Friday, 27 March 2009
by Mama Fox
"Let's go potty!" My 16 month old reaches his hand up and shakes it, his version of the ASL sign for toilet/bathroom (which is the thumb between the index and middle finger then shake your fist). "Let's go!" And we head for the bathroom, he tugs at his diaper. He waits for me to lift him up. He sits, smiling and happy, signing "potty". "Yes we're going potty." He swoops his arms out, showing that he's "all done". He gets down, diaper is put back on and he goes on with his day. He doesn't always actually go potty but he is enthusiastic about the process. As we continue with it, the successes are more frequent. I don't see any reason why he shouldn't be fully potty trained by 2 years old and I'm actually expecting it to happen by 20 months.
I have gone through potty training twice before. Both times were stressful and I was not looking forward to doing it again. But this time, with my youngest I am using Baby Signs Potty Training. We have been working on it for about a month and a half now and we are having success. He's not close to being fully potty trained but we are laying a positive ground work to make it smooth and easy for both of us.
The program's main focus is to teach babies how to communicate effectively and start and finish potty training before 2 years old. It comes with a book for parents explaining the program, a lift the flap board book, a "All Aboard the Potty Train" DVD, reward stickers and a wooden train whistle.
From the website:
A Revolutionary Approach to Potty Training Before Age 2!
Myth: It’s easier and healthier to potty train your baby if you wait until she’s ready – typically around age 2 or 3.
Fact: The truth is, potty training a baby under the age of 24 months is actually easier than potty training an older child. Why? Because as children get older, they want to make more and more decisions on their own. This natural progression towards independence is healthy, but it also often sets the stage for a battle of wills when it comes to potty training.
Fact: Babies will potty train at the age parents expect them to train. Historical and cross-cultural practices clearly demonstrate that babies can train as early as 5 months. Training a baby that young is indeed possible, but very time-intensive. Because of the time commitment required, this approach is not practical for most parents. The Baby Signs® Potty Training Program, however, provides a compelling alternative to very early or very late potty training. By helping babies learn simple potty-time signs, the Baby Signs® Potty Training Program makes it easy for parents to both begin and end the whole enterprise before age 2.
If you are even slightly interested, I highly recommend watching this video clip that goes more in depth about how the program works.
Before getting Baby Signs Potty Training, I was one who promoted later "when they are ready" potty training... and when I did that we all ended up frustrated. I thought it was a sign that we should have waited longer but now I think it's clear that really, we started too late. This approach has really taken that stress away for us.
We were using some ASL signs before starting but that isn't necessary to do this. Babies already use their own forms of sign language to tell you what they need if they don't have the words and they learn the new signs very quickly. My son was signing "potty" within two weeks of use. The book also includes other useful ASL signs like eat, more and help.
You can start the program at 12 months and possibly even earlier just to "lay down the tracks" of the signing. You can also use the ideas for an older child to help with potty training. It is better for your child, better for you and your wallet, better for the environment. I can't see it getting any better then that!
I think Baby Signs Potty Training is great! I am so pleased with how well this is working with my son. I definitely recommend it to every family with toddlers.
When did you start potty training? What methods did you use?