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First Baby Signs: The "Drink" Sign

How to sign eat in baby sign language

You blinked and your baby is ready for solids! And alongside the sign for "eat", you can introduce the sign for "drink" to your baby.

Most babies are ready to have the first sips of water around the sixth month of their life when they also start trying solid foods. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), until then, breastfed babies don't need any additional water, as breast milk is over 80% water, and formula covers the need for fluids for babies who are fed this way.

The amount of water you can give your baby varies according to their age and you can ask your midwife or GP for advice. Water is usually introduced in a cup and for older children, providing frequent access to water is enough; they will drink as much as they want to cover their needs.

TIP! What to do to encourage water/fluids consumption.
Young children get really excited with colours and different shapes, so try colourful cups, or cups featuring their favourite animals and fun-shaped straws!

How To Sign Drink

To make the sign for "drink", shape your dominant hand as if you are holding a cup and pretend you are drinking from it.

Watch the video below for a demonstration of how to sign "drink" to your baby. Don’t forget to say the word "drink" as you sign it - this reinforces your baby’s learning and helps them to associate the word with the sign.

Keep in mind that your baby's sign will look different than yours and babies usually sign "drink" by bringing a flat hand or even a finger to their mouth.

When to sign "drink"

Just like the sign for "eat", use it before offering your baby a drink.

This is a generic sign and can be used for any kind of drink; water, juice, squash etc. However, try to keep the "milk" sign separate.

Be aware that your baby may sign "milk" while she's having her meal. In this case, show your baby the sign for "drink" and ask "Would you like a drink?". This way you help your little one understand the difference between "milk" and "drink" and with regular practice, they will soon become clear.

Watch gorgeous Daisy below smashing the "drink" sign, using a very clear "full C" handshape! (I love the video soundtrack, by the way :) )

Tips for Starting Baby Signing with your Baby

  • Always say the word as you sign it so your baby can make the connection between the word and the sign.

  • Sign in your baby's sightline - keep the sign close to your face.

  • Repeat! Babies learn best through repetition.

Now you know the baby sign for drink, click here to learn the sign for eat.

Starting out with Baby Signing is easier than you think. You just need your hands and our free Baby Signing Guide "How to Teach Your Baby 6 First Signs in Baby Sign Language".

The Very First Signs digital mini-course is now available!

Who is this for?

This is for everyone with a baby or toddler starting out with baby signing. Also suitable for expectant parents who want to learn the core signs that they can use with their baby - when he/she is out -learn while you still have the time to do so!

What's included?

✅ 20-minute recorded class in which you learn about the benefits of baby signing and the core signs you need to start signing with your baby.

✅ 8 videos of the signs taught in the class, which you can download.

✅ 3 bonus sign videos

✅"I can sign..." cards to record your baby's progress and use them as a conversation starter with your baby.

✅ lifetime access to everything and unlimited support via email.

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