Advice for Potty Training Girls (With Supply List and Video!)
When your daughter was born, it’s likely you were excited about a lot of things. But potty training probably wasn’t one of them. In fact, toilet training ranks high among the most dreaded tasks for moms and dads.
Not to worry. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn how to potty train a girl, including experience-backed tips, tricks, and methods. You’ll also learn from other parents’ mistakes so you’ll know what not to do when toilet-training your daughter.
- How to Know if My Daughter is Ready to Be Potty-Trained?
- How to Start Potty Training a Girl?
- What Is the Easiest Way to Potty Train a Girl?
- Other Potty Training Tips for Girls
- Nighttime Potty Training for Girls
- When Potty Training Isn’t Working
How to Know if My Daughter is Ready to Be Potty-Trained?
Many parents want to know the exact age to begin potty training girls. A specific timeline is hard to pin down though, especially since all toddlers are different. Our advice? Try to steer clear of any advice that pinpoints a certain age for toilet training.
You’ll hear people say girls potty train sooner than boys. Even experts may tell you that the time to potty train your daughter is between 18 and 24 months old. The truth is, though, that children don’t always behave according to our guidelines and expectations. In fact, they often surprise us.
So how do parents gauge when the time is right? The key here is to home in on your own child’s behavior. Readiness is easily determined by watching for signs that your daughter is interested in learning how to use the toilet.
When to Start Potty Training a Girl: Signs Your Child Is Ready?
When your child is ready to begin the process of potty training, you’ll know it. That is if you know what signs to look for. Here are some tell-tale indicators that it’s time to swap the diapers for undies:
- staying dry for longer than usual;
- showing an interest in others going potty;
- taking off a wet or dirty diaper herself;
- hiding to pee or poop;
- being able to undress herself;
- telling you when she’s peeing or pooping.
Keep in mind that it’s not necessary for your daughter to show all of these signs before you begin toilet training. Even one or two of these indicators can be enough to get started towards a diaper-free future!
How to Start Potty Training a Girl?
Like any other reasonably challenging task, the key to success when potty training a girl is to have a plan of action. It’s important to know what your strategy is and be confident about the techniques you’re using as you begin the toilet training process.
In addition to devising a plan, you’ll also want to get in the right mindset before you start the process of potty training your daughter. Accept the fact that this may be a lengthy and arduous journey. Like so many other parenting situations, it’s best to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
The more confident you are in your methods, the easier it will be to stay the course when things get tough. To help you with the confidence part of the equation, we’ll address a few common questions right out of the gate:
- What’s different about girls potty training? Is it that different from potty training a boy?
- What supplies will I need to potty train my daughter?
- What can I expect when potty training a girl?
Is Potty Training a Girl Different than Potty Training a Boy?
Yes. But then potty training any child is a unique experience regardless of gender. Still, there are some differences you’ll need to consider at the outset. For example, girls will need to be taught to sit rather than stand when peeing. Additionally, girls have to learn the proper wiping method to prevent infection.
If your little girl has brothers or male friends outside the family, she may want to try peeing while standing. Don’t discourage her—any attempt to use the toilet is a good attempt! After a few tries, she’ll get the message that sitting is the better alternative for girls.
As for wiping, be sure to let your daughter know that girls wipe from front to back. This is to prevent any bacteria from the anus to be transferred to the vagina while cleaning up.
What Supplies Will I Need to Potty Train My Daughter?
When considering what supplies you’ll need to potty train your daughter, cleaning supplies may be the first to come to mind! While a bottle of disinfectant will certainly come in handy, there are some other things you may want to stock up on as well:
- underwear and/or training pants;
- baby books to read while on the potty;
- kid-sized potty or stool;
- colorful stickers;
- extra toilet paper and/or wet wipes;
- mattress protector.
What Can I Expect When Potty Training a Girl?
If this is your first time potty training a girl, then you may be in the dark in terms of what to expect. Parents who have toilet-trained their sons could find themselves ill-prepared to teach their daughters to go potty. Plus, if this is your first child, you may have even more questions.
Regardless of the situation, you’ll want to be as mentally prepared as possible for the task of potty training a girl. And we’re here to help. Here are some things you can expect.
The idea of potty training can incite fear, and not just for moms and dads. Don’t be surprised if some fears surface for your daughter as well. It is not uncommon for girls to be scared of falling into the toilet when learning to go potty, for instance. A potty chair may help ease these fears. If this (or any other fear) becomes a problem, be prepared to offer lots of reassurance and support.
Any disruption in routine can cause frustration for parents and children. But potty training tends to be especially frustrating. For parents, the frustration comes with wondering how something that seems so simple can be so very difficult. Add to this the need to clean up accidents dozens of times a day, and you have a pressure cooker situation.
It may be impossible to eliminate any sense of frustration from the potty training process, but there are some things that can help. Try eliminating other stressors from your family life prior to beginning toilet training.
For example, if it can be avoided, don’t introduce potty training during a move or right before welcoming another child to the family. It’s best to focus all of your energies on potty training your daughter if at all possible.
Talking to other parents, even online, can also help to alleviate feelings of frustration. Sometimes, just knowing that other moms and dads are going through similar trials is all you need to persevere. Soon enough, the frustration will be over, and you’ll be diaper-free!
Even as you prepare yourself and your family for the challenges of potty training, also keep in mind that this is a temporary transition. It will end, eventually. After all, how many kindergartners do you see walking around in diapers?
When things get chaotic and you feel your stress level go up, remind yourself that the end is nearer than you think. Many parents report that potty training simply “clicks” with their child one day, and the rest is smooth sailing. Take heart that that day will come for your daughter as well!
