Sunday, June 12, 2011

It Really IS Potty Time!

As many of you know, we at Baby Signs are anxious to help parents get their babies out of diapers as soon as possible—hopefully by age 2, both for their own benefit and for a healthier environment. To this end, we’ve developed a potty training kit complete with materials to educate mom and interest baby. One of the steps we encourage is for parents to teach the “potty” sign (shaking the fist, with thumb between first and second fingers) so that their child has a way to indicate he/she needs to go potty even before words are available. Well, the following story is a funny example of how well it works.

I’ve written before about little Julia, the now 14-month-old little girl that attends all our Monday staff meetings with her mom, staff-member Bonita. Not only is Julia a super signer, but she’s also “On Board the Baby Signs® Potty Train” and already using the potty quite consistently. As evidence that she knows “what’s what,” here’s what happened a few weeks ago.

Bonita and Julia were at a baby store chatting with the owner about all Julia’s signs. The subject of potty training came up and Bonita launched into an explanation of the Baby Signs® potty training program and how Julia was learning to do the “potty” sign when she needed to go. As if to illustrate the point, Julia cooperated and did the potty sign—whereupon Bonita said “Yes, that’s the potty sign” and continued her explanation of the program. That is, she continued until she noticed a warm and wet sensation spreading down her shirt and pants! Clearly, Julia wasn’t just showing off that she knew the sign; she was using it as it was intended—to let her mother know she needed to go! Needless to say, Bonita learned a valuable lesson that day: When a baby signs, pay attention!

Happy Signing (and don’t forget to visit us on Facebook)!


Linda Acredolo, PhD.
Co-Founder, the Baby Signs® Program
Professor Emeritus, UC Davis
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