Potty Training with Baby Sign Language
If you’ve ever been out in public and heard the loud exclamation, “Mommy, I have to go potty!” then you know the instant “Where’s the nearest bathroom” panic that follows. This feeling can’t be helped, and you will feel this particularly strong in the early days of potty training. However, what continues even after the initial weeks of bathroom search panic, is your toddler’s attention-grabbing “I have to go” vocalization. This is almost always spoken in a slight shout that manages to grab your attention along with everyone else in earshot.
However, the need to potty - and it seems like it is always “gotta potty NOW” - doesn’t have to be an event that has everyone in the supermarket turning their eyes on you. Part of potty training is teaching a child to recognize the ‘need to go’ urge, and to communicate this need to a parent... especially when out in public and your little one will require an escort to the restroom. Teaching the baby sign language for potty allows for a non-verbal communication about this personal need.
Like many parents of toddlers that have grown-up signing, chances are good that you started by teaching your baby the sign for diaper among their basic vocabulary. This sign is replaced with potty when you enter the potty training stage. And just a heads up - - You may experience some confusion between the signs for toy and potty. Toy is the same as the sign for potty except that you make the sign using both hands for toy and only one hand for potty.
Once your potty pupil understands the sign, try using only this non-verbal signal to ask your toddler if he or she needs to go potty. Step 2 - Encourage your tot to make the sign when he feels the need to go. And for the third step, use only the non-verbal sign out in public to signal/request pee breaks... this may take a little longer for your tot, but continue to encourage and reward the use of the sign. Hang in there. Before long, those giggles and glances from eavesdroppers will cease and the post-potty praises with reign!