Potty Training with Baby Sign Language

Potty Training with Baby Sign Language

Potty Training? 8 ASL Signs you need to know

Let me start by saying that I’m no potty training expert (although I did manage to get both of my kids out of diapers so #yay).

And while I might not be a potty training guru, one thing I DO know a lot about is using sign language as a communication tool for infants and toddlers. And when it comes to potty training, communication is key.

Toddler speech varies greatly from one kiddo to the next, so if you’ve got a toddler with a large vocabulary who’s easy to understand, then you might not need to use signs when potty training. Many toddlers, however, are still working on building their vocabulary – and those early words can be really hard to understand. If that sounds like your little one, you’ll find the information in this article really helpful!

Potty Training Success with Baby Sign Language

When to Potty Train

Before the use of disposable diapers, babies in the United States were usually potty trained in the 12-18 month range. That’s understandable when you think of washing all those cloth diapers by hand! But as disposable diapers became increasingly popular in the 1960’s and 1970’s, the average age of potty training has crept up to 2.5 years, and even later. Among my early parenting peers [circa 2006], it was definitely the norm to start thinking about potty training around age 2 or so, with a goal to be done by age 2.5 or 3.

These days, savvy parents are realizing that the disposable diaper industry is the biggest benefactor of waiting to potty train, and these smart millennials are starting to potty train earlier to minimize damage to the environment (not to mention their wallets!). However, potty training earlier on means your little one might still be developing his speech skills, which can make communicating about when to go a little tricky.

How Baby Sign Language Can Help with Potty Training

As parents and caregivers seek to start potty training before their little ones’ second birthday, one of the biggest challenges can be communication. Most babies might be saying a few words around their first birthday and might have a vocabulary of up to 50 words by 18 months. Their verbal articulation may still be quite limited and often difficult to understand. In fact, you might only understand about 50% of what your toddler is saying!

Communication is an essential part of the potty training process. This limited ability to talk can make potty training even more challenging. Your little one needs to be able to let you know when he’s got to go!

Enter Sign Language

Using basic signs is the perfect way to bridge the language gap with your toddler. Teaching your little one how to sign “potty” will allow her to let you know it’s time to go! Another cool bonus for teaching your toddler the sign for “potty” is that it’s quiet and doesn’t involve them shouting their need to poop for the whole grocery store to hear. Nice, right?

Potty Training Signs to Start With

The most obvious sign to start with is the sign POTTY. It’s pretty easy, as you’ll see in the video below.

If your kiddo is a little older, and you want to be more specific, you can also teach them the signs for PEE and POOP, but most families find that the sign for POTTY alone does the trick.

The following video will show you how to sign POTTY, PEE and POOP. After that, you’ll find videos for other signs that might come in handy, like CHANGE, DIAPER, DIRTY, CLEAN and ALL DONE.

How to Sign POTTY, PEE & POOP in ASL


Click through the videos to see how to do a few more signs that might come in handy when potty training…

The Best Potty Training Book

As I mentioned before, I’m no potty training expert. But thank goodness I know someone who is!

My friend, Jamie Glowacki, is a potty training ninja and all-around rock star. She’s also the author of the bestselling potty training book Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right. So if you’re looking for guidance on how to potty train your little one, I definitely recommend picking up her book. She knows her stuff!

And if you find you want support beyond the book, Jamie and her certified Potty Training Coaches are always offering cool potty training workshops and intensives, so if you’d like to work with Jamie directly, or need specialized help around a particular challenge, you can find her at JamieGlowacki.com.

You Can Do It!

Now you know the most useful signs to help get your little one communicating during the potty training journey. You’ve also got a great book recommendation for best practices on potty training, as well as an insider tip on how to put a real expert on speed dial. You’ve got everything you need to succeed. You’ve got this!

Got More Hot Tips?

If you’ve got a great potty training tip to share, please share them in the comments below. I’d love to hear what’s worked for you!


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Learn 10 ASL Signs for Fruits

Learn 10 ASL Signs for Fruits

Learn how to sign APPLE, BANANA and more!

Whether your baby is starting with purees, or diving right in to some delicious fingers foods, fruit is probably on the menu.

