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Changing diapers is an important part of parenting. However, most parents are eager to train their toddlers to use the toilet for peeing and pooping. It’s important that you initiate potty training the little ones just when it is the right time, not before and not after. If you have a little girl, there’s good news: girls potty train earlier than boys! Expert research has proven that boys take longer to potty train than girls. So, if you are worrying too much about potty training a little girl at your home, let go of your worries and rejoice because you will not have to try too hard!
What is potty training?
The process of training little children to use the toilet for peeing and pooping is called potty training. As babies, children are used to peeing and pooping in diapers. But as they grow into toddlers, it is important to train them to use toilets, and this must be done at the right age. Potty training doesn’t start with making children use the toilets right away. They learn to do that gradually, and the complete phase of bringing the baby out of the diaper and helping them to use proper toilets is called potty training.
When to start potty training toddler girls?
Since little girls are usually less distracted than boys of a similar age, toilet training girls is easier, and can be accomplished faster. Having said that, you will still have to wait for the right time and observe the necessary signs to ensure that your daughter is ready to start using the toilet. Also, if your little girl is going through any changes in her surrounding environment, you must wait for her to settle down before you start to potty train her. The approximate potty training age for girls, specified by experts, is between 18 months to 3 years old.
How to start toilet training for girls?
A very relevant question that might be lurking in your mind is, ‘how do I potty train my daughter?’ Here are a few pointers that will help you to make the right decision:
Wait for the right time: All children show some physical, behavioural and cognitive signs that act as clear indication that your baby is ready for the training. Wait till you see those signs because even if you start earlier, the overall potty training time remains the same.
Chalk down a plan: It is crucial that you plan it all out before you even start the trials. The plan must be comprehensive and must consider all factors like materials required, how to handle accidents and when to back off. Consulting the child’s paediatric or day care provider will yield positive results and many valuable tips from years of experience. Also, keeping them in the loop is important, as their contribution will be necessary to carry out the training plan successfully.
Let it take time: Someone has very truly said, ‘Manners require time, and there is nothing more vulgar than haste.’ So, don’t try to push your precious little girl to adapt to this new skill faster than she is able to. Remember that while there are some who may get trained in few days, others take may take months.
Motivate your child: Praise your child for every single effort that she puts in. Complimenting her each time will motivate her to try it out every day.
Be ready for accidents: There are going to be numerous accidents during the process of toilet training. Do not lose your cool or scold your daughter for not learning sooner. Any negative comment from you may slow down the process or even make your baby regress.
Signs of potty training readiness for children
To make it easy for new parents, experts have put together some definite signs of potty training readiness for children that you need to look out for before you start making plans to potty train them. These signs have been categorised into physical, behavioural and cognitive signs:
Physical signs: Firstly, you may want to check if your baby is coordinated enough to walk. You may also want to wait till your baby pees a fair amount at one go and has a well-formed bowel movement at a foreseeable time. Also, having a dry time of at least 2 to 3 hours or so during nap time will come very handy while making your plans around potty training your daughter.
Behavioural signs: You need to wait to train your toddler till she can sit quietly in one place for at least five minutes. Experts say that this is easier to achieve in girls than in boys. She should also be able to pull her pants up and down to some extent.
When a child starts disliking the feeling of being in a wet diaper or starts giving a physical or verbal sign of bowel movement, it is a good indication to start with potty training. Also, if you observe your baby showing interest in others’ bathroom habits, it is time to chalk out a plan to help your baby girl form her own. Other important behavioural traits include demonstrating a desire of independence, taking pride in her accomplishments and being usually cooperative.
Cognitive Signs: A considerable amount of cognitive development is also important to start either a 2-year old potty training or a 3-year old toilet training. They should be able to understand physical signals and should also be able to give signals themselves whenever necessary.
Being able to follow simple and straightforward instructions is another cognitive development that is desirable before starting any training. Experts also emphasise that children who start tidying up their toys on their own are prepared to go through training to keep themselves clean. They should also have some code word for stool and urine which they can use to communicate whenever they must pee or poop.
All the signs mentioned above will help parents determine the right time to start toilet training their toddlers.
Best potty training tips for girls
Potty training methods adopted by you for your little girl can be fun too, and these tips will help make the process smoother.