What Is the Easiest Way to Potty Train a Girl?
Perhaps the most popular question moms and dads ask about potty training their daughters is: What is the easiest or fastest method? Even so, they aren’t often pleased when they receive the answer. That’s because the fastest way to potty train a girl is to get rid of diapers.
Inevitably, this method will require lots of cleanups as your daughter learns to pee and poop in the toilet and not in her pants. There are other inconveniences you’ll need to prepare for with this method. For instance, it’s likely you won’t be able to go out and about with your daughter for a few days (maybe longer). Staying in will help you avoid an accident in public, but it may also disrupt your routine. Stock up on necessities, and get ready to hunker down at home.
Step-by-Step Guide to Potty Training Girls Fast
If you’re committed to throwing out the diapers altogether, then you can follow these five steps to potty training success. They’re simple in theory, but the application can be, well, a bit messy. Still, they represent the fastest way to being free of diapers once and for all:
- Assess readiness. If your child is showing signs that she’s interested and ready to begin potty training, then you can proceed to step two.
- Toss the diapers. Commit to using only cloth underwear. No diapers or training pants!
- Take your daughter to the bathroom when she first wakes up and then ask her if she needs to go every fifteen to twenty minutes. Set a timer so you don’t forget!
- If your child hasn’t peed or pooped for half an hour, take her to the potty and sit with her until she goes. Read a book or three together while you wait.
- Look for signs that she needs to go to the bathroom and make sure she gets to the potty before it’s too late.
- When accidents happen, try not to get upset or swear. Instead, calmly remind your daughter to use the potty every time she wants to go to the toilet.
- Consider using a reward chart for positive reinforcement.
Other Potty Training Tips for Girls
While the fast method of potty training girls works for a lot of families, it’s not completely fool-proof. You may find that you need to adjust your strategy. Don’t fret. Here are some more tips for toilet training girls.
Being open and transparent with your daughter throughout the entire potty training process is crucial. This will help your daughter learn from you without any confusion or shame. Let your toddler see you using the restroom, so she will know what it looks like. This normalizes the process, and your little girl will naturally want to imitate you!
Communicating openly about using the toilet also means using the correct terminology about the human body. Referring to the vagina as “private parts,” for example may seem more comfortable to you. But it will only confuse your daughter and can even cause her to assume that her body parts are disgraceful or embarrassing.
Parents are wise to approach any parenting task with a healthy dose of positivity. When it comes to toilet training, though, staying positive is especially important. Learning to use the potty like a big kid is challenging, and it represents a sensitive period in your child’s development. Moms and dads should be careful not to cause kids any undue shame or humiliation that could impact their emotional well-being.
Make It Fun
You may find that it’s easy to stay positive if you try making the process of toilet training fun. Here are some tips for doing just that:
- Use a favorite doll or stuffed animal to model the process of going potty.
- Provide cheerful books about toilet training.
- Let your child decorate her potty chair with stickers.
- Use a reward chart.
- Make up a potty dance and/or song.
Provide Adequate Supervision
Remember, safety first! Emotional support during the potty training process is important. But so is basic supervision. That’s because bathrooms can pose the risk of injury or harm to your little one.
As much as you want your child to be independent during this time, it’s also crucial to keep an eye on her while she’s learning to use the toilet. Soon enough, you’ll be able to trust her to use the restroom on her own.
Nighttime Potty Training for Girls
For most families, the most challenging part of potty training is helping kids stay dry at night. Even children who have been day-time potty trained for months may have trouble with this final step in the toilet training process.
As with every other stage of potty training, though, patience is crucial during nighttime training. You can expect your daughter to wake up with wet diapers or even wet the bed at first. This is a normal part of toilet training for girls!
Moms and dads can help their daughters stay dry at night by restricting liquids a few hours before bedtime. You can also make sure your toddler goes to the bathroom right before bed. If your little girl is still wetting the bed overnight, consider purchasing a mattress protector to make cleanup easier.
When Potty Training Isn’t Working?
Are you wondering when or if your child will ever be fully toilet trained? When you’re in the midst of potty training and you feel like nothing is working, frustration can set in. You may feel as if your daughter will never be toilet trained, and you’ll be doomed to change diapers forever!
If your (or your daughter’s) level of frustration reaches a boiling point, it might be time for a break. Moms ,dads, and children are allowed to take a step back, breathe, and re-assess the situation. If this means going back to diapers for a week or two, that’s ok.
Taking a break does not mean you’re admitting failure. To the contrary! Short breaks from the potty training process are worthwhile because they give parents and children time to recover from the stress of toilet training. When under stress, parents may be more likely to lose their tempers or scold their children for having an accident. This may very well be one of the worst mistakes you can make during potty training.
If a child experiences shame or embarrassment while trying to learn to use the potty, it could set her back months. She may associate the toilet with these negative feelings and avoid it at all costs. If you feel like you can’t move forward with potty training in a positive way, it’s best to take a break until you can.
Share Your Potty Progress and/or Secrets to Success
When it comes to your daughter potty training may be a breeze or it may prove more difficult than you thought. Indeed, every child (boy or girl) is different when it comes to this crucial phase in child development. Either way, it’s important to reach out for support when tackling this massive parenting task.
Whether you share this article with other parents or comment below to engage with our parenting community, know that you aren’t alone in this process. Potty training (girls or boys) is something every parent must do at some point. Why not do it with the support of one another?
The picture on the front page: Oksana Kuzmina/Shutterstock.com
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