they were three years old, their language skills were more like that of their four year-old peers.

Social-Emotional Development

Reduces Tears, Tantrums, and Frustration!

By the time babies are 9 to 10 months old, they are quite capable of knowing what it is they need or want. What they don't know is how to tell us with words - which leads directly to frustration for baby and parent alike. All this changes when a baby is able to use signs. With signs like "thirsty," "hungry," "hot," and "cold" - and many, many others- at their disposal, babies can make their needs known quickly and quietly without resorting to tantrums and tears. No wonder "Decreased frustration!" is the answer we most frequently get when we ask how using the Baby Signs® Program has changed daily life.

Allows Babies to Share their Worlds.

Just because babies don't talk doesn't mean they aren't paying attention to the world around them. Babies are seeing things, thinking things, even remembering things -- and with signs at their command, all this needn't remain their secret. Parents of Baby Signs® babies quickly learn to see the world through their baby's eyes and appreciate in a whole new way what an amazing world it is!

Boosts Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence.

What good self-esteem boils down to for any of us is the sense that we are perceived as competent and praiseworthy in both our own eyes and in the eyes of those we love. And that's just what the ability to use signs yields. Because they can communicate effectively with their caregivers, and because their caregivers respond so positively to these communications, Baby Signs® babies develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments that is wonderful to see.

The Founders

drs headshots

Dr. Linda Acredolo and Dr. Susan Goodwyn


Strengthens the Parent-Child Bond

Communicating means connecting. When you and your baby can communicate with one another, your relationship will grow closer and closer and become more satisfying to both of you.

Cognitive Development

Using the Baby Signs® Program Stimulates Intellectual Development!

Baby Signs® babies are busily using their signs to learn about the world while their non-signing peers are still waiting for the words they need to do the same. For example, a Baby Signs® baby may label a piece of broccoli with a sign for "flower" while smiling quizzically, essentially asking, "It looks like a flower, but what is it really?" We now know that all this early learning pays off down the road. When Linda and Susan revisited the children from their government-funded study of the Baby Signs® Program after the children had finished second grade, they found that those who had used signs when they were babies had higher IQs than those who had not!

Jumpstarts Intellectual Development

One surprising result of Linda and Susan’s research was the long-term positive effects of signing on children’s intellectual development. Children who used the Baby Signs® Program as infants scored significantly higher on IQ tests when they were 8 years old.