What the Experts Say About Potty Training Girls

Before you start potty training, it’s important to set your expectations. Parenting expert Michelle LaRowe — an author, professional nanny and editor in chief of eNannySource.com — says she’s found girls are often ready to train earlier:

  • Toddler girls tend to be more advanced in physical and language development. These are both skills that help move the potty training process forward. However, don’t assume it will happen overnight.
    • The secret to success is matching your potty training method to your toddler girl’s personality.
  • The ease of training mostly depends on the child and their level of readiness. Not all girls progress faster than boys the same age. Remember, with all children, potty training takes lots of patience and positive encouragement. So, buckle up for the ride!

 

How to Help Potty Train a Girl: Prepare

A great way to prepare for potty training your girl is to take her shopping with you. The two of you will be embarking on a mission to find the potty training gear that’s just right for her. Once you’re ready to hit the store, here’s a shopping guide to help you on your potty-related shopping adventure:

  • Start with some Pull-Ups® training pants! They look and fit more like underwear, giving your child the independence to slide her pants on and off while also providing consistency for any learning style.
  • Give your daughter a chance to pick out a few pairs of underwear with the styles and colors that appeal to her. She can scoop them up now and set them aside for when she’s ready to start wearing them, or the two of you can plan to pick them up on a future shopping trip.
  • Grab yourself a resource. If your previous online research and conversations with people you trust haven’t been enough to make you to feel confident in your approach, consider picking up a book on potty training methods.
  • Finally, round out your purchases with a treat or two in honor of the occasion.
    • Bathroom-only books and toys. Having playthings she’s allowed to use only in the bathroom will help motivate her and make keeping things clean easier for you.
    • Potty training treasure chest supplies. Consider creating a treasure chest to store her bathroom play items and any rewards like stickers, temporary tattoos or tiny toys. The treasure chest will keep her entertained while she’s sitting on the potty waiting for the magic to happen. To make and fill her potty training treasure chest:
      • Start with an empty box (any shoebox or small container will do) and cover it with adhesive shelf paper (the more eye-catching, the better).
      • Personalize the treasure chest with your child’s name and/or some decorative stickers.
      • Fill it with all the things she’ll want to have on hand while she’s sitting on the potty. You’ll also want to include some special treats and treasures (stickers, toys, coloring books, etc.) to reward a job well done — either a great try or an exciting new success.
      • Voila! You have a treasure chest that’s personalized for your special little girl.

Potty Training Tips for Girls

Potty training is one of those rites of passage for both toddlers and parents, and it’s different for every family. Here are some tips to help the process along and make potty training as easy as possible for both you and your girl:

  • Buy a small potty and place it in a convenient location so your girl has easy access to it. You can keep a potty in the bathroom. Also consider placing one in the corner of a kitchen or playroom if that’s where your daughter spends the most time.
    • You can also buy a smaller toilet seat that lies on top of the adult seat, so she can comfortably sit without fear of falling into a regular toilet.
  • Teach her to wash her hands with soap after a trip to the potty. Make this habit part of the routine, even if she only sits on the potty without going. Little kids especially love foam hand soaps in fun colors and scents.
  • Don’t rush nighttime potty training. Being able to sleep through the night without an accident can take time. Since night training is dependent on your child’s physical development, it can be completely different from day training.
  • Create a sticker chart and make attainable prizes as rewards for going on the potty. As you and your toddler get started on your training adventure, print out a customizable Minnie Mouse sticker chart to help keep track of her goals.
    • Add some extra fun to your adventure by filling out the chart together. Simply start by letting your daughter color her chart. Then write the training moments you’d like to highlight and put a sticker on together for every milestone she achieves!
  • Setbacks are a normal part of the journey of potty training. It seems like some kids seem to stay stuck in this “kinda sorta potty trained” phase forever. They’re simply too interested in friends, games and fun to care about a wet bottom.
    • Regression happens, so try to have some patience and enjoy this important learning journey together with her.

Potty training a girl can be a piece of cake for some and tough for others — but with the right tips and tools, you and your little girl will be well on your way. Just remember to make it fun and rewarding for both every try and every success!