It's potty time - for girls

Potty training girls!

Potty training is a big step in your toddler’s amazing development. Girls tend to be potty trained about 3 months earlier than boys, so before you know it you’ll be saying bye-bye to those nappies and hello to proper pants! But don’t be in too much of a hurry. Making the move to grown up things like using the loo takes time and practice. And your little girl will let you know when she’s ready to make this major step.

When to get started

She could be ready to perch on her potty at any time from 18 months to 4 years, but many mums start trying at around 2 or 3 years old. The secret with girls seems to be in the timing. So if she’s going through a foot stamping “no!” phase, let this pass before you get started. Choose a quiet time when you can start a relaxed routine. If she’s about to start nursery or has a new brother or sister to play with, she’ll be easily distracted.

What’s important is that she understands why she has to hold in a wee or poo until she gets to the potty. And that she has enough control over her body to do it. Sounds simple enough to us, but to your little girl it’s a big step.

Signs she could be ready

If your toddler shows any of these signs it could be time for toilet training:
• Can control her bladder.
• Knows when she is doing a wee or poo, and has her own name for both of these.
• Hops from one foot to the other or holding her hands between her legs.
• Is interested when mum or dad go to the loo.

How to get started

Once you’ve established that the right time has come to start toilet training your little girl, you might initially find using a potty is easier than the loo - partly because you can take it with you wherever you go. Begin with a daily routine of taking her to use the potty when she wakes up; then after breakfast; before and after lunch, snack time and dinner time, and then again before bed. It might sound odd, but try to make toilet time fun with a favourite book or toy. If she’s not enjoying it and doesn’t want to stay, just try again later.

Mums’ top tips for success

Keep calm and carry on smiling! Accidents will happen. Taking the mishaps in your stride and giving her lots of praise when she uses the potty will encourage her to get it right the next time. Make things easier for her. A daily routine with set times for the toilet, and clothes she can pull down quickly can really help.

Don’t give up! Summer is a great time to start because she’ll be wearing less clothes. Consistency is also important, so once she’s out of nappies it’s best to keep it this way so that she doesn’t become confused.

There’s so much more to her amazing development

Learning to use the loo takes brain power and control. These are skills she’s been practising for some time now. But there’s still more to come. Our toddler development articles look at the amazing physical development she’ll go through. It can also help you understand the importance of those hard-to-get nutrients like vitamin D, iron and omega-3. Her little bones and muscles are still growing at quite a pace so she needs a well-balanced toddler diet to help her get all the goodness she needs. And while she’s open to trying new things, it’s a great idea to serve up lots of variety at mealtimes. That way you’ll be helping her learn to love all sorts of good food.


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Join the C&G baby club today

  • Weekly emails with tips and advice for your stage
  • 1-to-1 support from our dedicated Careline team, 8.30am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

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