Are Girls Different?

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I’ve successfully potty trained four boys. And I’ve lived to tell about it. While I still step in the occasional puddle, for the most part the experience has been painless. In fact, most of them trained in less than a week. My method has been to wait until they were 3 and more than capable of understanding the process. Then, it all fell into place very quickly.

I’ve heard girls are different. I’ve heard that potty training a girl happens quicker than training boys. I’ve head that they train earlier. I’ve heard that it is easier.

So, lay it on my ladies. Are the rumors true?

FishChick is 2 1/2 years old. She’ll be 3 in November. If she were a boy, I’d wait until November. But, ‘twould be nice not to worry about potty training during the school year. It’d be nice to make the transition during summer break.

She can dress herself – when she wants to. She can speak in almost full sentences. She can unload the dishwasher virtually by herself.

So, what do you think?

  • Is it possible?
  • Would you start potty training now?
  • Got any words of wisdom for this new girly mama?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. BusyMom says

    My daughter turns three in November as well. Some days of potty training are great, others not so much so.

    She actually does best when we are out – I guess visiting new bathrooms is an exciting thing to do.

    She still wets during most naps and each night, but much of the day is pretty dry. Sometimes we are running to the potty and she is wet when we get there, but she still goes.

    My son was the same as your sons. I tried occassionally before 3, but it was the day that he turned 3 that he decided today is the day and never looked back.

    I will keep going. We are going to be adventurous and try out underwear on Saturday. We have no place to be, so why not.

  2. McClure Family says

    YES! I think girls are able to PT earlier than boys! My dear friend's little girl just turned 2 and they did the 3 days to PT and she is fully PT now!! good luck!!

    my ww:

  3. Mama Llama says

    I would definitely give it a try NOW. PTing in the summer is so much easier than in the winter. For the first couple of days, you could let her wear just a dress with no undies around the house (so much easier than trying to wrestle off undies when the urge hits, which translates into more successes on her part). Or, if you are more concerned about modesty, a dress with just panties underneath is easy, too (and if she has an accident in panties and a dress, chances are you'll only have to wash soiled panties, not panties and shorts or pants).

  4. Suzanne says

    My little girl will be 3 in October. She is *mostly* potty trained. She still has plenty of accidents, but she has the concept down, lol. I think she will be there completely (at least during the day) by the end of summer. I'd give it a try; if it's not working, you can always take a break and try later.

  5. diane g says

    My daughter turned 2 beginning of April. We started potty-training the weekend of Memorial Day and she seems to be fully trained. Hasn't had an accident in over 1 1/2 weeks. I'm like you. I tried but my boys were just over 3 years old before they were fully trained.

  6. Anonymous says

    I started potty training my little girl when she was two, we started in January when not too much was going on. She caught onto what she was supposed to do quickly. We had accidents for a little while because she didn't want to stop playing with something to go to the bathroom, she also does much better in public with new rest rooms. I was told night training is different and I didn't bother taking her out of diapers at night til we were no longer having accidents. I also would not reccommend pull ups or similar because they do the same as the diaper and the wet wont "bother" them for them to know they peed themself. GOOD LUCK

  7. UnfinishedMom says

    Do it now. Potty training in the summer is much easier than in the winter – fewer clothes to mess with. If she's speaking in sentences she's got the vocabulary & understanding necessary. Go for it girl. I waited too long with one of mine and it became a real problem.

  8. kristi says

    Absolutely! Go for it, full steam ahead! I have a son and two daughters, in that birth order. My son was not that hard to potty train, but my middle daughter was a BREEZE at 2 years 4 months. I am a firm believer in the "three is the best age and don't push it till then if you don't have to" idea but I did it then for the same reason as you–didn't want to do it during the school year, when she would be turning three. Girls are so. much. easier. than boys. They don't have all those extra body parts to deal with! GO FOR IT!

  9. kristi says

    Duh I put my wrong address above, sorry.

  10. Andrea says

    Yes, yes, yes, start now. Your 2 1/2 year old is more than capapble. I have a little boy and like you said, I potty trained him at 2 and 4 months full force and it only took him about a week to get it. Girls are different, but they are just as capable as boys and maybe more so in this area.

  11. Katie @ goodLife {eats} says

    If she's interested in it, GO FOR IT!

    Madeline has started telling me the past week "poopoo" just before she is going to go potty. We haven't made it in time to the potty yet, but I put her on the potty immediately after taking the dirty diaper off. She sits for a few minutes and I read her a book just to practice. You can see she is starting to get that is where she is supposed to go. She is almost 2, but she is showing interest and understands & can communicate it so much better than when Logan was potty trained. For him it wasn't until he was 3 and even then he hadn't been telling me when he needed to go in his diaper.

