Grange Farm: Local businesswoman Ann Lay is celebrating the fourth birthday of her growing business.

Ann Lay of Baby Senses with her youngest son, Callum

Ann Lay of Baby Senses with her youngest son, Callum - Credit: Contributed

Ann’s business is all about babies

Ann, who is mum to Joshua and 15-month-old Callum, launched her Baby Senses business in November 2009, during the credit crunch, after being made redundant from her previous job.

Her first class was at Alan Road Methodist Church hall.

She now offers regular classes, across Ipswich and Kesgrave, for parents and their babies, in skills such as baby massage and baby signing.

Ann, a former beauty therapist and also a mortgage advisor, had trained in baby massage and baby signing before launching the business.

Baby massage is easy to understand but baby signing was completely new to me, despite my being a father and grandfather.

Ann said she knew baby signing worked, along with spoken language development, to help little ones communicate with their parents.

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Eldest son Joshua, who is now at school, had benefitted from baby signing.

“Because he could communicate I never got those temper tantrums. It didn’t escalate into something more.”

Joshua would go along to classes with her, and stand behind her making the signs.

“Joshua had 30 signs. Some babies only get half-a-dozen, but it is like when they say their first word when they get one.”

“Callum has signs for `more’ and `milk’ and we are working on `food’ and `hungry’.

“He can say cat, mumma and dadda.”

Ann added: “I pride myself on having classes run in a relaxed and friendly manner, where parents are given a warm welcome and taught in a fun and supportive way.”

Baby Senses is going from strength to strength with opportunities to become a Toddle Talk baby signing instructors now available, she added.

“I am quite ambitous to see it grow.

“It’s pleasing that I can now offer other people the chance to join the team and gain the enjoyment and satisfaction of teaching baby signing” said Ann.

Ann is launching new Wriggle and Relax classes next year.

“They involve music, gentle exercise to music, rolling and stretching and they learn how to relax.”

Ann is now expanding her Baby Senses and Toddle Talk classes and training up new instructors.

It is an opportunity for mums to develop their own careers, she said, alongside their own family childcare.

When I left the house, to go to my car, young Callum gave me a high five, I was impressed.

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