Teach Babies “All Done”

Show baby “all done”

Developing the concept of “all done/gone” early on helps to reduce communication and behavioral breakdowns. When babies have a good understanding of “all done/gone,” they know what to expect. They begin to realize that something wasn’t just taken away from them, it was finished and it’s time to move on. The meal environment is a great place to work on this concept, because baby can see what “all done/gone” actually means. Knowing when something nears being finished allows baby to prepare for what happens next. When babies know what happens next, they are more relaxed and open to learning new skills, just as we are as adults.

I began using the words, sign and demonstrating “all done/gone” right from the beginning with completion of bottles, diapering, dressing, bathing and reading. The more babies see, hear and practice this skill, the more compliant they become with it. Starting early only helps! I began placing heavy focus and overly exaggerating this concept when I started feeding my son solids, because I didn’t want him to get frustrated when there wasn’t anymore. I wanted him to know that done means done.

Now that my son is a year old, his understanding of the concept “all done/gone/finished” has really developed and generalized to other activities such as reading books, transitioning between play tasks, leaving stores and ending bath time. This is really nice because he knows what to expect, which reduces frustration and battles. He has just started using the sign himself too, score team mommy!


*Prepare baby for “all done” by showing and telling them it’s coming up. You may say, “we are almost done,” “two more bites,” or “it’s time to clean up, we are all done.”

*Tell baby what to expect next. “We are all done eating, time to read a book and go night-night.”

*Pair showing and verbalizing “all done” with the sign by simply twisting your hands palms in then out.


It’s never too early to start modeling and showing baby “all done/gone.” Give it a try and let me know how it goes! Check out my post on signing with baby here.

Peace & Love,


Respect, kindness and love begin with babies…we must show them the way!



2 thoughts on “Teach Babies “All Done”

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