However, this doesn't mean that boys are destined to take longer when potty training. What really impacts your child's potty learning journey is their unique personality and behaviors.
So relax! If you’re the parent of a toddler boy, there's no need to worry that it will be a long haul. And to those parents of girls, don't assume it will necessarily happen fast. The secret to success is matching your potty training method to your child's personality. Some girls – especially Bear Cubs, Turtles and Squirrels – often take a little longer than boys the same age. Remember, with all children, potty training takes lots of patience and positive encouragement. So buckle up for the ride.
The ease of training primarily depends on the child and their level of readiness, says parenting expert Michelle LaRowe, an author, professional nanny and editor in chief of eNannySource.com. Yet, she’s found girls are often ready to train earlier. Boys, she notes, “have to learn to stand and sit,” plus, they “generally mature later than girls." Other experts suggest that boys start training by sitting since standing to pee is a more advanced skill. Dads or big brothers can help train boys by demonstrating both of these ways to go potty.
Gary Cave, father of both a boy and a girl, admittedly did have an easier time training his girl, but he’s not convinced it has to do with gender.
“As a parent of a 3 year old girl and a recently-turned 2 year old boy, I have had my fair share of experience with all things potty! Our oldest, Saffron, was relatively easy to train, although it did take around 4 months. Our younger boy, Lucas, is just starting his potty training journey and we have already noticed that he is reacting very differently to it. It looks as though we will be in for a far tougher time with him. I have friends with boys and girls who have told me that their boy was easier to potty train so I personally do not believe that any gender is easier than the other. There are many other factors at play.”
It all comes down to the individual child, agrees Maria Velasquez who has both a son and a daughter. While it's not common, her 2 ½ year old son trained in just a few days.
Because her son was so easy, she falsely believed it would be even easier with her daughter. Not so! "My strong-willed daughter took much longer and multiple failed attempts where we took week-long breaks in between," she recalls. "Once she decided SHE wanted to learn, it took about two weeks to be accident free. I wish I had known that every child is different, and these differences play a big role in potty training."
While there is no shortage of rules of thumbs when it comes to parenting, when it comes down to it, the only guarantee is that your own experience will be as unique as your child.