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How to Potty Train a Girl

You’ll know when your daughter is ready to start potty training. This stage differs for each child, so there is no magic age at which a toddler should be made to become toilet trained. Some toddler girls may evidence readiness at the age two years or so, while another may be three years old or older before she is able to completely able to master this chore. You will find below tips and ideas that will help you on how to potty train a girl.

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How to Potty Train a Girl

A child might pull at her diaper or say it’s uncomfortable, mimic a parent’s behaviour in attempting to sit on the bathroom toilet, or start repeating key words that she’s been taught, such as “pee-pee” or “poo-poo.”

When you sense it’s time to begin, keep potty training suggestions and ideas like these in mind:

1. Get a potty chair and set it in the bathroom

You may as well get her used to going to the right location for toileting as opposed to keeping the potty chair in her play area or bedroom. Make sure the chair is kept clean and odour-free. If possible, let your daughter choose one with a favourite colour or design. The better she likes her new apparatus, the more likely she is to use it. You may want to set the chair facing the adult toilet so a parent can go through the actions with her or at least have a place to sit while waiting for the little girl to finish.

2. Be patient

Kids may start to show interest in potty training, then back off for awhile. This is especially true if you have a younger child in the family, which may tempt your daughter to “regress” to semi-infantile behaviour for a closer share of Mom and Dad’s attention. Toddlers don’t always hit the potty bowl when using the bathroom; sometimes they miss. Or they may act like they need to go potty and then change their minds after sitting a few moments. Never scold or punish a child for soiling a diaper or using the potty too frequently. Parents need to be patient in order to survive potty training. It takes time for both parent and child to get used to the new practice.

3. Set up a potty training schedule

Take your little girl to her potty chair after meals, before getting in the car, and when going to bed or getting up in the morning. She will soon learn to wait for those times when she has to go. Of course she may need to go more or less frequently, so help her develop a potty training schedule that both of you are comfortable with. Don’t try forcing her to hold it longer than she is able. Nor should you try to make her go when she doesn’t have to. Never use the potty as a punishment for time-out.

4. Adopt a flexible potty training schedule

During potty training, which can last several weeks or months, it is important to provide time for impromptu bathroom breaks for your child. She is still learning how to hold her urine or bowel movements, and sometimes she may feel a sudden rush to use the potty. Or she may feel proud of her new skill and be eager to practice all the more to “get it right” or earn your praise.

5. Keep it matter of fact

While potty training is a big deal and should be applauded each time your daughter is successful, don’t treat success or failure as out of the ordinary events. Help your child experience this transitional stage as part of her daily schedule and as a learning phase.

6. Spare Diapers

Take extra clothing and a spare diaper or two on outings during this stage. Even when your child has mastered the basics of potty training, there will be times when she has an accident, often when she is excited or busy at play. Help her to the bathroom for another try at the toilet and then assist with changing her clothes along with an encouraging word or two.

Simple Tips for Potty Training a Girl

Potty training for girls involves some unique considerations for parents. Girls are better equipped to say goodbye to their diapers when parents follow these simple rules for potty training girls.

1. What Girls Should Wear When Potty Training

Girls should not wear dresses or skirts when toilet training. Parents might be tempted to believe that not having to pull down pants might make training easier, but in reality they are very difficult to gather up and hold in the front and in the back.

Skirts are very likely to droop in the potty and get wet, causing a lot of frustration and confusion for a toddler who went to the potty correctly but still got her clothes wet. Tights and leggings should also be avoided when toilet training a girl since they are difficult to pull down.

2. Teach Correct Posture When Potty Training

When people think of children spraying urine during potty training, they undoubtedly think of boys. However, girls often have this problem, too. It is usually because she is sitting on the potty with her pelvis tilted forward. Teach girls to sit up straight with their bottoms tucked underneath them and their knees together.

If this doesn’t seem to correct the problem, or if parents suspect that there are other issues at play, they should have their daughter examined by her pediatrician.

3. Help Toddlers Girls Detect Urination

Sometimes little girls will sit on the potty for a while, then get up thinking that they have urinated when they actually haven’t. Girls are at the disadvantage of not being able to “see” it like boys can. This is especially true if they are using the toilet instead of a potty training chair, when there is already liquid in the bowl.

Parents can help girls to “see” when they have urinated by using a potty chair and placing a sheet of toilet paper at the bottom of the bowl. If it is wet, it will be easier for girls to tell that they have gone.

4. Girl Potty Training and UTI Risks

Toddler girls are especially susceptible to urinary tract infections (UTIs), which are often caused by improper wiping after a bowl movement. During potty training, one of the first lessons parents teach should be how to wipe from front to back.

5. Potty Training for Girls With Brothers

When they start using the adult toilet instead of a training potty, little girls should also be taught to routinely check that the seat is in the “down” position before using the bathroom. This is especially important if there are older brothers at home, who might forget to put the seat down every time. Nothing can be more traumatic to a newly-trained toddler than inexplicably falling in when she thought she was doing it right.

Girls and toilet training are a difficult mix. Children can catch on quickly, but it helps if parents have the right strategies for teaching essential skills. Each gender has their own set of potty training needs, so parents should give special attention to these matters before starting to potty train their daughter.

Potty training is not for the faint-hearted! But it is a terrific way to bond with your daughter while helping her achieve mastery over this basic body function.

Lyne Proulx
Lyne Proulxhttps://ottawamommyclub.ca/
Lyne Proulx is a Certified WEBB Bodywork Pet Practitioner, Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI), Certified Professional Wedding Consultant, and an Event Planner. She loves all things Disney and is an avid teaholic and chocoholic. She coordinated the Annual Infant Information Day/Early Years Expo for the City of Ottawa for 8 years. She was the Queen B of the BConnected Conference, Canada's Digital Influencer and social media Conference in Ottawa and Toronto. She was also the co-chair of the Navan for Kraft Hockeyville 2009-2011 committee that organized five community events within 6 months, and helped Navan reach the top 10 finalists in Canada. In April 2011, she received the City of Ottawa Mayor's City Builder Award.

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