Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Potty Training Success Story—with twins!

As I have made very clear over the past two years, I am the proud Grammy to twins, Nate and Olivia, 2 1/2 last Thanksgiving. In addition, as many of you know, I’m also the proud co-originator (with Dr. Susan Goodwyn) of the Baby Signs® Potty Training Program. The program is designed to help reverse the trend in this country towards later and later potty training—a trend that has resulted in an average age of 37 months and climbing!

Why the trend? Parents these days are busier than ever and universally dread potty training. Any excuse to put it off, therefore, is welcome. Corporate America in the shape of the disposable diaper industry has conveniently provided the means in the form of bigger and bigger diapers, now up to Size 7, big enough for a 6-year-old child!

Not surprisingly, I gave my daughter-in-law, Julie, our Complete Potty Training Kit when the twins were about 15 months old. After a delay of a few months, Julie began just as we suggest, by carefully reading the short instruction book and, since then, has followed the step-by-step advice to a “T.” She had them help her pick out two potty chairs, placed them in the bathroom side by side, and began to talk about using the potty. At the same time, she introduced them to the fun DVD that comes in the kit showing our animated Baby Signs® DiaperDoodle™ characters going through the potty routine using 5 key signs to help them communicate and singing the potty-time songs. They loved the DVD and began to understand what the funny chairs were all about. Over the next months, she followed the instructions to introduce a few routine “potty-sitting” times (e.g., in the morning and before their bath). Sure enough, they occasionally were successful and she made a great “to do” about each occasion.

One important point we make in the book is that parents really need to think through when they can afford the time and energy for the last big push where the focus on potty training is consistent and intense. What with the pressure of two careers and the added challenge of dealing with twins, that time was hard to find—until this past Thanksgiving. Julie was bound and determined to not put it off any longer. So, on Friday, the diapers were “gone” (except for night-time pull-ups), the chart for stickers was posted in the bathroom, the reward jar was ready (yes, candy), and the fun began. Low and behold, all the preparation paid off, and by Monday, both twins were peeing—and pooping!—in the potty with nary an accident since!

The photo above is one I took when I babysat them about a week later (the caption of which could be, "When you're done, Dear, could I see the sports page?"). Talk about cute! Needless to say, I am so proud of all of them!

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


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