Baby sign classes

I started Clever Little Handies in 2019 in an effort to get new parents out of the house with their newborns, meeting other parents with babies of a similar age. My youngest was 7 months at that time, and I had been searching for a baby sign class to do with him as it was something I had really enjoyed doing with my older children. 

There weren't any baby sign classes near me, so it started with some yoga mums. We had attended a Mum & baby yoga class together and wanted to continue to meet up, the baby sign was a great excuse for that and it grew and continued, and I eventually branched out beyond my home town of Celbridge and by the end of 2019 was delivering classes in several locations. 

2020 started with a nomination for the LAMA All Ireland Business & Community Awards, for Best Business working with the community. Unfortunately I fell ill with pneumonia and was unable to attend the awards ceremony in Croke Park. By March 2020 I had another awards nomination, this time for the MBA, Micro Business Awards - which was unfortunately cancelled due to covid, along with the classes I had scheduled to deliver for Blanchardstown, Naas, Lucan, Celbridge, Kilcock and Rathcoole.

In April 2020 when the Country was in its first lockdown and we were all experiencing homeschooling for the first time. I was asked if I would deliver the classes online and I thought no-way! The classes are about getting out of the house... meeting other people, talking to other adults. 

However, by the end of the Summer 2020 it became apparent that parent & baby classes were not returning to normal, at least not in the same capacity. It was clear that parents' socialisation was, and still is, even more necessary, albeit virtually.

In September 2020 I developed an online version of the classes to deliver via zoom and began driving them through various libraries. This made them 1. Free for participants and 2. kept them somewhat local so that participants can form a connection with one another over the 4 week term and meet up for playdates and buggy walks. I delivered a session to all but 4 counties in Ireland during those lockdowns. I am acutely aware of how isolating it can feel, becoming a Mum for the first time (and how even more isolating it can feel with subsequent babies). I have always thought of my classes as a mental health break for new parents. It was always about getting parents out meeting others in the same boat, with their babies of a similar age. By providing an online version of this I was able to connect some 700 families.

Over the years, I have received a number of accolades for the business, including the All Ireland Business & Council Award for Best Micro Business, a Micro Business Award for business with purpose. A LIFT award for determination. I've also been shortlisted as a finalist in several prestigious business awards, including the Network Kildare awards and the Forward Ladies Awards. In 2023 I received Three’s grant for small business. And most recently I have received a Business All-Star Accreditation for Clever Little Handies and the title of Business All-Star Irish Early Learning Entrepreneur 2024 from the All-Ireland Business Foundation. 

I have been committed to continuing my professional development. I have completed the Signature Level 1 award in ISL and gotten my QQI Level 4 in ISL. I’ve completed the Mentors Work Programme, many online classes with the LEO and writing courses. I am currently on the Entrepreneurs academy Thrive programme and I am also enrolled in a Mama Rising - Matresence Course, to further equip me to serve the Mama’s in my classes.

In 2023 I launched my debut ISL baby sign book, you can find a full list of stockists here.


Does baby sign language delay speech? No, infact baby sign language has been found to accelerate speech by developing a vocabulary before words can be formed.

Is baby sign language the same as asl? ASL is American Sign Language, BSL is British Sign Language. Clever Little Handies has its foundations in ISL, Irish Sign Language. All three use English as the spoken word but are different sign languages.

Is baby sign language good? Yes, it offers some one on one time with your infant. Improving their concentration and imagination.

Does baby sign language count as words? By using baby sign in your day to day life with baby, you are providing the tools for them to communicate with you before their mouths have the dexterity to form words.

Does baby sign language work? Yes, see vid below.

FAQs continued

Is baby sign language the same as bsl? BSL is British Sign Language. Clever Little Handies has its foundations in ISL, Irish Sign Language. Both use English as the spoken word but are different sign languages.

When can baby sign back? Every infant is different and they can all hit their milestones at different ages and stages. If they can wave, clap and point then they can potentially sign back, so long as they have seen you sign for about 3 months before hand.

What age can baby sign language? You can begin as early as you like, they generally lack the muscle capacity and dexterity in their hands until about 6 months old, but again every baby is different and they will need to have seen you do it for several weeks beforehand.

What's baby sign language for more? 2 Letter M’s, one lifts off the back hand of the other.

What's baby sign language for water? Letter W stikes off the chin

What's baby sign language for hungry? Letter E coming to mouth to mimic eating. In baby sign we use one tool to communicate many words; Eat, hungry, food, snack, breakfast, lunch, dinner etc. Can all be communicated using the sign for Eat. 

What's baby sign language for eat? Letter E coming to mouth to mimic eating

What's baby sign language for help? Closed fist comes down onto flat palm and pulls towards chest.

What's baby sign language for up? 2 letter U’s move up

What's baby sign language for finished? Open flat hand drops down past left closed fist. - Used for finished, all gone etc.

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