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First Baby Signs: The “Milk” Sign

Updated: Jul 10, 2022

Mother breastfeeding her baby

Children long for communication from the very first moment they come to this world. Babies can recognise their mother’s voice and love listening and responding to it. Crying is the main means of communication for little ones; a cry can mean anything from hunger and a wet nappy to tiredness and fear. Before talking, babies smile, babble and imitate sounds; these alongside eye contact are babies’ ways of communication with parents.

Introducing a few signs can greatly improve the communication between parents and babies and minimise the need for crying. Providing your baby with an easy way to express her needs and wants means that she doesn’t need to resort to crying. It’s true that babies have the natural tendency to use gestures, so baby signing advances what they are naturally doing already.

Milk is one of the first signs you can introduce to your baby, as it meets one of your baby’s basic needs, the need for food (and not only; think about comfort and reassurance!). In your baby’s early life, milk is the most commonly used word throughout the day.

How To Sign Milk

Simply clench and unclench your fist in a squeezing motion. If you breastfeed, sign close to your chest and away if you or someone else gives your baby a bottle. Make the sign before, during and after you feed your baby.

Sign regularly and always in context. Say the word as you sign it. Keep it fun!

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

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.

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 I talk about the benefits of baby signing and teach you 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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