How Toddlers Use Gestures For Communication

How toddlers use gestures for communication

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Effective communication doesn’t come easily to toddlers, which is why they use gestures. A 14-month-old baby using hand gestures can convey several things. Check our list out!





Toddlers are too small to speak in the efficient way that adults do. So, when it comes to expressing their feelings and needs, they rely on certain gestures. As a parent, it’s important that you understand these signs in order to connect with your baby. Take a look at some of these gestures and become better at responding to them.

6 Ways How Babies Use Gestures to Communicate

  • Holding On

    Just because you feel safe at a particular place, it doesn’t necessary mean your little one does too. Your toddler might feel threatened and unsafe in the company of strangers. In such circumstances, he might hold on to your hand or clothes tightly. He might even get into your lap and cling to you. Try to calm your child down and reassure him about his safety. With time, he’ll come out of his shell and ease out.

  • Curious Pokes

    As your toddler grows up, his curiosity gets the better of him. He wants to touch, feel and poke every new thing. Whether it’s your elaborate hairdo, a new book, some precious souvenir your friend brought, or electric sockets, your child will try to get his hands on it. As long as he isn’t handling anything that can break or hurt him, let him poke around and explore. This is the best way to let your toddler evolve.

  • Pointing Fingers

    A common sign language gesture that toddler’s use is to point a finger at a particular thing. This generally means that the child cannot manage the task all by himself and needs your help. It could be in terms of operating a toy, reading a book, or playing an instrument. Indulge your little darling and do what he wants you to do. This is a good way to spend quality time with the child too.

  • Body need Signs

    It’s pretty normal for a 14-month-old baby to use hand gestures to express various bodily needs. In case he’s hungry he might point at his favourite snack or turn cranky. Rubbing his eyes may indicate that he is tired and sleepy. It’s important that you understand these gestures and respond accordingly. In case you ignore these signs, be prepared for a full-blown tantrum.

  • Fear Facts

    Does your little one hold out his hands to shield himself against certain things? Well, this is the most common gesture toddlers use to communicate fear. Make sure you mark the various instances and take care that your child isn’t exposed to it. Even if these are things that you want your child to get acquainted to, don’t push him. Work on his fear and think of a better approach to introduce your child to it.

Though gestures go a long way in helping toddlers communicate, curbing violent gestures like spitting, flinging toys and throwing food is very important.




If you know of other gestures that a toddler uses for communication, share it with other moms here.