Have you always heard, “potty training boys is harder than potty training girls“? This was definitely something I had heard once I became a mama. There is always something on the internet that says “boys are harder to potty train than girls.”
Once I had my son and the time came for me to start potty training him, I couldn’t help but have that thought in my head. After potty training my son and my daughter, I discovered, potty training boys is not harder than potty training girls.
From my experience, the outcome for a boy or a girl, is actually based off how you start.
In this article, I am going to to explain my experience with potty training my son and daughter, and answer the question many parents are asking. “Is potty training boys harder than potty training girls?”
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I was blessed to have a boy and girl, which taught me a few things about potty training. So here are some differences I have experienced when it comes to potty training a boy and girl.
Differences between potty training a boy and girl
*These differences are of course based off my two kiddos, which may differ from your own kids*
- Stand to pee – This sounds like a pretty obvious difference between a boy and girl, but some parents in my experience want to know, “should my son sit or stand to pee?” I had the same question when I first started potty training my son and I discovered, boys don’t typically start standing to pee until later on because they also have to learn how to to poop sitting down. I personally started out having my son sit on the potty, but eventually had him stand to pee with my assistance until he was tall enough to stand on his own. Once he started to stand, he began to tell me when he needed to go.
- Motivated by physical reward – My son enjoyed my excitement to get him to potty, but it did not actually cause him to go. After a couple of weeks of trial and error, I discovered he was motivated by food. A few moms at the time, suggested I reward with candy, but I didn’t like that idea because I didn’t allow him to eat candy. So instead, I gave him a piece of blueberry protein bar that he only got if he pooped and that did the trick!
- Structured and to the point – My son was not very interested in potty training when we first started because I didn’t know what I was doing at the time to be honest. But, once I started a structured routine, he was all for it.
- Go with the flow – The first time I placed my daughter on the potty seat at just 14 months to practice Elimination Communication, she peed and pooped! To say I was shocked is an understatement. She surprised herself when it happened but she did not cry and from there, our potty training process had begun.
- Want lots of praise – My daughter loves praise and she especially loved it when we first started our potty training journey. I didn’t have to reward her with food or anything else for that matter. All she wanted was praise and lots of love.
- Enjoys an exciting routine – Anything that involves music, my daughter is all for it. So, I made up a fun potty song every time she sat on the potty to encourage her to go. I then made up another song just for washing hands. She and my son really enjoy it! There’s also this really cool potty watch that will play a song as a reminder, when its time to use the potty. Adding music to her potty routine really keeps things fun and exciting.
- Easily distracted – When the time came for my daughter to do most of the bathroom routine (pull her pants up/down, get on the toilet, flush the toilet, etc) herself, she would easily get distracted and still does at times. She knows what to do but sometimes she’s so excited from singing and dancing, I have to remind her what to do next.
I am personally a believer in early potty training and have seen great results from starting early. I started my son at 19 months and my daughter at 14 months.
Never with a forceful intent to have them potty trained over a weekend or anything, but to get them familiar with the potty training process at a more gradual approach.
You can either practice early with Elimination Communication, or you can just get your child familiar with the process by exposing them with things they will be doing during potty training.
For example, you can allow your child to go in the bathroom with you or a close relative (older brother, uncle, aunt, etc.) so he can see what the process is like.
You can also have your child watch potty training shows, read books, and take him with you to buy underwear.
My daughter is 27 months and is fully nap time and nighttime trained and has been since 23 months.
My son was daytime potty trained by age two but wasn’t nighttime potty trained (after several attempts!) until right before he turned 4 years old.
Potty training is simply a milestone that every child has to go through and he/she will learn at their own pace.
My daughter actually caught on to the potty training process a lot faster than my son, and I believe this was a result of starting her off with Elimination Communication.
*If you want to learn more about Elimination Communication or infant potty training, please visit Go Diaper Free. Andrea Olson teaches parents how to practice Elimination Communication with their babies as early as birth!*
I started potty training my daughter earlier than I did with my son and had her on a great routine from the start.
So she did achieve the potty training milestone faster than her brother because of the way I prepared her to learn the process, and of course – every child learns differently.
With my son, he was my first child, I had no experience with potty training, and didn’t start with him as early as my daughter, nor did I practice Elimination Communication.
I also did not have him on a structured routine in the beginning.
Had I start potty training him the same way I did my daughter, I believe there could have been less struggles.
So, I have concluded, it was harder to potty train my son because of the way I started the process, but It had nothing to do with him being a boy.
So don’t fear mama, your son will potty train just fine once he gets the hang of the potty training process.
As a first time parent, it can be hard to admit you are the cause of something not going as planned when it comes to your child. But it’s always wise to look back at the situation and learn from it.
Going through the process of potty training a boy and girl has taught me: boys learn how to potty train at their own rate based off how we teach them and the same goes for girls.
Hopefully this has answered the question and makes since. Feel free to comment below with your experiences on this topic!