Potty training toddlers is no small matter, and it will give you more headaches than any other part of your child’s growth. It is difficult to get your child to control something that comes naturally to him or her as doing number one or number two. And it’s even more complicated if you have a boy and a girl since there are differences in how they develop and how they need to be approached for potty training. Even if you only have one, this point in their development might leave you wondering what are the main differences and what you can do to help your child go through this stage as painlessly as possible. Don’t forget you can always rely on special potty training books that explain to them the importance of this milestone.
Here are some of the common differences in potty training boys vs girls.
Be reminded that these differences do not apply to every single child, regardless of gender, and it shouldn’t be a concern if they display different behavior than those described here.
Boys tend to mature a bit later for this developmental milestone than girls. Not only do they display a lack of interest in being potty trained, but they also tend to not sit through it. They don’t show interest in having some of their favorite toys or books while on the potty or listening to their favorite music. Some might find their penises more interesting and what goes on while they pee, making it harder to concentrate on the deed itself and the purpose of the potty.
Boys also need to sit differently than girls. They need to sit in such a way that their penises are pointed downward, making sure all the urine goes into the potty and not hit the splash guard, pouring urine all around.
But potty training boys doesn’t stop there. Once they’re old enough they need to be taught how to pee standing up. Unlike girls, who only pee standing down, this is another major developmental difference that needs attention and careful approach.
Unlike boys, girls tend to be calmer during their potty training and are more willing to sit on the potty for longer periods of time. It even helps them to have a toy or a book with them.
The main difference is how girls sit on the potty. It is essential that their pelvic muscles are relaxed. That is why it is encouraged for girls to sit with their legs spread apart, unlike boys, who need to make sure their penis is pointing down, so their legs should be placed close together.
It is not uncommon for girls to want to pee standing up if they had seen some of their brothers doing it. It is recommended that they are allowed to do it because they will realize the difference from their own experience and not push the matter further.
No matter the gender, these features are not set in stone, as each child develops at their own rate. Some might be ready to start potty training earlier than others, but overall girls tend to be ready for potty training earlier than boys. Potty training girls can be done at around 30 months of age, while this number is bigger when it comes to boys.
As far as equipment is concerned, they may require a different one. There are special potty seats and chairs for girls that help ensure that the pelvic floor is relaxed. Boys generally need the splash guard.
Wiping is an important part of potty training. While rules are the same for wiping after going number two, there is a major difference between boys and girls for going number one. First of all, boys don’t wipe, they shake their penises to get rid of any remaining urine. Girls, on the other hand, need to be wiped, and it is important to wipe from front to back, and not the other way around, to make sure they don’t get a UTI, which are more common in girls than in boys.
Keep in mind that each child is unique and develops differently. What was true for one child, might not be true for the other. Each child develops at their own time and at their own pace. Keeping an open mind and staying calm during this long and tiring process will help both you and your child.