Potty training girls can be a struggle especially if you’re a new parent but with a little guidance, you will find that this process will be surprisingly simple. Of course, not all instances of potty training will go on as smoothly as you hope they might, so it is important that you’re prepared to spend some time (and patience) in doing this. Some kids can start learning at a very young age of 20 months while others might only be ready when they’re 3 years old or even later.
Instead of waiting for signs that your daughter is ready to be potty trained however, you can actually speed up this process using a couple of methods.
Never Start Too Soon
Training children before they are ready will only lead to problems – for both the parent and child. For instance, you might end up feeling frustrated in case things do not go well as you hoped it would. The whole process may even be prolonged since you will be forced to stop training and resume after several days or weeks.
It also helps to consider the present situation that your child is in. If you have just moved in to a new home, your child’s favorite pet just died, or there is a new baby in the house, these events may have a significant impact to your child’s life. Since toddlers are comfortable with routine, any changes in their life may upset them. Thus, they may not be as receptive or focused on the training process because of certain issues that disruptive events bring.
Know When Your Child Is Ready
Be aware of physical, behavioral, and cognitive signs that will let you know when the right time is to potty train your child. Here are some signs that parents should look for in their kids before they begin the potty training process.
- Requires minimal help in pulling her underwear up and down
- Does not wet the bed or her underwear for an hour or two
- Poos at predictable times of the day
Cognitive and Behavioral Signs:
- Uses the exact words for poo and pee
- Lets you know if she needs to pee or poo before she actually does it
- Has a strong desire to change her diaper once it is soiled or wet
- Expresses a need for independence
- Starts showing interest or curiosity (if she asks to follow you to the bathroom, for instance), that’s a great sign of maturity. By letting her watch you use the bathroom, she will feel less fearful of doing it too.
Keep in mind that you do not have to see all of these signs in your child before you can begin the process. As long as your daughter barely soils or wets her diapers, knows and uses the right words for urinating and defecating, and shows a desire to stay clean, then it may be the right time to teach her how to use a potty.
Common Issues in Potty Training Girls
There will always be challenges when it comes to potty training. The following are some problems that may come along the way, as well as practical solutions to help you overcome these issues.
1. Should your child be using the potty or the toilet?
This is a typical problem that most parents encounter with their kids during the training process. Adult toilets can be intimidating to toddlers due to the fear of falling into them and being flushed away. Plus, the cold seats and large roaring sounds of the flush often make it worse. To address this situation, you should start off by investing in a little potty for your girl. This is a great head start that you could use to cultivate an interest in your baby girl. Let her pick her own potty seat and encourage her to personalize it to her liking by decorating her potty with stickers or let her favorite toy sit on it. Just make sure her potty is as cozy as she wants it to be until she becomes more at ease with using the toilet without having to force her.
Another reason why a lot of kids hate using the potty or toilet to do a #2 is that they feel as though their poo is part of them and they’re afraid to lose part of themselves. By explaining to your daughter that this is perfectly normal and that poo is something that she shouldn’t keep inside herself because it’s bad for her, she will learn quickly that there’s really nothing to be afraid of.
2. Teach her how to do it properly
Once you have started training your child, teach her also the right positioning to prevent messes. You can help her limit the spray of urine by telling her to sit all the way near the back and to keep her knees apart to relax the pelvic muscles. Additionally, you may also show her how to wipe from the front to back after she pees.
Do not be frustrated whenever your child makes a mess or starts soiling the bed even after you have already taught her to use a potty. Try to understand that your daughter is still trying to adjust to using a potty instead of her diapers, so occasional slips are bound to happen. The most important thing is to stay calm and avoid overreacting or reprimanding your child. Punishing your little one for such accidents will only make her feel bad about herself. She may also end up losing interest in using the toilet out of fear and anxiety of making a bigger mess in the future.
Instead of focusing on the negative situation, concentrate more on her good behavior. Reward her each time she stays dry and clean, and be reassuring when she causes another accident. Complimenting your child for a job well done goes a long way while punishing her only prolongs the overall process.
3. Your child has a habit of touching her genitals.
There are instances when children become more curious about where their urine come from, causing them to touch and feel their genitals. This often happens when you train them to use a potty. Keep in mind that this situation is normal, as it allows your children to understand their own bodies better.
When you notice that your daughter is often feeling or touching her genital area, remember that it’s perfectly normal. Explain the function of this body part and tell her that it is only to be looked at in private.
4. You feel pressured about toilet training your child.
Your friends may have kids who are already toilet trained – and they are much younger than your child. For some parents, this may cause them to feel pressured, and they may proceed to the training process whether their child likes it or not. In addition, being bombarded with expectations from friends, family members and other people may add to your stress.
If these are some of your concerns, you should really choose to disregard their opinions for the time being because it’s certainly more important to focus on your daughter instead. Remember, there’s no competition here and you’re not setting out to please anyone else. Just check for signs of readiness in your child, and let her learn at her own pace.
For a more detailed guide on how to potty train a girl in less than a week, you should check out this 3-day program.