best baby sign book

The Top 10 Best Baby Sign Language Books (so you can talk in movie theatres)

The Top 10 Best Baby Sign Language Books (so you can talk in movie theatres)

Maybe you can relate.

Ever been jolted out of bed in the middle of the night by your crying baby? You stumble in expecting a quick fix.

  • You pick em’ up and offer the boob (or take them to the boobs). Nope.
  • You sniff their butt expecting the worse. Nope (but you change it anyway).
  • You feel their hands and feet. Nope, they’re toasty warm.
  • You offer a teething toy (aka your finger). Nope.

So for some unknown reason, the crying continues.

Could it be something serious like a headache, ear infection, fever, cramps, or trouble breathing?

God, wouldn’t it be less nerve-wracking (and scary!) if your baby could just tell you what’s wrong?

Enter: Baby sign language book.

Already convinced you need a baby sign book? Then check out our top picks below.

Do You Really Need A Baby Sign Book?

For all those reasons and more (ahem, not having to sniff your bubs butt every time you think they’ve filled their biodegradable diaper (or better yet, cloth diaper), you need a baby signing book. Plus, two-way communication feels sooooo good. It literally gives you a special bond with your baby that most parents don't have).

So why wait until they can talk to start two-way communication?

This probably won’t come as a surprise, but babies try to express themselves waaay before they’ve developed the motor skills (read: control of their vocal cords, tongue, mouth, lips, etc.) necessary to communicate verbally (which happens at around 14 months. But you won't understand anything for another few).

We all know babies can control their hands way before that. And that means the door to start baby sign language is wide open.

And guess what?

Some babies start signing as early as 6 months. So on the extreme side of things, we're talkin' two-way communication a whole 10 months before verbal communication is effective.

That's almost a year of untapped two-way communication at your fingertips (ha, get it?).

So what’s the hold up?

Grab a baby sign book and get all benefits now. You’ll thank us for:

  • Less crying and fewer meltdowns.
  • Quicker, stronger bonds between parents and baby.
  • A boost in baby’s vocabulary and literacy (compared to non-signing babies)
  • Baby will have more confidence and self-esteem.
    (and mom and dad will be super proud!)

But like most things, not all baby sign books are created equal. So we’re here to help.

And you can trust us because we've been signing with our baby since day 1. The first sign she recognized was probably “milk” at age 7.5 months (keep in mind she was 6 weeks early).

She lights up every time we make the sign. And so do we.

What To Look For When Buying A Baby Sign Book

First thing’s first—start off right and teach them (and yourself) American Sign Language (ASL). It’s a widely used, conventional version of sign language that will give you and your baby the best chance to communicate early AND of learning a skill you both can use later in life.

Ok, here’s our full review criteria:

Popularity
Because social proof doesn’t lie. We ranked books based on how well-received they’ve been by reading comments posted in amazon and by looking at the book’s overall ranking. Our logic is that if parents can’t make sense of the sign books, then their babies don’t stand a chance either.

Price
Baby sign books are relatively inexpensive, but no one likes getting gouged. So we’ve crunched the numbers to help you find a signing book that’s great for beginners and also within your budget. Specifically, we considered the cost per page to get a handle on price point and value.

Illustrations
So many awesome baby signing books fall short simply because of the quality (ahem, poor quality) of the illustrations. I mean, We’re trying to learn a new language JUST from the pictures! So they gotta be crisp and clear. End of story.

Practicality
We’re looking for a book that teaches the basics without going overboard. We don’t want to feel overwhelmed and desperate to give up. Books that get full practicality marks teach the basics but also have enough “meat” in em’ so you don’t outgrow them too quickly.

The 10 Best Baby Sign Books

#1
Baby Sign Language Basics
By Monta Briant

Winner

“Baby Sign Language Basics” By Monta Briant

Popularity: 5 Stars ( 5 / 5)
Price: 4 Stars ( 4 / 5)
Illustrations: 5 Stars ( 5 / 5)
Practicality: 5 Stars ( 5 / 5)
Average:4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)

In her new and expanded sign book, Monta Briant, the author, provides more than 300 ASL signs illustrated fantastically straightforward, easy-to-understand picture descriptions.

