Ask any parent, and they'll probably tell you that one of the steepest learning curves of a new baby is learning to communicate. From those hazy first weeks when you struggle to interpret each cry through the first year as you try to decipher each new babble, figuring out what your child wants can be a major challenge.

The funny thing is, children are often capable of communication long before their speech abilities are developed. When raising my two daughters, my husband and I quickly learned that they both often knew exactly what they wanted—even if they didn't know how to express it to us.

So I was excited when a friend introduced me to the idea of teaching my baby sign language.

I knew a few signs, like simple greetings and the alphabet, but it had never occurred to me that I could use this incredible language to open up a world of "speech" with my baby. And when it came to educating myself and my child on new signs, Child's Play's Sign About series quickly became our go-to.

These colorful, engaging board books cover a variety of everyday topics, from mealtime to going out to animal names, and break down simple signs you and your child will find yourself using every day.

After only a few reads, our meals suddenly became a time of simple communication where my baby could not only ask for specific kinds of foods, but also easily signal when she was done eating or when she wanted more. The Going Out book simplified leaving the house because now I could help my daughter mentally prepare for each step. I even started seeing her sign when she wanted to go to the park or play.

The books make a wonderful introduction to sign language for both hearing impaired and hearing babies, and they have helped make signing a natural part of our communication while the girls have learned to speak. Now everyone in our house gets to have their say.


1. 'Sign About Going Out'

Teach your little one more than 40 signs for words they’ll use while exploring the world. Think: Stroller, shopping, cold, hot, swing and park.


2. 'Sign About Meal Time'

With signs for words like “like” and “delicious,” to words for their favorite healthy foods, this book can help increase communication while you’re eating. Babies as young as seven months old can produce recognizable signs, so introduce a few at the same time you introduce new foods!


3. 'Sign About Playtime'

From expressing their feelings with words like “happy” and “funny” to communicating desires and requests like “again” and “mine,” these 40 signs can deepen the bonding experience of playtime.


4. 'Sign About Getting Ready'

With useful words, like “potty” and “bath” to “shirt” and “pants,” this edition has all the terms that will help prepare for the day.


5. 'My First Animal Signs'

From the backyard to the barnyard to the jungle and on safari, this book features 48 animals that babies and toddlers know and love from all over the world.

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