When it comes to potty training, guys have an obvious advantage when they are potty training their sons. Even if you don’t know a lot about potty training methodology, you’ve got a similar body and temperament—how hard could it be?
But when a guy is potty training a girl, it ramps up to “very hard, very fast!” You don’t have the same early childhood experience that your daughter has had, so it makes it a lot tougher to just wing it.
Fortunately, we’ve collected some ace tips to help you potty train a girl like you’ve been doing it all your life.
Stay in the Room
It’s tempting to try to leave the room when your child is using the potty. In addition to bad smells and the risk of “splash damage” on your clothes, it just feels weird to be in the room during such a private time.
However, staying in the room while your daughter tries to use the potty is extremely important. She needs to feel relaxed, and she also needs to understand that this is all normal stuff. Don’t just hang in there playing on your phone, either—try to read from her favorite books or converse with her about things she likes to talk about.
All of this helps remove her anxiety, which is one of the biggest potty training obstacles.
Bedazzle the Potty
Okay, this next one sounds odd, but we promise it works really well. Part of potty training your daughter is letting her feel ownership of the space she is in. And the quickest way to do this is to let her decorate the potty.
Allow her to pick out stickers to put on it. And take it to the next level by letting her write and draw on it with washable markers. Not only does it make potty training her fun, but this makes the potty seem less like an outside object and more like a prized possession.
This helps your daughter be more comfortable using the potty, and it also helps set the stage for any rewards you might offer as part of her potty training schedule.
Teach the Rule of “Front to Back”
Pop quiz: what direction do you wipe with toilet paper? The confusion you’re feeling right now is proof that guys don’t usually give a lot of thought to how we wipe our own behinds. As long as everything gets clean, who cares… right?
When potty training girls, learning to wipe the correct way is absolutely crucial. You need to quickly train your daughter to wipe in a front to back motion. If she goes in the other direction, then a simple wipe can turn into a bacterial infection!
If she doesn’t have the control to do this correctly right off the bat, you may need to help her do it. We understand that this may not be the most comfortable thing for you to do, but wiping incorrectly is dangerous and can lead to potential infections.
Sometimes, potty training a girl is about more than just tips and tricks. In some cases, it’s all about getting her in the right frame of mind.
Go out of your way to praise anything even remotely independent that she does. This can include picking up toys or even re-arranging small things in her room. Tell her that you’re proud that she is growing up and maturing.
You can probably see where we’re going with this: You want her to consistently see that independence and maturity are good things. She will automatically understand that going to the bathroom on her own is part of growing up. And if you’ve set the stage correctly, then she’ll feel happy whenever she learns to do something on her own.
Be sure to praise her at every stage of the potty training process to help reinforce this!