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Are you looking for that blog post that will give you the best guide to potty training girls. If you are anything like me, you have searched Google endlessly looking for Potty Training Tips for moms of girls. They say Potty Training Girls is easy. I have to disagree!
Potty training my daughter was one of the hardest things we did. After potty training my son in 2016 when he was 2 months shy of turning 3 I thought that my daughter would be a breeze.
She was well ahead of him in conversing and understanding so I thought we would be done a year ahead of my son! I was so wrong….
My Experience Potty Training My Stubborn Toddler
When my daughter turned 2, I was heavily pregnant, we had just moved to a new apartment and my son had just started preschool. Since we were in a time of major adjustment, I decided to wait it out until my mom visited when my baby was born.
My daughter did great with my mom for 2 days and then she regressed. I tried again 6 months later and the same thing happened.
At that point, I decided to just let it be.
Around the time she was about to turn 3, we put her in a summer preschool program 4 days a week for a few hours a day.
Her teacher said she would start encouraging her to go potty. And, oh boy, did that cause some issues! She just wasn’t ready and kept resisting. So, her teacher decided to stop.
In her 3rd week she started to show signs of interest; her teacher advised me to start trying to potty train. We bought her underwear and I let would only let her wear pull-ups to nap & sleep at night.
When we were at home, I would let her wear her dress without underwear. She did try to insist on wearing them but, as much as possible, we liked her to go without underwear. When she was at school or in public, she would wear underwear and we would try to take her to the bathroom every 20 minutes.
That didn’t necessarily work because my daughter wanted to play and not be interrupted. She was very stubborn in this way, which resulted in accident after accident (especially when she had on underwear).
Eventually, almost 3 weeks later, she finally “got it” and would initiate going potty on her own.
Yes, mamas, it took almost 3 weeks!
So, here are my takeaways and lessons I learned from potty training my stubborn toddler.
Potty Training Tips 1: Waiting till Your Child is Ready
In every single potty training book, they say “wait till they are ready” and “look for the signs”.
As I briefly mentioned, my eldest was potty trained by Day 5. He learned quickly but I also realize now that I was much more focused on him than I was with my daughter due to the nature of our family size and dynamics at the time.
With my daughter, due to 2 missed opportunities when she was ready, by the time we got to try she was probably not in the right place to take in the training. Putting her on hold until she initiated was the best thing we could do.
Sometimes you just have to take a step back and let the child wait it out, even ifthe child appeared to be ready at one point.
Just let your child be.
They will come around when they are ready. This is crucial for any child but, especially, a stubborn one. Waiting until they are ready will make the process go so much easier for the both of you – you won’t be butting heads and getting frustrated.
And, as a parent, you won’t feel like it will never happen!
Potty Training Tips 2: Don’t rush to put underwear on
With both my son and my daughter, I found that with underwear they felt comfortable to wet themselves rather than going to the potty.
Without underwear, there is more need to rush to the potty in order to avoid an accident. So, don’t be in a hurry to have your child wear underwear!
Potty Training Tips 3: Use a Phone App to Set A Prompt
If you need help with consistency in taking your child to go potty, I highly recommend using an app.
Start off with setting the timer for 20 minutes, then after a few days you can increase it to 25 and then you can increase it again (I got to 40 minutes with my daughter).
Eventually, they will know how to initiate and won’t need the prompts to go potty but they really are helpful.
Potty Training Tips 4: Lower Your Expectations
Alongside waiting until baby is ready, my biggest take away was to lower my expectations. These little humans are not at the level of comprehension that we are.
They are not going to get it automatically, so you can drop that expectation from the start!
Your toddler will needyourhelp to grasp potty training.
You will need patience to remind them over and over to go potty.
There will be repeated accidents, despite your hope that there won’t, be but I truly believe that with each accident, provided that the child is ready, they learn.
Using our words, we can teach them how to not have another accident next time.
Potty Training Tips 5: Give Lots of Treats
You have probably heard this tip before. But seriously, get a bunch of candy that your toddler likes. Buy a box of snacks and stickers and keep them all in a little treat box.
I found that the more I rewarded her the more it motivated my daughter to make the effort. Being as stubborn as she is, she did NOT want to stop playing to go potty.
The best way to get through to her was, “you’ll get a reward”. This worked not only for the motivation factor but the more she had salty snacks, and drinks, and other snacks she was able to feel more of a need to use the bathroom.
It was a win-win!
Potty Training Tips 6: Look for signs for UTI
This was not something I thought of at first but one time when I picked my daughter up from school, her teacher informed me that she had asked to go potty 6 times in 3 hours which was more than usual.
It was recommended that I get her checked for a UTI.
She was not showing any other signs of a UTI and it turned out that she was fine but this is a very real concern with girls and it is important that you watch for signs of a UTI: itching, burning when urinating, an urgent need to go but going very little, fever and foul smelling or cloudy urine. (source)
Also, with girls, you have to really make sure they are cleaned well and cleaned from top to bottom.
Potty Training Tips 7: Reward Chart to track Progress
I did not do this with my son but I felt like using a chart with my daughter would give her some encouragement.
Firstly, I got her lots of snacks she liked, including some healthy sweets. Then, I made a chart and got some stickers to place on the chart each time she went potty. She received a treat each time she went potty.
However, her BIG reward, for getting all of her stickers, was to go play in the ball pit at IKEA. As you may already know, they don’t allow kids in the play area that are not potty trained. It was always very upsetting to her that my son could stay and she could not. It was a real struggle!
Every day I would remind her, “if you get all your stickers we can go to IKEA ball pit!” This really stuck in her head. After every successful potty attempt she would announce that she was going to IKEA which showed me that it was obviously motivating her and, of course, it was super cute.
If you would like to use a chart, too, you can download mine and print it out for use at home easily by clicking here!
I really believe this tips will help you but, again, I want to remind you that each child is different, so be patient. Your child willget potty trained!