The Ultimate Potty Training Guide for Girls
A Sanity-Saving How-To Guide on Potty Training Girls
As any overwhelmed, bloodshot eyed parent can attest to, potty training can be a messy ordeal. There's a sea of opinions and expertise out there preaching when your baby girl should begin potty training and how to potty train them. Keep calm parental units--you won't need to hold your child's hand in this forever. Deep breaths and here are some tricks to help you maintain your sanity and give your daughter the confidence to use the potty like a wiz-ard.
She can be the judge on when she's ready.
Use your gut on when to start training by observing your child's behavior. Some experts say you can start training around 18 months, but some baby girls won't be ready until they are much older, which might be not until they are four years old. What's important is that they feel psychologically safe and ready to potty train, despite any judgmental looks you get from in-laws or grocery store clerks. Your child will show you when she's ready. For example, if your kid is screaming bloody murder and acting anxious about using the potty, it's a good sign the time is not now. You can always consult with her pediatrician to get input on her development if you are unsure.
If your child attends daycare, that will also help the process because they tend to watch their friends use the potty and want to join in on the fun! An older sibling might also speed things along too because most younger siblings want to be just like their older brother or sister. If she follows you into the bathroom (as so many parents can relate to) they can watch you use the potty too so they know it's normal. This is, of course, depending on your comfortability level, but I cannot remember the last time I used the bathroom without my toddler sobbing unless I let her join me.
Never underestimate a good potty crown.
Bribery. Yes, folks bribery can be a great tool. The potty crown was invented by my dearest friend and it worked wonders for my little one. Every time she used the potty she got to strut around in her potty crown. She eventually became so proud that she'd even shout as loud as she could in our favorite ramen restaurant that she did a "great big turd." Fostering your daughter's confidence and pride in a new skill she's learning is key.
You can also tack up a chart next to their potty so they can celebrate their achievements by placing a sticker on the chart every time they go. What kid doesn't love stickers? I STILL love stickers...
Elmo is a wise soul. There is an excellent potty training video that, in the case of emergencies, you can whip up on your phone or iPad if you're in a jam.
Try using nudie training pants.
Sometimes the best thing to do is revert back to caveman tactics. Let your little one run wild and be naked for a while. It will help her know when she has to go because she won't have the comfort of a diaper to catch her woo woo and wee wee (watch the Elmo video and you'll get the reference). Not to mention imagine the hysterical family bonding moments that can come from all the silliness? It might even help relieve the stress you may be feeling.
Have the tools and execution for potty training.
Having a plan of action can also be a great tactic. Kids find comfort in a routine so try to have a schedule in place and create certain cues that tell your child it's time to try the potty (before or after a bath is a great place to start).
It's really important to teach your baby girl to wipe front to back, especially after that "great big turd" for obvious, hygienic purposes.
Whatever happens, try to keep your act together so she can feel safe and comfortable with her learning experience. In a blink of an eye, she'll be flying the nest so savor this time while you can and embrace the frenzy. Keep calm and use the potty crown.