Most little girls aspire to be like their mothers when they grow up. Hence, you may observe that most of the time, they copy their mum’s dressing style and makeup. Since little girls love to imitate their mums, it is a good idea to let them watch their mums use the toilet and learn from them. And if there is an older sister at home, she can watch her sister too and pick the tricks of using a toilet.
Buy what’s necessary:
To start with, buy your baby girl a child-sized potty which she can call her own. It is always advisable to start the training with a child sized potty before exposing them to bathrooms, as bathrooms are accident prone and need constant supervision.
But if you want your girl to get trained in the toilet straight away, then buy an adapter seat that is comfortable and attaches firmly. Also, provide a stool along with it to rest her feet. She can also use it to climb up and down independently.
You can also buy a few picture books and videos about toilet training kids. There are many in the market, and you can choose an appropriate one.
Make her feel comfortable:
There are various ways to make your daughter feel comfortable with the idea of potty training. Firstly, personalise the potty seat for her by writing her name on it and decorating it with her favourite cartoon stickers. Let her spend one week just playing with it. Then show her a few demonstrations using her favourite doll on how to use the potty seat. She is really going to enjoy it. You can then suggest her to try using the potty seat herself to poop.
Cool underwear instead of diaper:
Motivate your little girl by promising her to buy new underwear of her choice. Little girls always get excited about adding anything to their wardrobe and also trying it out.
Put a training schedule in place:
Keeping your little girl’s pre-school and day care timings in mind, you will have to strategise a schedule and share the same with the preschool and day care providers. You also need to make up your mind about whether you will adopt a back and forth method of switching between diapers and panties or will directly shift to underwear. Experts suggest that switching directly to cotton panties during the day is a better option, though, at night, you will have to continue with a diaper.
Train to wipe:
While toilet training a girl, it is very important to train her to sit in the potty seat comfortably. Once that is achieved, next step would be to train her to wipe herself clean. Now, this is going to be tricky, and she may take some time to learn this especially after pooping. So, to start with, just tell her to pat the area dry after peeing.
Allow diaper-less time:
When children are allowed to spend some time without a diaper, they learn to give signals to use the toilet. With diapers on, children never really realise when they pee and poop. So, taking them off diapers and letting them move around freely during the day is a crucial step in toilet training.
Celebrate achievements and don’t give-up:
Celebrate each milestone by rewarding her with a star, or a sticker or even a toy in special cases. It is important to keep in mind that there will be a few accidents during this phase. Embrace them and do not scold your child for the accident. The important thing is not to give up and to continue trying.
Add a fun factor:
Make the experience of toilet training fun for your little girl by adding some soluble colour to the water in the pot. You can also place a rack in the toilet with her favourite books and magazines. You can also offer her toys to keep her busy and entertained.
Start training for the night:
Once your little girl is securely trained for potty during the day, start checking her diaper in the morning to see if she is keeping dry throughout the night too. Night mode training may take a little longer than the day time, but she will eventually get there. You must wait for her to be able to hold her bladder for 2 hours at a stretch before you take her off diapers at night. You can speed up night-time potty training by making little changes like cutting down on fluids in the late evening. It is also a good idea to make your daughter use the toilet before it is your bed-time.
Do’s & dont’s while potty training girls
- Wait for the right time
- Look out for the appropriate signs
- Keep a plan handy
- Consult her paediatrician for tips
- Motivate her by rewarding for every milestone
- Add fun element to the training
- Don’t be in a hurry
- Don’t expect the result too soon
- Don’t chide her in case of accidents
- Don’t discourage her by comparing her to other kids
Potty Training Girls vs. Boys – The Real Differences:
According to experts, potty training girls is much easier than boys as they are usually less active and restless than boys of a similar age. Here are a few important differences between potty training girls vs. boys:
- Wiping: One important difference is to teach your little girl to wipe from front to back especially after she poops. This will keep her away from any bladder or urinary tract infection. She also needs to pat herself dry after peeing, which boys don’t have to do.
- Pointing downward: You will need to teach your little girl to point downward while peeing so as not to get sprayed in the face.
- Peeing while standing: Your toddler girl may also want to try and pee in a standing position. She may have seen her brother or a boy at school do that. Let her try and learn on her own that it is uncomfortable to stand and pee like boys. She will eventually sit down for all her toilet endeavours.