When it comes to potty training, girls seem to be 'gifted students' in comparison to boys.
Experts on child development state that girls tend to get more focused and less distracted than boys, and that can help them ditch nappies earlier than when potty training boys. But still, either with girls or boys, potty training usually requires a lot of effort on your part.
There are girls that are ready as early as 18 months old, both physically and emotionally, and they can step up and reach this development milestone. Others won't be primed to do so until they are around 3 years old. In the following article, you'll find many tips and tricks on potty training girls, but keep in mind that before starting this process, you should make sure that your daughter is ready do it. Trying to speed potty training for the sake of it isn't good advice since your child could feel forced and intimidated, which could lead to rejection. Open your eyes, listen to her and you'll notice when the time has come.
Potty training girls: The equipment makes the difference
Before getting a head start on potty training girls, you should get the right equipment for your daughter. How does she feel about toilets? While some kids are curious to try them out, others may be a little scared of loos due to their size, noise and swallowing effect. Depending on her reaction and how much adventurous she's willing to be, buy her a potty chair or an adapter seat that attaches firmly to the toilet. If you choose the second option, add a little stool to the shopping basket, so that she can easily use it on her way on and off the toilet.
If you have more room for extra items, consider getting books or videos related to potty training that can inspire her.
Potty training girls: Let's be a copycat!
Little kids learn a lot of things just by imitating us. Before you encourage her to try using the potty or the toilet, show her how mum does it. Don't be embarrassed, because she's very likely to feel curious about it. Also, get ready to answer some awkward questions about why Dad and her brother, if she has one, stand up while peeing instead. Don't be shocked if she even tries to do it that way, which will obviously result in a complete mess. Take it as part of her learning process and, instead of nagging her, choose the best words to let her know that this is why “we do it the other way”.
Potty training girls: Getting comfortable with the potty
Kids like the sense of owning things. It happens with toys, clothes and food, so now it's time to include the potty in this list of possessions. In order to make it easier, you could help your daughter customise it by putting stickers or writing her name on it. Another trick to motivate her consists in picking her favourite doll and using it for demonstrations, which can be both fun and exciting for her. When you feel like she won't mind trying it, you can start by having her sit on the potty chair with her clothes on, so that she gets familiar with it.
All of this is about setting the proper atmosphere to make the 'nappy-out transition' way easier.
Potty training girls: Sit and wipe, the essentials
Teaching her how to sit on the toilet and, especially, wipe her bottom is a vital step of potty training girls. You need to make clear how important it is to wipe from front to back after every bowel movement, because this prevents bacteria from causing infections. If she can't do it on her own, you'll have to help her for a little while until she's able to.
It's pretty common for little girls to have urinary infections around potty training time. That's why it's essential that they learn how to clean their 'parts' the right way, avoiding bacteria to spread to other openings. The typical symptoms of urinary infection include fever and pain or a burning feeling when peeing. If she shows any of these symptoms, take her to the doctor, who will prescribe her antibiotics.
It's training time!
Once potty training is on, there's no return. However, keep in mind that you'll need to set up training schedules and that these may include the time when she's at preschool. If that's the case, let her teacher know that your kid is in the process of getting out of nappies and, as a result, accidents may occur. Back home, create a potty training chart where you can take notes about your daughter's improvements and achievements throughout the training.
Some parents take advantage of the summer to let their kids spend time naked, so that they get used to not wearing nappies. Step by step, the point is for you to make sure that she learns when poo and pee are coming and act consequently. Most toddlers go through many potty training stages, first staying dry during the day and then struggling for a while not to wet their beds anymore.
Proud mum, happy daughter
If not mentioned yet, this is a good time to remind you that patience is a 'must' when potty training girls or boys. Losing your temper would be the natural response to a kid passing a stool or weeing in the middle of the leaving room. Well, try to make light of it, so that your daughter doesn't feel a failure and want to keep practising. Instead, invest in praising her as much as you can every time she lets you know she needs to use the toilet or she gets an achievement in the process. Take a look at other potty training tips to make this process easier.
Good night... good bye, nappies!
As pointed out previously, the last potty training test for your girl will consist in staying dry during night-time. That's the hardest part of the whole thing, since it implies her body being able to control its needs, above all holding the urine. Once her bed is prepared by using an absorbent mattress cover, and she feels ready, let her sleep without nappies. 'Test' her over a few nights and you'll easily get an answer; normally, kids aren't prepared for such a step until they can stay dry three out of five nights. When she finally accomplishes it, you can go ahead and get rid of nappies, which should be celebrated as a huge triumph.
Potty training girls entails work and understanding, but if you are supportive and make the best of it, your daughter will be less nervous about having accidents and more willing to use the toilet.