Have a little girl who you think might be ready to ditch the diapers? You’ve come to the right place: a comprehensive guide full of tips on when to potty train a girl and how to potty train successfully. From frequent reminders to celebratory dances, we’ll lead you every step of the way. You’ll learn the best approaches for potty training girls and before you know it, she’ll be even more thriving and independent.
In this article: 📝
- When to start potty training girls
- What is the best age to potty train a girl?
- What is the average age of potty training for girls?
- How do you start potty training a girl?
- 15 expert potty training tips for girls
- How do you potty train a girl in 3 days?
- How do you potty train a stubborn girl?
When to start potty training girls
You can start potty training girls as early as 18 months up to three years old, but the best time to begin is before she turns two. After 24 months, toddlers tend to become more strong-willed and it’s harder to get them to go on the potty. Your little girl is ready to start potty training if she:
- Follows basic instructions and rules
- Knows when she’s peeing or pooping (such as if she’s told you)
- Shows interest in the potty
- Can pull up her dress or push down her pants
What is the best age to potty train a girl?
The best age to potty train a girl is between 18 and 24 months, though some parents wait until after their little girl is two. Starting after two can be more of a challenge, but if your little girl has already celebrated her second birthday, no need to fret. She’ll be totally fine, and many girls learn to potty train between ages two and four.
What is the average age of potty training for girls?
The average age of potty training for girls is 23 months, while being fully trained for nap and bedtime might not happen until age 4 or 5.
How do you start potty training a girl?
You start potty training girls by taking a couple days at home without diapers to teach her that pee and poop goes in the potty and to help her get to the potty when she needs to go. Look for cues that she needs to pee and ensure she makes it to the potty before it’s too late. When accidents happen, try not to get upset. Instead remind her calmly that pee goes in the potty.
Within a few days, she’ll show signs that she’s making the connection, and you can venture out for short errands. As she practices and you gain more confidence, your trips away from home can become longer. You can also work on using the potty in new places, like the grocery store, grandma’s house, and the park.
15 expert potty training tips for girls
Looking for the easiest way to potty train a girl? Well, we won’t say it’s easy, but here are the best tips on how to make “no diaper days” as smooth as possible.
1. Stay focused:
The quickest way to get your girl to make the connection that pee goes in the potty is to watch for cues and help her get to the potty ASAP. For the first few days, be extra vigilant. Whether she does a little dance or stares at you when she has to go, learn what her signs are. Sometimes that means literally picking her up and setting her on the potty. A training potty like this is recommended, and is easy to take from place to place once you start leaving home.
2. Practice the up and down:
Forgo the diaper and pants for the first couple days — it raises the stakes for her to get to the potty. After that, she’ll need to know how to lift her dress or push down her pants before taking a seat. Play “dress up” with lots of practice with pants and skirts, so she is ready to master the squat. Stick with pants that have elastic bands, as buttons and snaps can be a roadblock.
3. Stay calm:
Accidents happen, and how you respond is what matters. Try to remain calm and level-headed. Rather than scold her, remind her that pee always goes in the potty. Most of all, you want her to form a healthy connection with the potty.
4. Start with a pat:
You should show your girl how to sit on the potty and wipe herself from front to back. This is important so she avoids getting an infection, especially when she wipes for #2 (but most kids don’t fully wipe for poop until age 4 to 6). If she’s not able to wipe for pee, show her how to dab the area gently.
5. Avoid asking if she has to go:
Looking for potty training tips for girls? One of the best out there is to not ask her if she has to pee. Most toddlers will respond with an automatic “no.” Instead, remind her at regular intervals to sit on the potty. Before you leave home or have lunch, tell her it’s time to stop by the potty then wash her hands. If she can’t reach the sink on her own, consider a step stool that will help her wash her hands all on her own.
6. Listen to what she’s telling you:
Your little girl is different from any other out there. Pay attention to what is clicking for her, and what she’s struggling with. What signs is she giving you before she has to pee? Is she having a hard time reaching the toilet paper? Take note of any hurdles and find solutions.
7. Move the potty to her:
In the initial days, she won’t be able to hold it more than a few seconds. Place the potty in the playroom, outdoors, or wherever it’s easily accessible. Help her make as many successful trips to the potty as possible. When you leave home, bring her little potty along and inform her of its whereabouts.
8. Opt for a good diet:
Nothing derails potty training girls like constipation. Make sure she’s getting a well-rounded diet and enough water to keep things moving.
9. Let go of crutches:
Diapers and pull-ups are communication to your child that poop doesn’t go in the potty. When she’s awake, aim for no diapers and pull-ups. Keep them on for nap and bedtime, unless you want to do day and night training all at once.
10. Don’t set a specific timeline:
You’ll see some kids potty train in a matter of days, while others take weeks to get it down. Try your best to take it one day at a time and listen to your girl. With consistency and these other potty training tips, she’ll be trained before you know it.
11. Keep her company:
Whether it’s her Frozen doll or fire truck, bring her favorite friends to the potty. Make it fun by singing or reading stories. Have her teddy bear give her a high five when she’s done. The more exciting the trip to the potty, the better.
12. Gather support:
After a long day of potty training, reach out to a mom friend who knows what it’s like. Read up on areas where you’re struggling. Ask for input,and celebrate the wins. While potty training can seem endless, with a little support by your side, it’ll fly by.
13. Show excitement:
Little girl potty training is an incredible milestone, and shows how independent your gal is becoming. Be sure to offer her praise, and show her that you’re proud. Consider a sticker or reward chart for successful trips to the potty, or keep it simple with a fun celebratory dance.
14. Be aware of regressions:
Things that can derail potty training for girls? Teething, illness, or another major change like a new baby can set your girl back in her progress. While it can be frustrating, usually it’s just a phase. With a little time, fortitude, and consistency, she’ll be back to being the no-diaper queen.
15. Hold off on bedtime and nap time:
While you can try to rip the band aid off all at the same time, most parents find it easier to focus on daytime potty training for girls before including naps and nighttime. If she starts waking up dry from naps, consider forgoing the diaper — and likewise with her night diaper. Keep a pad or mattress protector on her bed for accidents.
How do you potty train a girl in 3 days?
You can potty train a girl in 3 days by having her wear no pants or underwear, teaching her to sit on the potty, and gradually adding pants or dresses in. Look for clues that she needs to pee and help her get to the potty as soon as possible. Start with short outings once she has the basics down, and increase the length of time you’re away from home as she learns how to use the bathroom in different places. Even if your girl is a potty training pro, remember that accidents will happen. It doesn’t mean she’s not getting it, it just means she needs practice.
How do you potty train a stubborn girl?
You potty train a stubborn girl by giving her independence, not creating a battle of wills, and giving her some autonomy and reward systems. Just like you taught your stubborn girl not to run into the street or to eat her vegetables, use the same gentle techniques that make her feel in control.
Want more info on how to potty train a girl? Check out these books written for little girl potty training.
- 3-Day Potty Training Method by Lora Jensen
- Oh, Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki
- No-Cry Potty Training Solution by Elizabeth Pantley
And to find moms who are also potty training girls, connect with them here on Peanut.