If you’re just starting out, you don’t need to learn the sign for every single food your baby eats – in fact, simply signing EAT or FRUIT is a great place to start.

But as your baby begins to show preferences for certain foods, or even develops a clear favorite, you’ll want to teach your baby the sign for that special treat.

Sweet, juicy fruits are popular faves for babies, so watch through the below video and see if there are any your little one might want to learn. That way they can let you know what they want!


Instructions for 10 ASL Signs for Fruits

Use the below instructions to help you remember how to do 10 ASL Signs for Fruits or scroll down to download a beautiful color printable guide to print and keep as a helpful reference.

Apple – Twist the knuckle of your pointer finger on your cheek.

Banana – Use your pointer & thumb to “peel” the pointer finger of your opposite hand.

Pear – Touch your fingers & thumb of your non-dominant hand together to make the shape of a pear. Drag the fingers of your dominant hand over to show the shape.

Strawberry – Place the fingers & thumb of your dominant hand on the tip of your opposite pointer finger and twist like you are picking a berry.

Blueberry -Place the fingers & thumb of your dominant hand on the tip of your opposite pinky finger and twist like you are picking a berry.

Melon – “Flick” the top of your opposite fist as if you are thumping a melon to see if it’s ripe. 

Watermelon – Sign WATER by tapping your “W” handshape at your chin, then sign MELON (see above).

Pineapple – Make a circle with your pointer & thumb and place it over your eye.

Coconut – Curve the fingers of both of your hands like you are holding a coconut, then shake it next to your ear like your are listening to see if it’s ripe.

Orange – Open & close your fist under your chin like you are squeezing an orange.

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Plan to enjoy the season!

So now you know 10 new ASL signs that you can use as you enjoy the fruits of the season. Take advantage of the beautiful weather and get out and support your local farmer’s market too. :)

lane sig small


PS And don’t forget to download your free printable of fruit signs below…

Bonus: Free Printable!

I’ve also created a FREE printable guide that you can keep as a reference to help you remember how to do a few of these signs. Enter your name & email below to have it delivered to your inbox now.

Free Baby Sign Language Mini Lesson: Bedtime Signs

Free Baby Sign Language Mini Lesson: Bedtime Signs

Hush Little Baby :: Baby Sign Language at Bedtime

Whether you have a simple or lengthy bedtime routine, chances are you do the same things every evening as you get your baby ready for bed. Using baby sign language by adding a sign or two into your routine is an easy way to guarantee your baby is exposed to the same signs consistently and will increase the likelihood they’ll sign back sooner.

Think of how great it would if your baby could sign “bed” when they were feeling tired, instead of crying. I’ve seen it happen – and it’s a beautiful sight! :)

In today’s free baby sign language mini-lesson I’m excited to share with you some of my favorite American Sign Language signs that you can use at bedtime (or nap time!). Pick a sign or two that you think will appeal to your baby the most, or that will best fit into your existing routine.

Enjoy learning some sign language that you can incorporate into your bedtime routine…

In today’s video you’ll learn how the American Sign Language (ASL) signs for BED, SLEEP, BATH, BRUSH TEETH, MOON, STARS, MILK, PACIFIER, BOOK, LIGHT and I LOVE YOU.

Bedtime Signs

Bonus! Free Printable…

I’ve also created a FREE printable guide that you can keep as a reference to help you remember how to do many of these signs.

If you already get email updates from me, the link to download the printable was in your email. If you are not yet on the Tiny Signs list, please sign up for immediate access to this free PDF guide.

Thanks for watching and if you enjoyed this free baby sign language mini-lesson, please share with a friend!


Baby Sign Language at Bedtime


The Best Signs to Start With :: 9 Great Starter Signs

The Best Signs to Start With :: 9 Great Starter Signs

Which Signs Should You Start With?

Deciding which signs to start with is one of the first big questions parents face when beginning with baby sign language.

To make things super simple, I’ve put together this collection of 9 videos of my absolute favorite starter signs and created a totally FREE printable chart to go with it. Download the free chart below and print it out as a visual reminder of which signs you’re using and how to do them!

