I have got to know Gaelyn over the years through social media – we met through a group and got chatting as we were experiencing similar struggles and just clicked with our similar personalities and Gae’s big heart. She is someone that I turn to when I need some encouragement and I absolutely love seeing her 2 miracles growing up and getting cuter by the day.
Gae’s business is one that I really feel is so wonderful, and so necessary. When I was really sick and couldn’t speak, I used to get so upset at not being able to express my emotions or get my point across – so I can only imagine how young children must feel when they can’t even deal with this frustration. Many of my friends and people I follow on social media have young children, and I see their posts about trying to make sense of what their child is asking for or babbling about – perhaps this could be the answer for you!
Your Name: Gaelyn Cokayne
Business Name: Signing Baby
Social Media Handles: Instagram and Signing Baby SA on Facebook
Tell me a little more about you – who is the person behind the brand: I am a mom to three beautiful daughters, a teenager, a toddler and a newborn, and being their mom is my biggest privilege and blessing in life! I am happily married and live in a small mining town in rural Zambia with our rescue dogs. I love rainbows, reading, travel, and long bubble baths with a treat.
“(Yes, I will happily eat a cupcake in the bath!)”
Please tell me a bit more about Signing Baby: Signing Baby teaches parents how to use baby sign language to communicate with their babies, before they are even able to talk. The physical and mental development needed for speech happens around 12-18 months, with most children starting to talk around 2 years old. Baby sign language is a tool which allows babies to communicate their needs long before they are able to actually speak, as the neurological pathways and physiological development for signing starts to develop around 6 months of age. This means that parents can learn to communicate effectively with their babies from just 6 months old! Imagine your baby being able to tell you when they were hungry, cold, tired or sore? Signing Baby teaches you and your baby how to do just that!
Where did the idea for this come from: My mom has been a baby sign language instructor for many years, and taught workshops in Durban. After experiencing the amazing benefits of signing with my daughter Stevie, I decided that more parents need to know about it so that they too can sign with their babies. I offered to purchase the business from her, and take it digital, so that it was more accessible for parents worldwide. I absolutely loved being able to talk with my daughter from such a young age, it truly brought me so much joy and I knew that I wanted to share that joy with parents everywhere!
Who would benefit from getting your products: Any parents with children who are not yet talking, any parents of children with special needs or speech or development delays (there has been great success with children born with down syndrome using signing while they learn to talk.) It also makes a lovely baby shower gift for your expectant friends.
How can people purchase products from you: I sell an ebook at www.signingbaby.co.za and you can easily buy the book there. It includes all the information you’ll need about signing, including why it’s so beneficial, how to sign effectively, and a dictionary of 100 signs.
I see you are running a special currently – please tell me more: The special recently ended, but I’ve created a code for your readers to purchase it at 20% off – just add flowercrowns20 when you check out!
Why did you decide to teach your girls to sign: I had seen the success my mom had had from teaching children over the years, she owns a play school and all her little learners were taught signing. My sisters also signed with their children and there was no doubt in my mind that signing changes your whole experience of patenting a young baby and toddler. I loved how much closer the children were to their parents, they built up a new level of trust because they knew their parents “heard them” when they shared their needs. There were fewer tantrums (from moms and babes) because the child could ask for what they needed instead of relying on screaming and crying. I knew that I wanted that for my family too.
Any interesting facts about signing that you would like to include: Numerous studies show that children who sign as babies, have higher IQ’s and EQ’s, a larger vocabulary, and more confidence as they grow up. They show greater empathy to others because of their advanced communication skills. They talk at a younger age, and are generally happier and more content children.
Quote you live by: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.” Maya Angelou
Anything else you want to add: I wish I could show you a glimpse into your future once you start signing with your baby. If you knew just how much happiness it would bring you, and how much pride and satisfaction, you wouldn’t hesitate in starting. I guess you will just have to trust me.
You guys, I am so excited about this! And so grateful to Gae offering all of you a 20% discount on her Signing Baby ebook. You can see the passion she has for what she is doing, and the fact that she has experienced the benefits of signing herself makes this even more special.
Honestly, I feel this would make a great baby shower gift or even a first birthday surprise. It will benefit both the child and parents, and lead to a happier home with better communication.
Have a wonderful week ahead, and please share this with your friends who may benefit from this. Let’s support local businesses – especially during this difficult time of lockdown.