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You can start signing whenever you want. The younger your child is, the longer you'll have to be signing to them before they'll sign back but they might start picking it up a little earlier. A lot of the experts and books say between 6-8 months is the prime time, but really there are benefits to both signing earlier than that and signing later.
I like to start out with words that refer to basic needs. Milk (for bottle or nurse,) change (for diaper change) and eat are all good words to start with. If your child has a paci or special blankie, you might want to have a sign for that. Basically, start with whatever word or words you think that your child would need to say to you the most.
Getting started is easy! You just look up whatever word you want to use (you can use the internet or grab a book from the library- our resources sticky (Baby Signing Resources) has a great list of online dictionaries) Then you want to practice it until you feel comfortable with it. When you feel you are ready to introduce the sign to your child, you simply sign the word at the same time that you would naturally say it. So if you want to introduce "milk" for nursing or for a bottle, when your little one gets fussy you would say "oh, do you want to nurse?" and do the sign for milk as you say "nurse" Any time that you say the word, use the sign. The more you say it and sign it, the better. I found that signing actually helped me to talk a LOT more to infants!
Thats it! Just say it and sign it. Check out our FAQ sticky for a little more in-depth answers
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Thank You, Pattyandthemoos, for my beautiful siggy!