Starter Signs FB

All Done

How to sign ALL DONE in American Sign Language. Oh the possibilities for this one are endless! Use this one whenever you are transitioning from one activity to another and your baby will get the idea. You can sign “all done” when you’re taking your baby out of the carrier, high chair, bath, car seat, you name it.

You can sign & say this at the end of a feeding or when you finish a book. You can use this sign along with the words “all done,” “finished,” and even “the end.” Once your baby starts signing this one back to you, it’s really helpful that they can let you know when they’ve had enough BEFORE the tears come.


How to sign BALL in American Sign Language. Curve all your fingers (this is called a “claw” handshape in ASL) and bring your hands together to show the shape of a ball. Pro tip: You can do this sign with a ball in your hands if it’s small enough. This is a great technique to show your baby the sign, because their eyes will be on the ball…AND your hands!


How to sign BATH in American Sign Language. Sign bath to your baby as you’re getting ready for bath time and during the bath. You can also use this sign when you see someone taking a bath in a book you’re reading. You can sign this one on your body or right on your baby’s body (if they don’t mind).


How to sign BED in American Sign Language. This one is super easy and babies can learn it really quickly. Ask your baby “do you want to go to bed?” when you suspect they’re getting sleepy.


How to sign DOG in American Sign Language. This is definitely not my best video because you can’t see my hand – sorry! But this is a super easy sign – just pat your thigh with your hand like you are calling a dog to come to you. Easy peasy.

There are 3 ways to sign dog in ASL. 1) Pat your thigh 2) Snap your fingers or 3) Do a combo of the pat & snap. I prefer keeping it simple by patting your leg. You can even pat your baby’s thigh to teach them this sign, just to give them the idea.


How to sign EAT in American Sign Language. The sign for “eat” is the same as the sign for “food” in ASL. I recommend introducing this sign when your baby starts eating solid foods. Use it every time your baby has something to eat and remember your baby’s sign might not look much like yours! They’ll do their best by either touching their mouth (or maybe even their ear, like my first did!). You don’t need to correct them, just keep doing it the right way and they’ll copy you to the best of their ability.


 Download the Free Baby Sign Language Chart!


Starter Signs Pinterest

Baby Sign Language: Bath Time Signs!

Baby Sign Language: Bath Time Signs!

Bath time is a great time to sign!

If your baby enjoys the bath, it can be a perfect time to introduce a new sign or two and have some fun.  You and your baby are up close & personal and neither of you are going anywhere…am I right? :)

Now, if bath time isn’t your baby’s favorite – or even worse, if your baby hates the bath – definitely skip using this as a time to introduce new signs to your baby. Focus on your mission to get that sweet thing cleaned up and out of the tub as fast as you can!

But if your baby loves the bath, there are LOTS of fun signs you can teach your baby during bath time, and in this video I’ll show you my favorites.

Baby Sign Language Bath Time

In today’s video you’ll learn how to sign BATH, WATER, HOT, COLD, WASH-HAIR, SOAP, CLEAN, BRUSH-TEETH, BUBBLES, DUCK, BOAT and ALL DONE.

 Bath Time Signs 

Bonus: Free Printable!

I’ve also created a FREE printable guide that you can keep as a reference to help you remember how to do  a few of these signs.

If you already get email updates from me, the link to download the printable was in your email. If you are not yet on the Tiny Signs list, please sign up for immediate access to this free PDF guide.


Thanks for watching and if you enjoyed this free mini-lesson, please share with a friend!





Signs for Baby’s First Foods

Signs for Baby’s First Foods

Hooray for First Foods!

The transition to solid foods is a big and exciting milestone for you and your baby! Mealtime creates a wonderful opportunity to teach your baby new signs as you sit eye-to-eye across the high chair tray.  In today’s blog post I’ll show you 8 signs for popular first foods for babies…

In today’s video, you’ll learn how to sign AVOCADO, BANANA, CHEESE, CRACKER, FRUIT, VEGETABLE, POTATO and YOGURT. I hope you enjoy!

Baby’s First Foods…

Bonus: Free Printable!

I’ve also created a FREE printable guide that you can keep as a reference to help you remember how to do these signs.

Thanks for watching! What was your baby’s 1st food? Let me know in the comments below…

  Tiny Signs Online