There’s something simply amazing about communicating with your infant via sign language.

The first time they sign to you just stops you in your tracks. Did my baby just sign to me, you think? Could it be? Wow! My baby is brilliant!

I signed some with my son (okay, confession: he really only signed one sign—“more”) and am now teaching my infant daughter to sign. We started when she was about eight months old, inspired by seeing Rachel from Signing Time perform at Baby Celebration LA.

L’s first sign was the one to nurse, and its still her most consistent and used sign (well, along with bye-bye). She’s also made up her own sign or two which we are working on deciphering.

There are many claims made about the benefits of signing. I don’t doubt that its beneficial to some degree, but mostly I just think its fun. Pamela Paul has an insightful article on Babble about infant sign language: Hands Across America: Is Baby Sign Language Essential or a Rip-off? Will it make your kid ace the SATs and get into Harvard? Probably not. Will it be a neat way to communicate with your infant? Yes, or at least, it has been for our family (albeit in our own limited, ad hoc way).

Today I decided to teach her the sign for baby sling. Turns out that you use the signs for “baby” and “carrier.” Click here to see a very serious woman demonstrating this sign for you.

Do it like she does, but please, add a smile and have some fun!