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Mum helps babies find their voice

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By Fiona Reid
Mum helps babies find their voice

ED up with the lack of baby classes on offer locally, new mum Nicole Honeker has decided to start her own.

She’s just finished training in baby sign language and will soon be starting to run classes locally in ‘TinyTalk’.

It’s a change of direction for the 35-year-old who is from Ayrshire but now lives in Eaglesfield and has enjoyed a successful career in front of house, weddings and event management. But she hopes it will be a positive step for herself and five-month-old daughter Isla and others mums, dads and carers who are keen to get out of the house.

Nicole said: “I think locally it would be great to see more classes – a popular one from where I’m originally from is Jo Jingles and there are a few others. I know there used to be a buggy walking group and that would be great. I’d also love to see a local support group for parents/carers, one that is not based around anything specific but just gives you somewhere to go and speak to others that are also sleep deprived and very possibly having similar difficulties to you.

“We attend Waterbeck Toddler Group, which we both enjoy and have met some lovely mums through it. We love to go for walks with friends and Isla particularly enjoys swimming. Isla has always been a very active, nosey baby and just loves being out and about.”

Having heard about TinyTalk, she decided to explore the idea further and said: “The empowerment it gave to everyone involved was my biggest attraction. Babies have a lot to say and can get misunderstood and frustrated, baby sign language helps to reduce both. I had previously studied British Sign Language, which is what TinyTalk baby sign language is based on. I believe in TinyTalk and the benefits it has for not only our babies, but parents/carers too.” Her sessions will be aimed at parents with tots aged from birth to two years and she’s promising a warm welcome to all who go along. Nicole said: “There will be weekly themes, such as pets, family or a trip to the park. We give the parents the signs they need to share in a baby’s daily routine. Classes are fun and interactive featuring well known nursery rhymes and action songs. We use hands on sensory activities to help develop all-round communication, these also stimulate the baby’s senses and encourage hand-eye co-ordination and motor skills. “It also gives parents/carers a chance to have a cuppa and make new friends whilst the babies have social playtime. Each 12 week term covers the most important 50 core signs which are known to make a huge difference. Classes do not repeat across a year, we cover 150 signs in all.”

She has now finished her official signing training and been busy practising her new skills on baby Isla, ahead of classes starting the last week of August in Eaglesfield and Gretna.



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