Sabla D'Oliveira with Beebo

Sabla D’Oliveira: International Partner for Baby Signs Portugal®

Sabla D’Oliveira’s journey with the Baby Signs® Program is a testament to the program’s profound impact on both babies and families. As the International Partner for Baby Signs® Portugal, her passion shines through her story:

From Curiosity to Calling:

Sabla D'Oliveira signing

Since she was a little girl, she’s always held a fascination for the world of infants and early development. When deciding on her college major, she deliberated between early childhood education and psychology, ultimately opting for the latter. The Baby Signs® Program came into her life during a family dinner, where she observed her 12-month-old cousin using signs to communicate with her mother. The baby had one arm outstretched, and opened and closed her hand. She distinctly recalled thinking, “What an odd way to request being held.” Suddenly, her mother leaned towards the baby and asked, “You want some milk?” To Sabla’s amazement, her little cousin nodded, with a big smile. She was completely astounded by what had occurred. Hastily, she caught up with them and inquired about the remarkable exchange. The response I received was, “Baby Signs, aren’t you familiar with it?” Just a month later, she became a certified Baby Signs® Instructor. Over the next four years, prior to becoming a mother herself, she dedicated her efforts to assisting families and professionals in utilizing the Baby Signs® Program. Upon experiencing the profound impact of the program firsthand with her own child, her enthusiasm for the Baby Signs® Program only grew stronger.

From Instructor to Entrepreneur:

Sabla juggled full-time work as a psychologist with part-time teaching the Baby Signs® program. However, upon the birth of her first child, she grew dissatisfied with the limited time she could spend with him. As he spent long hours in daycare while she worked, she realized something needed to change. After two years of reflection, she made the bold decision to transition into entrepreneurship. Recognizing the irreplaceable moments lost with her child, she was determined to chart a new course. Leaving her job, she embraced a role as a full-time Baby Signs® Instructor, immersing herself in marketing, personal development, and cultivating the right mindset. Nearly two years later, fueled by a newfound sense of purpose, she embarked on a larger mission—to introduce the Baby Signs® Program as an international partner in Portugal. This decision stemmed from a desire to empower mothers to generate income while cherishing precious moments with their children—a vision that continues to inspire her profoundly.

Expertise and Experience:

Sabla’s educational background in psychology, special education, and her experience with sign language laid a strong foundation for her role as a Baby Signs® Instructor and International Partner. Her hands-on experience working with diverse populations, including children with Autism and Deaf children, equipped her with valuable insights into communication and early childhood development.

Teaching and Partnership:

Portugal ICIs

Since becoming a Baby Signs® Instructor in 2009 and an international partner in 2017, Sabla has certified over 130 instructors in Portugal, fostering a growing community dedicated to enhancing communication between infants and caregivers. With approximately 50 active instructors in the field, Sabla’s impact continues to ripple through the country, enriching the lives of families and professionals alike. In 2021 Sabla founded the non-profit association, Associação Baby Signs Portugal, so instructors could train, for free, the teams of shelter homes for children, and host families.

The Rewards of Communication:

For Sabla, the most rewarding aspect of her work lies in the heartfelt messages of gratitude from families whose lives have been transformed by the Baby Signs® Program. Witnessing babies and caregivers forge deeper bonds through effective communication reaffirms Sabla’s commitment to her mission. Seeing instructors build careers around the program while staying close to their children fuels her drive even further.

The Power of Signs:

Sabla emphasizes the profound connection between infants and caregivers fostered through harmonious communication. She expresses that there are no words to adequately describe the depth of this bond. Witnessing the confidence and trust exhibited by babies when they communicate effectively with their caregivers is a truly remarkable experience. Sabla shares her own experience with her two children, highlighting the incredible journey of communication they embarked upon. Her older child began signing at 9 months and quickly expanded their vocabulary to over 40 words. Similarly, her youngest, inspired by her older sibling, started signing at just 6 months and reached over 50 signs by her first birthday. This early communication not only facilitated their needs but also laid the foundation for verbal communication, with both children speaking by 17 months. The resulting bond between each family member was nothing short of incredible.

Memorable Moments:

When my daughter was 12 months old, we encountered a familiar challenge: getting her settled into her car seat. Despite my efforts and offering her favorite toy—a small doll she carried everywhere—she became increasingly upset at the prospect of being strapped in and threw the doll aside. Anticipating a tantrum, I braced myself, but to my surprise, she suddenly signed ‘BOOK.’ Responding to her request, I found a book in the car and handed it to her. Miraculously, she settled into her seat without a single tear or struggle as I fastened her seatbelt. It was a moment of both astonishment and relief. I never would have anticipated her request, but her ability to communicate through using signs made all the difference. I’m immensely grateful for the program, which equipped her with the tools to express her needs effectively.

Advice for Aspiring Signers:

Sabla encourages parents and professionals interested in teaching infant sign language to attend workshops to gain a comprehensive understanding of the Baby Signs® Program. By learning the when, how, and strategies for effective implementation, caregivers can unlock the full potential of communication with their infants.


A Mission Driven by Passion:

Sabla’s story goes beyond individual success. It’s about her unwavering commitment to ensuring every baby in Portugal has the opportunity to experience the joy and benefits of the Baby Signs® Program. She says, “I won’t rest until every baby in Portugal has the opportunity of having this opportunity in their hands.”

If you reside in the Portugal and would like to learn more about  becoming a certified Baby Signs® Instructor or taking classes with your baby, please contact:

Baby Signs Portugal®
Youtube: Baby Signs Portugal