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Signing Smart with Babies and Toddlers

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating


Baby sign language book.

Signing Smart with Babies and Toddlers by Michelle E. Anthony and Reyna Lindert.

St. Martin's Griffin. Used with permission.

The Bottom Line

This is one of the most comprehensive and easy to understand books on baby sign language available today. Broken down into quick-read segments, Signing Smart with Babies and Toddlers helps parents understand how to teach sign language to their baby, shows pictures of the signs and gives suggestions on how to include sign language in many everyday situations such as bathing, feeding and playtime.
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  • Intuitive book layout helps parents learn to teach baby sign language.
  • Clear pictures of ASL signs are very helpful for parents.
  • Suggestions for including sign language in daily life are easy to understand and use.
  • Section on possible baby versions of signs may help interpretation.
  • Frequently asked questions section makes it easy to find answers quickly.


  • Doesn't address starting sign language with older babies as much as with infants.


  • Illustrated dictionary section features 130 signs.
  • Suggested activity section includes bathing, dressing, bedtime, playtime and mealtime activities.
  • Shows parents how to teach baby sign language and helps parents understand baby signs.
  • Designed to increase communication for babies and toddlers to lessen frustration.
  • Written by Michelle E. Anthony, M.A., Ph.D., and Reyna Lindert, Ph.D.
  • Published by St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 0-312-33703-5.

Guide Review - Signing Smart with Babies and Toddlers

Teaching your baby sign language in order to encourage earlier communication is a great idea, but let's face it, getting started is a daunting task. Which signs should you start with? How do you teach them to baby? How long will it take for baby to respond? All of these questions are answered, clearly, concisely and with pictures, in Signing Smart with Babies and Toddlers by Michelle Anthony and Reyna Lindert. Not only does this book have a picture dictionary of common ASL signs to use with baby, it gives parents easy ways to use sign language in baby's daily life, explains how to teach baby sign language in several ways, such as hand over hand signing, and even includes advice for working around signs that parents don't know yet or may be too complicated for baby. Since babies often have their own unique style of signing, the authors also added a great section on possible baby versions of common signs to help parents interpret their baby's sign language communications. Parents who have used the sign language teaching methods in Signing Smart with Babies and Toddlers say that the increased communication lessens the frequency and severity of temper tantrums, and that babies who use sign language often learn verbal communication faster and earlier. Signing Smart for Babies and Toddlers is easy to navigate and makes it simple for parents to find ways to communicate with their baby, right from the start.
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