Baby Sign Language Can Help Keep Children Safe

August 23, 2011 — By

Sincere thanks to Joann Woolley for her contribution to this post.

Communicating with babies before they can talk is a challenge to say the least. We think they understand when we tell them, “don’t touch,” but how can we be sure? Teaching babies and toddlers some simple signs will help them to more fully comprehend our words, and provides a way for them to show us that they understand.

Joann Woolley is a baby sign language expert. She generously recorded this short video for WeMakeItSafer readers to demonstrate a few simple signs that we can teach our babies and toddlers to help keep them safe. When your lil’ one repeats back to you the gestures for words and phrases like “danger,” “hot” and “not for baby,” you can be sure he or she understands.

Joann Woolley, instructor and owner of Sign4Baby, learned to sign as an infant. Her mother is deaf and it wasn’t until entering Kindergarten that she realized her unique gift. Now, Joann teaches baby sign language classes in the San Diego area and provides a wealth of information on her blog at

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  1. Etel says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful article and video on Baby Signing! It’s great to see an example of how flexible baby signing really is–how we can create a “not for baby” sign in lieu of using the “no” sign. I think that it’s truly wonderful that you wrote this article, tying in Baby Sign Language with safety. I think hand gestures are a great and easy way to communicate with our babies and keeping them safe is just another wonderful way that Baby Sign Language is beneficial to everyone!

    If you’re interested in more information about Baby Sign Language classes, feel free to check out SignShine, an LA-based organization that teaches Baby Sign Language to parents and children. Please visit our website at for more information about Baby Signing or our Youtube site at for more Baby Signing videos.