First Baby Signs: The “Milk” Sign

Updated: Mar 9

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.

Book the Very First Signs Workshop

Very First Signs is designed as an introduction to Baby Signing.

Get an insight into how you can communicate with your baby – before they can speak!

Book this class and learn the most important signs for your baby or toddler and start using them straight away. In just 30 minutes, you’ll have the ability to communicate more with your baby and better understand their needs.


If you want to join, but can't attend the class, you can still book a place and you will be sent the link to the recorded session to watch at your convenience.

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