To help make learning more fun, the book comes with songs, games, and baby-specific signing techniques loaded on a CD.

And as it turns out, this is the book we have. It's a great reference and we keep it handy so we can use it often.
Pro tip: But if it's not around, I quickly google “asl apple”, for example.

Pros

  • Straightforward pictures to help parents understand.
  • Best value considering the cost per page.
  • 496 pages of great content.
  • Practical with signs ordered alphabetically.

Cons

  • Might seem too advanced for some.
“Baby Talk: A Guide to Using Basic Sign Language” By Monica Beyer

Popularity: 4 Stars ( 4 / 5)
Price: 4 Stars ( 4 / 5)
Illustrations: 5 Stars ( 5 / 5)
Practicality: 5 Stars ( 5 / 5)
Average:4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Written by a veteran signer and mother of three, this well-illustrated guide is full of practical tips, real-life anecdotes, and easy-to-understand diagrams of more than 60 basic American Sign Language signs. This book is elegant and simple to help you start baby sign language quicker and easier.

Pros

  • Illustrations are clear effective.
  • Includes all the basics.

Cons

  • Missing more complex signs.
  • Cost per page 4x higher than #1 ranked sign book.

#3
The Baby Signing Book
By Sara Bingham


The Baby Signing Book By Sara Bingham

Popularity: 4 Stars ( 4 / 5)
Price: 3 Stars ( 3 / 5)
Illustrations: 5 Stars ( 5 / 5)
Practicality: 5 Stars ( 5 / 5)
Average:4.3 Stars (4.3 / 5)

Another super-value option that has over 250 pages of ASL signs, this sign-powerhouse has clear instructions with every illustration. Plus your baby’s signing milestones can be recorded in the book, which is great for tracking progress (and sentimental to look back on!). It’s, arguably, one of the most straightforward and comprehensive baby sign books you’ll ever find.

Pros

  • The visuals are great.
  • Memory aids given as a bonus.
  • Personal anecdotes from signing with her 2 babies included throughout.

Cons

  • It’s a bit advanced (so be ready).
My First Book Of Sign Language By Joan Holub

Popularity: 4 Stars ( 4 / 5)
Price: 5 Stars ( 5 / 5)
Illustrations: 4.5 Stars ( 4.5 / 5)
Practicality: 3 Stars ( 3 / 5)
Average:4.1 Stars (4.1 / 5)

Learning to sign is fun and easy with this beginner’s guide. In My First Book of Sign Language, you’ll learn how to sign the entire alphabet as well as signs for common words. But don’t expect to become fluent in sign with just this book.

Pros

  • Includes everyday signs.
  • Formatted like a storybook.
  • Pictures are clear and follow the story.

Cons

  • Not very comprehensive (only 32 pages).
  • High cost per page.
Sign Language: My First 100 Words By Michiyo Nelson

Popularity: 4 Stars ( 4 / 5)
Price: 4 Stars ( 4 / 5)
Illustrations: 5 Stars ( 5 / 5)
Practicality: 3 Stars ( 3 / 5)
Average:4 Stars (4 / 5)

Featuring cool computer-generated illustrations and easy to follow layout, “My First 100 Words” teaches you and your baby 100 basic signs for everyday use that span practical categories such as food, family, and feelings (12 categories in total).

It also covers the entire alphabet, fingerspelling, and numbers.

Pros

  • Covers the basics and then some.
  • Bonus full-sized chart of the ASL alphabet (you can hang it up).
  • Illustrations are bright and cheerful.

Cons

  • Some of the words are a bit advanced.
  • Cost per page is the highest of all other books reviewed.
Signing Smart with Babies and Toddlers By Michelle Anthony

Popularity: 3 Stars ( 3 / 5)
Price: 4 Stars ( 4 / 5)
Illustrations: 4.5 Stars ( 4.5 / 5)
Practicality: 4 Stars ( 4 / 5)
Average:3.9 Stars (3.9 / 5)

This is a simple yet effective introduction to signing for parents and babies. It the basics and includes some strategies for parents to understand, and then introduce their babies to sign language.

