My wife and I did baby signs with both our daughters.
The insights it gave us into how they perceive things was priceless. (I still remember being in Home Depot and my daughter pointing to one of the women who worked there and giving the sign for "bib" because she thought that's what she thought the orange aprons HD employees wear was.)
...It was all about bonding with them more and cutting down on the number of meltdowns they'd have because they could 'tell' us what they wanted.
I'm so glad we did it and I recommend it to all new parents.
Fathers and Baby Sign Language
Dads, do you sign with your little one?
Baby sign language is becoming increasingly popular across America (and many other countries!).
Now that signing with your baby is finally spreading at an incredible rate; there is now access to lots of baby sign language classes, DVD videos, signing books and posters, and support groups available in almost every city!
Families have recently been quick to receive and understand the amazing benefits that signing provides for your babies, toddlers, and children.
Ironically, a new (and not so great) trend is popping up alongside the baby sign language trend: unfortunately, it's the lack of father-baby signing interaction! Yikes...
Why does it seem that more mothers than fathers are learning to sign with their babies?
The interaction between a father and his child begins at birth. Coincidentally, this is also the stage where mother-infant bonding is strongest and fathers can feel left out. Many fathers still do not realize that they are also allowed time off of work for paternal leave.
Families will definitely want to look into this option and take advantage of this time to promote strong bonding relationships with their babies. New mothers should try best to encourage fathers to become equal partners in caring for a new baby.
Traditional Parenting Roles
Another reason that dads seem less involved with their infants than mothers do is they fall into traditional roles of parenting.
In our society, men typically work and see themselves as providers.
Women, who may or may not work, typically view themselves as nurturers. Perhaps this is why we see a trend of mother-infant signing and seemingly uninvolved fathers.
In order to reverse this trend and restore equality in parental involvement and communication with Baby, we must loosen up on the traditional mindset. There are many things that families can do to foster equal parental interaction with their baby.
Education Makes All the Difference!
With the growing trend of baby sign language popping up in cities across the country, there are now many opportunities for community support. Try looking for local Deaf groups or sign language communities and take kind advantage of social opportunities to support your learning.
Try taking a baby signing course together. Many sign language classes are offered in the evenings and are relatively inexpensive.
Practicing at home with baby strengthens the family bond while providing numerous developmental benefits to your infant.
As an added bonus, some parents find that they can leave their child at home with a caregiver and spend quality time with their partner while learning sign language!
Be patient. Signing does not come naturally for everyone at first. It is a common misconception that men "just aren't good at learning sign language."
It is very important that both mother and father give themselves time to learn! Find something that works for your learning style, whether it is a class, a video or a book, and remember…it is not a race!
Many men work long hours or travel and therefore do not spend the same amount of time with their babies as mothers do.
Get creative! Make videos of dad signing and telling a bedtime story.
Take pictures of dad signing common words to objects around the house. Not only is this a fun learning opportunity for your baby, but it will also strengthen the father-infant bond.
There are many ways to involve fathers in your baby's development of sign language. Many men want to be more involved, but simply aren't always sure how to do it!
It is important to find ways to interact with your baby that promote equality between mothers and fathers. Sign language offers an excellent avenue for family bonding!
Are you a Proud Papa who Uses Baby Sign Language?
Please share your baby signing experiences here!
Click here to see stories about sign language from other dads!
What Other Visitors Have Said About Dads using Baby Sign Language
Click below to see father/baby sign language experiences from other visiting baby signers to this page...
Son favorite with daddy
# Do you currently sign with your baby? Yes. Our son signs a few words # How long have you been signing? His whole life! # How old is your little …
I get to work an hour late once a week so I can join my wife and daughter at our Baby Fingers class in NYC. It's one of the best hours of the week... …
Baby Sign Language and Dads
my daughter loves the baby sign language teacher. she either sits on her lap during class or just watches her intently. of course she is also socializing …