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Potty training can be challenging but exciting for your little one. We discuss potty training tips for girls to help them achieve potty training success.

The basics of potty training for girls and for boys are the same. With a few slight differences between potty training tips for girls and boys.

Wait until your daughter is showing signs she’s ready to potty train rather than trying to start it at a specific age. Check out our article about signs your child is ready for potty training.

If you think your little girl is ready to get started, read on for our top five potty training tips for girls. It won’t be long until they get the hang of it. Here are five potty training tips for girls:

1. Get shopping

Here’s an excuse to go shopping: you need the potty training essentials. Your daughter can also enjoy this special shopping trip to choose a potty or toilet training seat and pull-ups or knickers.

Try to explain to your daughter what potty training is and how it’s an exciting part of growing up. In the shops, encourage her to choose her potty or training seat and knickers. You could also ask her to pick out a children’s potty training story from the shops or your local library.

2. Learning from you

Let your daughter come with you to the toilet to watch and learn from you. Talk to her about what you’re doing and how things in the bathroom like flushes and taps work. You can encourage her to get involved by flushing the toilet with you.

While you’re there, talk to her about how good it is to be hygienic and wash her hands to keep bugs and infections away. If she isn’t keen on washing her hands you can make it more fun by singing a song or letting her play with the soap.

3. Teach her the specifics for girls

You’ll need to teach your daughter how to wipe herself from front to back. This is the only gender-specific potty training tip for girls you need to remember.

It’s good to explain how important it is for her to wipe from front to back, especially when she has had a poo. This will help to prevent vaginal infections.

It might be complicated for her to understand or manage wiping from front to back to begin with. If so, you can start by teaching her to pat herself dry with toilet paper. That’ll leave you to wipe her bottom for her until she gets the hang of it.

4. Make it fun

Some children will love copying and playing potty training with a favourite doll or special teddy. She could even potty train them at the same time. They can pop them on a pretend potty, as well as try putting nappies on them and taking them off.

If this isn’t her idea of fun, you can try other ways of making potty training more exciting. If she finds it hard to sit still for long enough to have a poo, you can try reading a story or two to her. You can make toilet training more exciting by pouring a few drops of blue food colouring in the toilet and watch it change colour when she wees.

5. Praise her

Most toddlers enjoy praise and encouragement. You won’t want to be over enthusiastic but do compliment her on any potty training successes (Institute of Health Visiting, 2014).

If she starts to get bored with potty training after a while, you could start using a sticker chart to cheer her on. Hang up the chart ready for stickers you’ll give him to celebrate every success – you could celebrate things like a week’s potty training success. Some parents like to give their child a reward like a special toy.  

We have more tips…

Would you like more potty training tips? Read our top ten potty training tips. Or still not sure whether your little one is ready for potty training? Read our five signs your child is ready for potty training article.

This page was last reviewed in June 2018

Further information

Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.

You might find attending one of our Early Days groups helpful as they give you the opportunity to explore different approaches to important parenting issues with a qualified group leader and other new parents in your area.

Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby.

NHS Choices information on potty training.

ERIC. (2010) Potty training. Education and resources for improving childhood continence. Available from: www.eric.org.uk [Accessed 1st June 2018]

Institute of Health Visiting. (2014) IHV parent tips. Available from: https://ihv.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/PT_Toilet-Training_V5-updated-link.pdf [Accessed 1st June 2018]

NHS Choices. (2015) How to potty train. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/potty-training-tips/  [Accessed 1st June 2018]

Further reading

American Academy of Pediatrics. (1999) Toilet training guidelines: Parents – the role of the parents in toilet training. Pediatrics. 103(6 Pt 2):1362-1363.

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