I might introduce some sweeping generalizations here, so please note that every child is different and develop at different rates! The range of “normal” is wide, so please consult your pediatrician if you have concerns about your child’s development.
That said, in my experience, potty training girls and boys were two completely different experiences! Granted, I hated both, but there were differences too! The first thing to note is that most people believe that girls are ready for potty training earlier than boys. There are many theories as to why that is the case, but girls are often interested in potty training earlier than boys are.
Similarly, girls are often potty trained more quickly than boys are. While your daughter might only have a few accidents after introducing the potty, your son will likely continue having accidents for a longer period of time. Again, theories vary, but it’s something to be prepared for! Always keep a change of clothes and some baby wipes nearby.
Make it FUN!
Whether you find yourself potty training a boy or a girl, the most important thing is to make it fun! Too much pressure typically results in taking steps backward in potty training, rather than forward. Boys and girls might be motivated by different things, but it’s definitely possible to keep it fun either way!
Your little girl might be content to have your company in the bathroom or to have a doll potty training right alongside her. But your little boy will get a kick out of “target practice” in the toilet! Throw a handful of cheerios in there, or invest in those little pellets that change the color of toilet water when they come into contact with urine. Both boys and girls might enjoy books and movies about using the potty.
Standing up or sitting?
One question parents often have is whether to potty train their son standing up, or sitting down. Answer: whatever works best for your little one! There are definite pros and cons to both. Sitting down can definitely reduce the amount of time you spend cleaning your bathroom, but copying Daddy might be a big motivator for your kiddo! Either way, your son needs to learn to point his penis down when he is using the toilet. Your daughter, on the other hand, will need coaching on how to wipe herself from front to back, in order to avoid UTIs.
Let’s face it: potty training is just HARD, no matter who you’re potty training. Nobody enjoys it. But, you can act like you do! Do your best to put on your own big-girl panties and make your toddler believe this is a really fun, really cool thing for him or her to do. I promise: your toddler will be potty-trained eventually.
About the Author:
Stacy grew up in Minnesota but spent the next several years of her life traversing the globe, temporarily setting down roots anywhere and everywhere. Stacy is extremely passionate about the world of adoption and foster care, having spent a year in Uganda adopting her oldest daughter in 2008. Stacy married her husband Jesse in 2011, and they moved to Oklahoma City to grow their family. They currently have three children; a 12-year-old girl, a 6-year-old boy, and a 1-year-old boy. Though she will be parenting for the rest of her natural days, she deeply appreciates the age differences between her kids. Stacy obtained a Master’s degree in child psychology in 2007, but currently uses it only on her own children! A stay-at-home mama since Baby #3 was born, Stacy has stayed busy keeping her children alive and relatively entertained. She loves her little crazy crew fiercely and uses writing as her creative outlet. When she’s not chasing her kiddos, Stacy is likely traveling or daydreaming about traveling. She also enjoys coffee shops, copious amounts of “cop drama” shows, and perusing Pinterest for ideas that have little chance of ever getting done. But they’re good to have. Just in case.