Potty training the nonverbal toddler

imagePotty training can be a challenge at the best of times, but throw in a toddlers inability to verbalise his need to actually use the potty and it adds a whole other dimension to the process. So why am I attempting to potty train now you may ask? Well, quite simply I’m not, he is. He is taking off his diapers preferring to pee in the hall or behind the armchair in my living room rather than in a diaper.

So we are going to start down the potty training road and I’ve been googling “how to potty train a nonverbal toddler”. Here’s what I’ve found:

Sign language – teaching your child the sign for potty seems to be a regular suggestion which comes up in the mommy forums, however my son has difficulty with mimicking which has made both verbal language and sign language challenging for him to get.

Pictures/Makaton – having a picture of the potty that your child brings to you when he needs to go was also suggested by several moms. You start out by showing them the picture when they are on the potty so they eventually associate the two things. Similarly Makaton was suggested as it uses symbols and signs for communication. I do have a picture of a potty in a pack of flash cards so I may give this a go.

Object – using an object such as a toilet paper tube as a visual que was another idea I discovered on the forums which I thought  could potentially work for us. You teach your child to bring you the tube when he needs the toilet, again you start by showing it to him and letting him hold it while he’s on the potty to begin with. You could use any object really, but I like the idea that it’s toilet related. Though I’m not sure how this would work when you are out and about.

Wait – finally there were a lot of moms advising other moms to just wait, the longer you wait it seems the easier it will be. Now if someone would just tell my son that!

What has worked for you? I’d love to hear what other moms have found useful in their potty training adventures.


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