You may have heard that potty training a girl is easier than potty training a boy, but that’s simply not true. While there are a few small differences between the two — wiping technique, and the obvious: boys eventually stand to pee — the concept is placing gender roles on children, when in fact, each child is unique.
Quiara Smith, the pediatric pelvic floor therapist that leads our Potty Training: The Stress-Free Guide to Success, online class, explains that the length of time it takes for potty training is very much impacted by a child’s personality, not gender. Which means when potty training a girl, her personality will dictate how you approach potty training and what you can focus on to set them up for success.
“Some children are extrinsically motivated and others are intrinsically motivated and some are a combination of both,” says Smith. ”You have to find out what makes the child who they are and focus on their strengths and interests!”
Once you’ve decided they are ready to start, here are a few tips you’ll want to keep in mind when potty training a girl:
Make sure they are ready. When to start potty training girls is dependent on two things:
- They are showing some signs of readiness
- They are at least 24 months old
Starting too early, or solely focusing on your child’s age, may present some frustrations and challenges on your potty training journey. To actively prevent some of the most common potty training issues — like fear of the potty, naptime or nighttime wetting, or withholding poop — that parents run into, you must take into consideration your child’s biology, personality, and development. Read more on when to start potty training, here.
Prepare for the process. When starting to potty train your little girl, it’s important to make sure you prepare for the process. That means, not only preparing your child, but also your home. Get your daughter ready emotionally and mentally with fun activities that engage them with the potty, or read one of these potty training books that come highlighted recommended. You’ll also want to prepare your home physically by stocking up on all the potty training gear you’ll need, like potty seats, training underwear and more.
Choose a method that works for your girl. Many methods claim to potty train “early”, or in three days — these methods can lead to not only a stressful and unsuccessful potty training attempt, but also long-lasting challenges like bed wetting, constipation and more. In our Potty Training: The Stress-Free Guide to Success, online class, we will walk you through exactly how to potty train a toddler without the drama. Including tips on how to prepare them, how to protect their pelvic floor health, and how to address any challenges that may come your way.
Teach them to wipe correctly. As we mentioned earlier, the main difference to focus on when potty training a girl is how they wipe. Girls have to wipe after both peeing and pooping—and they have to do it front to back. This is an important skill to teach your little girl because most girls at the start of potty training find it difficult to wipe front to back due to physical limitations of being able to reach behind themselves.. They will often wipe with the hand from the front of their body, then wipe from back to front which can introduce bacteria into the urethra and cause a UTI (urinary tract infection).
So, if you’re ready to say, “goodbye,” to diapers, make sure to follow the tips above, and remember, your child is unique. The length of time it takes to potty train depends much more on their personality than their gender. Want even more tips on how to potty train a girl? Check out our online class, Potty Training: The Stress-Free Guide to Success, where we will walk you through the process from start to finish. Including tips on how to prepare for potty training, how to handle common challenges, and how to tackle naps and nighttime, correctly.