Baby Sign Language and Elimination Communication: How do I introduce a potty sign? 3 tips!
Infant Sign Language is an excellent tool for communicating with your preverbal infant or toddler.
Even babies under the age of one can enthusiastically recognize simple signs. This enables communication!
A potty signal gives your baby a way to tell you that he or she needs your help to go to the bathroom or toilet. Initially it will be the recognition of your body’s needs, perhaps on the fly, moments before or after.
Sign language is a “bridge” between our preverbal babies and our verbal culture. You are giving them a ‘tool’ that they can use to communicate with you. Our visual memories are older, so babies easily recognize the signs as soon as they can. Around 12 months it is common for the firm to improve, although before and after it is as much as possible. Keep practicing, seek recognition of the signs before your baby uses them to “talk” to you.
Choose an appropriate natural sign or gesture. It should be simple, so that your baby can crudely imitate it, and should always be used with the spoken word and loving eye contact.
These 3 tips will make it easier for you to sign regularly throughout the day, so that baby sign language and potty are just normal, built-in parts of your lifestyle.
3 strategies to remember when combining infant potty use with baby sign language:
1. Make the sign of your choice each time you approach the potty
2. Make your cue every time your baby is on the potty
3. Use the sign to ‘ask’ if your baby wants to use his potty – respond to his enthusiasm, respect his reservations.
With these 3 simple strategies, you’ll add baby sign language to your elimination communication (CE) moments with ease. Sometimes your baby will show great awareness and control. They will sign clearly and promptly. Other times they won’t – being a little person is a very busy job!
Expect your baby sign language and EC practice to slow down and flow. Like any natural process, there will be flashes of amazing communication, the reason families get hooked on elimination communication.
See this as a wonderful, fleeting sign of the future, not an expectation that they will be independent from the bathroom at a very young age. EC is something you * practice * regularly, part of your lifestyle, rather than a ‘method’ or results-based activity like conventional potty training.
Give it a try – Baby Sign Language and EC are great partners in helping your child communicate with you as soon as possible. Little by little you will reduce the use of diapers or diapers, helping the environment, saving money and best of all, enjoying a new dimension in the bond you share with your baby.