Pros

  • Introduces the “Signing Smart system” using 100 illustrations.
  • Appropriate for infants to toddlers.
  • Teaches parents how to recognize returned signs from babies.

Cons

  • Limited number of signs covered.
  • Cost per page is high.
Baby Signs: A Baby-Sized Introduction to Speaking with Sign Language By Joy Allen

Popularity: 5 Stars ( 5 / 5)
Price: 4 Stars ( 4 / 5)
Illustrations: 4 Stars ( 4 / 5)
Practicality: 2 Stars ( 2 / 5)
Average:3.8 Stars (3.8 / 5)

Using this adorable board book of essential signs, newborns can easily learn how to express their needs, wants, and emotions. Or better yet, communicate basic observations with a simple gesture.

Just point to any of the 13 signs in the book, say the word while making the sign, and your baby will be signing that word after a couple of sessions.

Pros

  • A great introduction to baby sign language.
  • Very easy to understand signs covered.

Cons

  • The book is only 16 pages of basic signs.
  • The signs are not categorized.

#8
Sign With Your Baby
By Joseph Garcia


Sign With Your Baby By Joseph Garcia

Popularity: 3.5 Stars ( 3.5 / 5)
Price: 4 Stars ( 4 / 5)
Illustrations: 3 Stars ( 3 / 5)
Practicality: 4 Stars ( 4 / 5)
Average:3.6 Stars (3.6 / 5)

This book uses anecdotes, useful guidelines, and humor to explain the benefits and ways to use baby sign language. The author also helps you to recognize when your baby finally starts signing back. He goes on to recommend which signs to teach first and offers unique ideas for games that can be fun when introducing sign to your baby.

Pros

  • 145 clearly illustrated signs.
  • Includes signing games to play.

Cons

  • Cost per page is high.
  • Limited number of signs covered.
  • Some illustrations are unclear.
Teach Your Baby to Sign: An Illustrated Guide By Monica Beyer

Popularity: 3 Stars ( 3 / 5)
Price: 3 Stars ( 3 / 5)
Illustrations: 3.5 Stars ( 3.5 / 5)
Practicality: 4 Stars ( 4 / 5)
Average:3.4 Stars (3.4 / 5)

“Teach Your Baby to Sign” is a collection of photographs with signing babies accompanied with text explanations. Its covers the basics and is pretty practical, but has a higher cost per page give the price of the book.

Pros

  • 200 signs explained with pictures and text.
  • Signs broken into “stages” so you know which signs to teach first and how to progressively add more.

Cons

  • Some illustrations are unclear.
  • Covers the basics and some advanced signs.

#10
The Pigs Got Out
By Sheree Davis


The Pigs Got Out By Sheree Davis

Popularity: 2 Stars ( 2 / 5)
Price: 4 Stars ( 4 / 5)
Illustrations: 5 Stars ( 5 / 5)
Practicality: 2 Stars ( 2 / 5)
Average:3.3 Stars (3.3 / 5)

This one is for the parents who want to add a fun twist to their ASL lessons. “The Pigs Got Out” is a story about a character called Lila who struggles to get 22 piglets back in their pen with the help of her siblings.

The whole book is illustrated using clearly drawn signs and cute characters to get your baby even more interested in the story.

Pros

  • Formatted as an interactive storybook.
  • A great way to introduce ASL sign.

Cons

  • Limited number of signs covered.
  • Cost per page is high.

The reality is that parents can use sign language to jump start their baby’s vocabulary, enjoy two-way communications earlier, and get to know their babies sooner.

So what are you waiting for!

Oh, and don’t be discouraged if your baby fails to start signing back right away. Just have patience and it’ll come. Now get at er’ and buy your favourite sign book.

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