Potty Training For Toddlers

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In our June issue, we wrote about how you can use sign language to help 1-year-olds learn to use the potty. (That’s the sign for "potty" over there.) Parents advisor Dr. Linda Acredolo, a developmental psychologist who first pioneered sign language for babies, has found that signing can help get children interested in the diaper-ditching process when they’re at a more cooperative and less strong-willed age. I enjoyed reading blogger Rebecca Lacko’s account of using the Baby Signs program with her 13-month-old. I know that when I followed my daughter’s lead on readiness—and she wasn’t seriously interested in the potty at all until age 3—there were days when I was convinced she’d be wearing diapers to kindergarten.

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  1. by Traci

    On July 18, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    We have done sign with my son since he was about a year old. He is now nearly 2 1/2 and just starting to be interested in trying the potty. He’s known the sign for potty for a long time and was interested in only the most voyeuristic sense prior to just over age 2. I 100% believe in sign language benefiting language development, but I’m not convinced of it’s ability to hurry along potty training.

  2. by Reiza

    On July 18, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    All of my kids signed and all of mine potty trained at or before 24 months. I don’t know if either one influenced the other, though.
    Although, I must say that the sign for toilet/potty is VERY useful even when your kids are older. You don’t have to scream, “Do you have to go to the bathroom,” across the playground. You can just sign it and they can either tell you “No,” or “Yes,”. I know when we’re in a place full of loud kids, I don’t always hear my kids’ requests to go to the bathroom, but an urgent “Potty” sign always gets my attention right away (had that happen just this evening while at a restaurant). It has helped prevent quite a few accidents.

  3. by Marcia

    On July 19, 2008 at 8:17 am

    We started sitting my daughter on her potty when she was about 8 months old. We never forced her, but we’d make a psssssss sound when we’d set her on it and she’d go. She started waiting to go until we’d set her on it sometimes and now she’s 21 months old and has been fully potty trained for a couple months. We took diapers and overnights away completely when she was going dry all day and she would wake up and tell me she had to go overnight. We never taught signs. She learned the word ‘potty’ pretty quickly.

  4. by PamperingBeki

    On July 20, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    This comes at the perfect time for me!! Thanks for the tip.

  5. by Elke S

    On July 27, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Just don’t use that sign while vacationing in Germany – there it means the same thing as a raised middle finger in the US!

  6. by Linda Easton

    On August 13, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Rebecca Lacko, whose blog you mentioned, will be appearing on the new CBS spin-off of the Dr. Phil show called “The Doctors” this fall. She appears along with Dr. Susan Goodwyn and Dr. Linda Acredolo, founders of the Baby Signs Program. Tomorrow (August 14th) they are taping their discussion with Dr. James Sears about the Baby Signs Potty Training Program. The segment will air in September – check http://www.PottyTrainWithBabySigns.com for an air date.