Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Communicating "Potty"

For a little while, it was a bit difficult to tell when Jonah had to potty. He hadn't really picked up on very many signs or verbal words yet, and he was moving so much that his usual cues got lost in all of his running around. Recently, I was relieved when I went to get Jonah up from nap, and he was standing in his crib, wiggling his fist back and forth in the air. Ah, the sign for "potty." At last! A definite cue to say "I need to go now!"

At first, Jonah used it after he had already gone. If I missed his other cues because I was upstairs doing the laundry, or I took a little longer to get him from bed, he would sign as if to say "I pooped Mom, and it's in my pants. Where were you?"

Then one day while we were visiting my mother and grandmother, he signed "potty." We were in the car, driving home from having dinner out. When we got home, I expected there to be a load in his pants, but they were only a little wet. Jonah was still signing "potty" but I thought he must just be signing it because I'm changing his diaper. I shrugged my shoulders and went out to the car to get a clean diaper. Yes, leaving him diaperless in my mother's care. When I opened the door, clean diaper in hand, I heard the most hysterical laughter. I looked at Jonah, who was still signing "potty" to my laughing mother while he was going. I cleaned the mess up, put a diaper on Jonah, and laughed myself. That is what you get when you don't listen to your child! From then on, he has signed "potty" before he poops. He still hasn't done the sign for pee yet, but he will make the "sssss" noise as he's going.

Here is the video of Jonah signing "potty" (excuse the laundry that snuck into the shot!)

Jonah Signs Potty (youtube link)


  1. Aw, man! He's getting sooo big, and so handsome:) I'm glad someone else gets as excited as I do when their toddler lets them know they have to poop. I've been having Finn go completely pantsless lately around the house, with varied success. Today he's peeing near the potty, but refuses to pee while actually sitting on it. But I think he's starting to get the "Don't pee on floor" thing (last time he missed the potty he actually said "Uh-oh. Floooooor.")so I think we're making some progress back to where we were 7 months ago. This feels like the world's longest potty regression. Sigh.

  2. I think it definitely comes and goes in waves. There are weeks where we will only use a few diapers (I put him in his motherease fitteds the same as I would underwear- so it's not a huge mess if we miss, and it's easier than a normal diaper with a cover to maneuver, and it's not so thick that I don't know right away when we missed. I noticed that we missed more when I went back to work, and I think Jonah's motivation to do other things has become greater than his motivation to go to the potty. He'd rather pee in his pants than leave his toy. He was climbing up on his own to go, but now he'll do like you said and go and sit next to it and pee. We've definitely been more successful on the poop front, and I'm fine with that because I'd rather have a "direct deposit" than have to scrape it into the toilet! Oh and by the way, that shirt is awesome, thanks for sending it! Jonah wears it probably five days out of the week