Potty Train with Sign Language

These 5 sign language signs may help get your toddler out of diapers more quickly.

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Phillip Graybill

If you're eager to get your toddler out of diapers, you may want to consider teaching her sign language. Parents advisor Linda Acredolo, PhD, who first developed sign language for babies 20 years ago, has released a new Baby Signs Potty Training program, which comes with a parent guide, a DVD, and a lift-the-flap picture book. "Contrary to popular belief, toddlers are often ready to start training as early as 12 to 18 months," says Dr. Acredolo. "Signing helps them indicate that they have to go before they have the language skills." It's also much easier to teach children to use the potty before 24 months, while they're still less stubborn, Dr. Acredolo says. By the time she's 12 months, your baby should be able to start learning the following five signs.

The Sign: Potty

Shake your fist when you're changing your baby's diaper and later encourage her to do it when she needs to use the potty.

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The Sign: More

Tap your fingertips together to ask your baby if she wants more milk -- and she'll eventually use the sign to let you know she still has to pee or poop.

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The Sign: All Done

Your baby can let you know when she's ready to get off the potty by sweeping her arms in front of her body.

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The Sign: Wash

Washing hands is an important part of the routine, so circle one fist over the other to remind your child to go to the sink.

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The Sign: Good Job

The classic two thumbs up sign lets your toddler know how proud you are that she went potty!

Copyright © 2008. Used with permission from the June 2008 issue of Parents magazine.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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Baby Sign Language: Key Phrases

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