What is the Best Age to Potty Train Girls?

Potty training is a big deal for kids and many parents want to know the best age to potty train girls.

When it comes to training boys and girls, there are a few key differences to consider. One of those factors is timing. The average age to potty train girls is slightly different than boys, which means you may need to take a different training approach for girls vs boys.

Consider these tips as you decide when it’s best to start potty training your daughter.

Smiling toddler girl sitting on a potty chair.

What is the best age to potty train girls?

There is no set age to begin potty training a girl. Although age is a factor in determining your child’s readiness, there are a variety of other things to consider before getting started.

Many children begin to show signs of potty training readiness between the ages of 18 to 24 months. But others might not be ready until after their third birthday.

If you’ve been unsuccessful in potty training your daughter so far, you may be tempted to ask, “Should my 3 year old (or 4 year old) be potty trained?” This is an important question for many parents. But it’s also important to remember that age is only one guiding factor in determining whether your daughter is ready to start training.

In addition to their age, think about your child’s physical abilities and mental readiness.

How do I know if my girl is ready to start potty training?

Although age is something to consider when you start introducing the concept of potty training to your daughter, there are several other cues to look out for.

Since potty training requires that your child use a variety of physical and mental skills, noticing the signs for those abilities is a great way to determine if your girl is ready to start training.

When your daughter is ready to start potty training, she might:

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  • Show interest in the toilet and how to use it
  • Ask to wear big kid underwear
  • Imitate you or older siblings
  • Show interest in watching you or older siblings use the bathroom
  • Demonstrate her independence in other areas of her daily life
  • Hide while peeing or pooping in her diaper
  • Ask to be changed immediately after going in her diaper
  • Stay dry for long stretches of time

Potty Training Tips for Girls

If your daughter is showing any of those readiness signs, it might be time to start potty training. But even if she doesn’t seem ready to dive into the process, helping her become more familiar with the bathroom could speed the process along.

Try these potty training tips to help your daughter get ready to start potty training.

Keep the bathroom door open

Toddlers learn by watching and imitating, so having an open-door policy in the bathroom is a great way to get your child interested in potty training. Let her watch you use the bathroom to see how the process works.

As you go through the steps of using the bathroom, talk her through what you’re doing, including pulling down your pants, sitting on the toilet, wiping, and washing your hands with soap and water.

Let her experiment

Before you start the training process, purchase a child-sized potty or potty seat for her to play with.

Let her sit on the potty and pretend to use it. This will help her become more familiar with the equipment needed to start training and help those new tools become less scary.

But always be sure your child is supervised while in the bathroom to avoid accidents, messes, and injury.

Keep educating

Potty training is a learning experience, which means it’s a great idea to keep the education going.

Before you start potty training, read books about the process and watch entertaining videos about the subject with your daughter.

And after you start training, continue reading and learning to keep potty training fun.

Celebrate successes

Even small wins deserve celebration as you’re potty training your girl.

Rewards, like stickers or candy, are a great motivator for girls as they’re learning to use the potty from day to day.

And as your child progresses through the stages of potty training, don’t forget to celebrate the big wins as well as the little ones to reinforce the positive progress she’s made.

Keep trying

Most girls aren’t successful on their first round of potty training.

The important thing to remember is that things will get better with time. The more your daughter practices, the better she’ll become. And the older she gets, the more abilities and skills she’ll develop to help her along the way.

If you reach a set-back or become frustrated, take some time off and revisit potty training in a week or two and try again when you’re both ready.

Image of toddler girl sitting on a potty chair. Image says the best age to potty train girls.

Delayed Potty Training

While many people say that girls are easier to train than boys, that fact isn’t always the case. In fact, sometimes girls experience delayed potty training.

Toilet training is usually considered delayed if your child is older than 3 years old and isn’t potty trained or has not been potty trained after three or more months of training.

There are several factors that could go into why your daughter’s toilet training is delayed, including:

Health issues

One of the biggest contributing factors to delayed potty training is underlying health or physical issues.

Small bladder capacity, poor muscle control, or lack of coordination in the bladder muscles can all contribute to delayed potty training.

Other health issues, like urinary tract infections or constipation, can also cause delays. Discuss these possible issues with your child’s pediatrician to see if these factors may be contributing to your child’s delays.

Physical or emotional readiness

The best age to potty train girls has more to do with their physical and emotional readiness than biological age. Starting training too early can often have a negative impact on a child’s potty training progress.

If you start training your daughter before she’s physically or mentally ready, you could be dragging out the potty training process. Watch for behavioral signs of readiness to determine if it’s a good time to start.

If your child shows signs of resistance or unwillingness to use the toilet, don’t press the issue. Instead, give your daughter a few weeks to adjust to the idea and try again.

Resistance

Does your child know how to use the toilet and simply refuses?

This is a common struggle many parents face. This factor usually stems from aggressive toilet training, like forcing your child to use the potty or punishing her for accidents.

One of the best ways to remedy this delay is to give the control back to your child. Allow her to determine when she uses the toilet and avoid punishment when accidents occur.

Instead, offer rewards and incentives for successful trips to the potty or for avoiding accidents.

Regression

Children who begin having accidents after they were previously trained successfully could be regressing.

Potty training regression can be caused by a variety of factors, but most often major life changes are to blame. Emotional upsets or stresses, like moving to a new home or introducing a new sibling, could cause your child to regress.

If potty training regression occurs, try to remain calm and work through the potty training steps with your child again. Remind your child that accidents are OK and reiterate the ways she can work to avoid accidents in the future.

Potty training regression is typically short-lived and usually resolves itself after the emotional conflict has been resolved.

The best age for potty training girls is the age that she is showing signs of readiness and you are ready to be consistent and work with her through the process. Don’t rush, but always be on the lookout for when your daughter shows that she’s ready.

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