  12. Katie @ goodLife {eats} says

    I second the comment on pull ups! JUst put the thick gerber undies on. They absorb more but won't have the diaper affect that pull ups have. WHen we were out and about in the early stages we put undies on and a pull up over it. They still feel the wet but you dont have to worry about accidents in the grocery store.

  13. Elizabeth says

    my eldest daughter was 3.5 before she was trained, she knew what to do but had no interest at all, diapers were fine by her. my youngest decided diapers were awful & she went straight to big girl undies at 2, no pull-ups or anything & she's only had 1 accident in 2 1/2 years! they are all different but i would certainly try now 🙂

  14. dancebythelight says

    I will come to you when my boys are 3 for potty training advice! 🙂

  15. Kristin says

    We have four girls and one boy. Our first two daughters were sixteen months apart and potty trained together. The younger of the two obviously took longer as she wasn't quite ready and doing it to follow her big sister. They were both potty trained by 2 1/2. Our third daughter was also. Our son, who will be four in August, just potty trained a few months ago. It took several months to get him potty trained. His baby sister, who turned two last week, decided she was ready and potty trained in about a week. She doesn't wear diapers to bed, during naps or while we are out. Our secret to potty training is little candies, such as M&Ms or Smarties. When they go potty, we give them a few candies and make a huge production of it.

  16. Shaybplus3 says

    I am a momma of one of each My little girl is 4 (5 in August) and my little guy is 2 (3 in September) and I started when they showed signs of interest. Leanna took 1 week to train and we have never had an accident. Hudson took 1 month to train and he still has accidents during naps and at night but never while awake. They both trained at 2 years old. So while yes Leanna did train faster Hudson wasn't so far behind.
    Good Luck!

  17. srlsfamily says

    I think you could go ahead and try with her…but…contrary to popular belief, I had more difficulty with my girls than with my boys…well…is some ways.

    Older boy trained at 3 1/2 but…never had a poop accident. Once I took him out of diapers, he could make it to the potty for poop. Pee was another thing, but he eventually got it.

    Younger boy trained (actually before his brother) at 2 1/2…also never had a poop accident.

    Girl 1…3 months of poop accidents at 2 3/4 to 3 years. Did better with pee but I personally did better cleaning pee than poop!

    Girl 2…just finishing at 3y3m. Started right before 3 cuz she was definitely not ready at 2 1/2. One day she asked to go to the potty and so…we started. She too had about 3 months of poop accidents while doing much better at getting to the potty for pee…

  18. Amy @ Finer Things says

    My first girl, at 16 months old, watched her 2yo cousin ONCE, looked at me and said "I go potty, Mommy." So, in complete disbelief and with low expectations, I sat her on the toilet. And she went!

    From there I just let her go whenever she wanted to. Don't think I changed a poop after that day. She was completely trained at 22 months.

    My current 22mo girl isn't nearly as verbal as her big sister, but she does ask to "peepee on the potty" about twice a day. We also always give her the opportunity to "go" before her bath. Haven't made the effort to actually train her. Hmmm… maybe we should try!

  19. jillbert says

    My DD learned at 18 months — completely dry at nights & naps, too. My boys were 2.5 and 3 when they learned. Maybe it's because she's a girl but maybe it's because she's always had a strong "I can do anything my brother can" attitude. I say try it and see if it will work.

  20. Anonymous says

    My daughter will be 2 at the and of the month, and I started pt'ing her at about 18 months. I saw a list somewhere of signs kids show that they are ready, and she showed almost all of the signs, so we started and it did take me a good 2 months, mostly I think because I wasnt ready to take it on (dealing with the puddles, and even the night time puddles) I'd give in too easily and put her in a pull up. But then I decided I'd had enough, because she was using the pull ups as diapers, even though she knew perfectly well how to use the potty, and to tell me she had to go. So I took her to the store, made it thrilling for her to be getting big girl panties, in her favorite, Tinkerbell!! and some Disney Princess ones. And I told her, "Princesses and Fairies dont like getting wet. They dont like pee pee on them. So dont get them wet, or they'll be sad and they'll cry!" And she understood what I was telling her and was very careful. Then she had her first accident on Princess Jazmine, and she was soooooo upset. I mean, crying and crying cause she started to pee, and I said, "no, no, dont pee pee in your panties", she looked down and saw the pee dripping out, and assumed it was the Princess crying, and she freaked out!!! Since then, she has had about 2 accidents, mostly due to me not believing that she actually had to go (she tends to use it as an excuse to get out of time out), and is actually even waking up dry at night!! It was all about me not giving her the option of a pull up to depend on. Once I did that, it took NO time at all. She's a super bright girl, with a humongous vocabulary and understanding, so that helped me enormously. Hope that helps you! And good luck!!

