Although your baby may not be using any words yet, she is beginning to understand more and more of what you say and is starting to communicate with you through her sounds, facial expressions, and actions. She is starting to imitate some simple actions like clapping and starting to use some gestures like reaching and waving. Your baby may also experience some frustration when she is trying to let you know what she needs. This might mean whining, crying, or even tantrum like behaviors.


Consider using some sign language with your baby to try and make communicating with each other less frustrating. Start with signing TO baby using some simple signs during familiar and common routines. She will start to connect these signs with familiar words and routines even before she is able to imitate the signs or say words. Your baby still needs to develop motor skills like meeting her hands together, moving fingers together, and controlling hand and arm movements to be able to make most signs. Taking the time to learn some signs and work with her can improve your communication with her and is an awesome experience the first time she signs to tell you what she needs!  


How to sign with your baby to communicate


Learn signs for words here

Brain Science for Your Baby


Can signing with your baby reduce frustration for both of you?  Researchers had 29 preverbal children and their parents in Early Head Start (EHS) participate in an intervention study in which 16 families received the "BabySigns Program" intervention, and a control group (13 families) received the typical EHS intervention. Parent-child interactions were videotaped.  


Results indicate that the use of signing (symbolic gestures) enhanced interaction. This appeared to be a result of focusing parents' attention on the child and creating a higher level of recognizing infant emotions, increasing the frequency of child's social cues while decreasing distress cues, and increasing child's verbal output during interactions with parents.  Children in the signing (symbolic gesturing) families had longer mean sentence lengths, and parents of gesturing families had less stress related to receiving reinforcement from their children and the acceptability of children's behavior. 


These results support the potential of using signing as an intervention for changing the day-to-day transactions between parents and young children.

A Baby Buffer Prescription for Your Baby

Pick simple signs that are part of your baby's daily routine.

Start with about 3-5 common words or routines and sign TO your baby during these routines. 
Continue to add more signs as you and baby become more familiar with the signs. 
Common examples to begin: 

A baby Buffer Prescription for You        


Speaking of sings...create some signs that motivate you. This week's prescription is to take note of pictures, quotes, verses, or music that make you feel happy, motivated, inspired, or ready to conqueror your day. Surround yourself with these inspirations, read them daily, and continue to notice and search for things that bring out the best in you! You and your baby will benefit.


"Change your thoughts and you change your world."-Norman Vincent Peale


"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." -Maya Angelou


"There is no way to be a perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one!" 

What Your Baby Can Do - Developmental Milestones 


Your baby is changing quickly during this period. Know what to look for to make sure your baby is growing and changing in a healthy way.  Click on the links below for information from the CDC on what your baby can do now.  

Gene's Research Tip of the Week
Does your child have a "magnetic personality?  Well, what we definitely don't want is a magnetic gut from sizzling magnets or Neodymium super magnets. They sound like fun... unless they get swallowed.  These come as small enough pieces that if swallowed, may go through the intestines at different speeds.  Being magnets, they may attach to each other with the intestinal wall in between. Read More

Baby Buffer Blog

Written by Denise Dowd, MD, Emergency and Urgent Care Physician at Children's Mercy Hospital, serves as an advisor for Charlie's House, a non-profit dedicated to preventing childhood injuries in and around the home.  


As the weather starts to warm up and we all look forward to more time outside and afternoons by the pool, it is important to keep water safety in mind.  Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death for young children (ages 1 - 4); most of those deaths occur in swimming pools.  These tragic deaths are preventable through proper environmental safety-proofing and supervision. Drowning happens so quickly and small children can drown in as little as one inch of water, so take the time now to develop a safety plan. 


If you have a swimming pool, proper fencing is the most important prevention action to take. Fencing should be at least 4 feet high and should isolate the pool from the yard and house and be self-latching. Small plastic or inflatable pools are fun for the family and great for kids' development, but when you are done playing, the pool should always be tipped over and stored upside down and out of the reach of children. 


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