Potty Training: Boys Vs Girls

When your child develops to the age that he or she can first start to use the potty, many parents are excited not just at the opportunity to see their child reach another milestone, but also thrilled to cut the expense of diapers out of their budget. However, sometimes this excitement causes parents to overlook or underestimate some of the hurdles in effectively potty training a child. An especially important consideration is the difference between potty training boys versus girls. Understanding how gender affects your child’s progress and needs for potty training can make the process much easier and faster to complete.




Statistical Differences in Potty Training Ages of Boys & Girls


While every child is different, general statistics report that girls potty train earlier than boys. There was about a 2-3 month difference in development towards habits and attitudes that made potty training more possible for girls at a younger age than boys in a two year study at the Medical College of Wisconsin. For example, girls began to stay dry during the day at 32.5 months versus 35 months for boys. Girls also showed an interest in the potty sooner than boys, at 24 months versus boys at 26 months. Girls were able to stay dry for two hours at a time at 26 months while boys needed around 29 months.


A Brazilian study discovered similar differences between boys and girls when they tested when girls and boys were out of diapers on average. 27.8% of girls were out of diapers during the day at 24 months, versus only 21.4% of boys at the same age. At night at 24 months, they reported 10.6% of girls and 6.8% of boys were out of diapers.


Over the years, it has been discovered that children in general potty train later than they have in the past, at least in the United States. Earlier reports showed children potty/toilet trained between 18 and 24 months, with current reports averaging between 22 and 30 months.


Potty Training Boys


Whether it is a boy or girl potty training, a potty chair is useful. Sometimes it takes time for a boy to be ready to stand and aim, so the potty chair is a good start. In any case, it’s usually difficult for a younger child to climb up on a large toilet for pooping, but in some cases a toilet seat insert and step stool may be adequate.


You may want to have your child point his private part strait down before he sits on the potty chair to avoid scraping it against the seat or splash guard. This is both to avoid discomfort and also to avoid possible contact with germs. If he will be standing, help position him in a spot in front of the toilet to where he will not miss or spill. In time with direction, he will be able to go by himself without assistance.


Some other methods for encouraging proper potty use include demonstration of proper toilet use from the father or to encourage sitting for pooping, you may offer a book to read.


Potty Training Girls


Even more so than boys, a potty chair is particularly useful. Girls will be more comfortable with their feet touching the ground. You may still use a toilet seat insert and step stool, but generally more comfort is felt with feet touching the ground. If you do use this method, make sure it’s easy for her feet to rest on the stool.


Make sure to position your little one all the way back so her bottom and private areas are over the potty opening preventing spray. Encourage your child to sit with her knees apart in order to relax pelvic muscles.


Ensure your daughter learns to wipe from front to back. Having her watch mom go is helpful. Much like with boys with pooping, sitting at all times can be encouraged by offering a book to read as the child goes potty.


Incentives For Potty Use


Many parents of boys and girls offer incentives for potty use. These are very individualized based on your child’s likes, but the incentives or rewards system for using the potty pretty much works the same regardless of your child’s gender. Particularly if your child is being stubborn about using the potty, offering incentives like healthy snacks or small toys like trophies can be useful in getting your child to become eager to successfully use the potty. If one method doesn’t work for your child, try another. Patience and persistence will win your child over eventually and have them using the potty like a big kid.




Much of the differences in potty training for boys versus girls are what you might expect. The most important thing to remember when potty training your children is to be patient! Children all develop at different ages and different children have different approaches that work for them. If your child is being particularly stubborn about one method, try another! Every child learns differently, so if your child is taking a little longer than normal, don’t lose faith. Stay positive and work with your child to get them ready for that next big milestone!


If you need assistance with child care, OC Home and Family, a domestic agency, may be able to help. We offer nanny services and other similar domestic options to our families to assist them with their busy schedules and ensure their children are taken care of.


For questions, contact us today at 949.335.7963.


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