  21. April says

    my oldest(now 12) was potty trained at 2. All I had to do was promise her a cool pack of Disney Princess panties and it was done. My son was 3 1/2 and I had to threaten him(not really, :)) My youngest is 2 1/2(girl) and I think she isn't 100% ready. She will go occasionally(like when her bladder is about to burst and we sit her on there) but makes no indication she wants to go on her own.

  22. Tracey says

    Both of my girls potty trained right around the time they turned two. I agree with a previous poster that said it's much easier to do in the summertime – although where you live may not have much winter! 🙂 No pullups for us, either, unless we were going out. I went straight to panties (or bare bottoms when that was possible) and it only took about three or four days for them to use the potty fairly regularly during the daytime. (I personally saved nighttime until they were a few months older.)

  23. Vindiciti says

    Two of my boys weren't even interested in a potty until 3, and it took until 4 before they were totally trained. The third has autism and took until four and was potty trained by five, but still has an occasional accident. My daughter started potty training herself at one and was fully potty trained by two, so I guess I can't be much help for older girl training. Mine just wanted to be like mommy and wear panties!

  24. Margery says

    YES! Girls are quicker, easier, and earlier to PT> Both my girls trained quickly at age 2-1/2. My son trained at 3, and it was longer and messier training. Also, it's nice to train them when it is summer, since there is less clothing to deal with!!

    BTW, once my girls were trained in the day, they quickly stayed dry at night. My boy was in Pull-ups at night for many months.

  25. Every mom has a potty-traing story! funny! I, too, have 4 boys, then a girl. My boys were all trained within a week, around 2 yrs. and 4 mos. of age. I had heard that girls are easier than boys, so I was pretty confident McKenna would train quickly and easily. HA! She was my toughest by far! It took almost 2 months for her to get it down. All I can say is I'm glad it's over. 🙂 I really think that each kid is different, regardless of sex. Every labor/delivery is different, and every potty-training experience is different. It sounds like fishchick is ready, and hopefully she'll be one of those that practically trains herself. Just dive in and get it done– much like pulling a tooth. Just get it over with! 😉 I wish you both the best.

  26. Anonymous says

    I trained both my girls during the summer so my eldest would have been 2 and my youngest 2.5. The eldest trained in 3 days during the day. She still wore diapers at night until she was almost 5. Bedwetting runs in the family. My youngest trained both day and night in a week. We stayed home the week I was toilet training and just had them run around in underpants. It was only us girls during the day. It was easy just rinsing out the panties and hanging them in the bathroom. With the panties they definitely knew they were wet and I think that helped. Clare

  27. Mrs. Pear says

    I have to say that it probably has more to do with a child's temperament. Our daughter was probably ready at 18m but we missed the boat due to trying to move and having a miscarriage.

    So when she turned 3 we started to train her, and it was not fun, it was hard. We finally got her to go potty while she was awake, but she would not poop in the potty. She refused. She would wait until she had a diaper at night and then poop.

    And it was not until she was almost 4 that we got her fully out of diapers, even at night.

    So rather than think that it is going to be easier because she is a girl, just go with it and see what happens…less frustration of your girl is like ours…determined in her ways.

  28. Anonymous says

    I would say if she's showing signs of wanting to be a "big girl" then I would do it during the summer so there are less clothes to have to deal with. I have 2 boys and 1 girl and yest the girl was easier to potty train. Good luck and enjoy these years since they grow up way to fast.

  29. Sheri says

    I only have 2 boys at this point. I am currently potty training the oldest. We started at 28 months and are still working on it(he will be 3 in August). Our major problem is he doesn't want to tell us when he has to go. He also saves his poopy for when he is in a pull-up like at nap or bedtime. I would love if you did a post on how you successfully trained your boys! My niece who is the same age also started at 28 months and she had success within a few days. She definitely learned much quicker! She also is having a hang-up with going poopy though.
    I would say go ahead and try it. You can always stop and wait a few months if it isn't going well. Good luck!

  30. Most kids are capable of being potty trained before they're 2 years old. My children were both under 2 years old and it was MY decision to get it done, not theirs.

    Not ready? Bull. All it takes is perseverance on the part of the parents. You are in charge, not your children. Unless there is some sort of developmental issue, all this nonsense about them "not being ready" really just boils down to the parents not wanting to deal with the hassle and work involved.

    Motivate with rewards by all means (we used stickers), but the most important thing here is being firm and pressing on. You don't do anyone any favors when the kids rule the roost.

    Seeing 3 year old kids in diapers is almost as bad as seeing a walking, talking child with a soother in their mouth. I cringe every time.

    Past that, why spend that kind of money on diapers when it can be over with at a decent age? A whole extra year of diapers? What could you spend THAT money on? And Pull Ups are a joke. It just draws things out that much longer, creates more expense, and puts a whole lot more diapers in landfill. Not good on ANY level.

    I realize my comments may not be PC, but if you look at how our parents did things back in the 60s and 70s, you won't find too many that allowed their children to wear diapers past 2 years old. There is no need for it.

  31. Mrs. S says

    We have a boy and girl that were both successfully trained in a very short time. Both trained in the summer. They were 25 and 26 months respectively (yep our son PT a month EARLIER than our daughter!!). I hope our new baby girl (just turned 14 months) will be as easy as the other two! What I did notice about girls and boys…my son couldn't care less about "big boy undies" but my daughter was thrilled with her "big girl undies"…go figure.

  32. I think it totally depends on the kiddo. My daughter potty trained pee-pee no problem last summer at age 2 1/2 but it took her another 6 months to potty train poop. That was 6 months of poopy pants. If I was doing it again I would have waited 6 months!

  33. Crista says

    Well, after successfully training 2 boys, the same as you did: waiting till they're 3, and being done in 2 weeks or so, it was time to try my daughter. I had heard that girls were so much easier, so I thought she would be fast. I started her at 2 1/2, and it took us till she was 3 1/2 for her to finally get it, so I'm afraid I can't offer any words of encouragement. I will say that she was scared of making bowel movements anywhere but her diaper, so I finally resorted to putting Benefiber in her food, and not allowing her to switch to a diaper (she knew, from past exp. that if she soiled her panties, I made her help clean them up, so she had taken to asking for diapers, and we were so worried about her holding it in too much, we often gave in). With the fiber in her, she couldn't hold it in, yet didn't want to dirty her panties, so she actually tried to go in the potty and was successful! Once she realized it didn't hurt, she went 5 times in one day and had hardly an accident after that. Once she got over that stumbling block, she was done!! Praise the Lord!!

  34. Katie says

    My daughter was a lot easier. My son never wanted to have anything to do with the potty and had all kinds of issues. but my daughter practically self trained by 20 months. she started following her brother to the little potty and taking off her diaper to sit on it around 17 months, so we just followed her lead; and voila! I just hope my next daughter is as easy.

  35. MaryBeth says

    I can't say whether girls are easier than boys because all my children are girls. However, I can say with certainty that each child is different. I know because one of my triplets trained easily nearly 8 months ago, her sister about a month ago, and finally the last one in the last few days. They will be 3 at the end of August. I simply waited until they were showing many signs and then went with it.

    If your DD is showing lots of signs of readiness then I say go for it because removing summertime clothes is a good bit easier than winter time clothes, but if she isn't interested it could mean lots of extra work for you!

  36. Andrea @ The Train To Crazy says

    My girls were different from each other. I say, all kids do better when you wait longer to potty train them. My middle daughter potty trained VERY easily at 2 1/2. My oldest did not. Go with your gut.

  37. Katie @ 3 Blondes and a Redhead says

    My son is turning 5 next weekend and is still in Pull Ups, my daughter potty trained overnight with no effort just after her 2nd birthday and has been sleeping dry since about a month later. I told her I was putting her in panties and she's had only a handful of accidents since September.

    So for me, UM YEAH, girls are easier.

  38. Jessika says

    A helpful hint we used with both our daughter and son was to sit them down on the regular toilet facing backwards. They seemed to feel more steady and everything goes where it's supposed to (even little girls can aim badly). I'd also go with the big t-shirt or dress and no panties over the summer. Buy a lot of panties when you do decide to use them-sometimes JC Penny's has a great sale and you can stock up for cheap.

  39. Kerrie McLoughlin says

    sure, give it a shot! can't hurt! if it doesn't take, try again in a few months. beware the Pull-up, though … my daughter is 4 1/2 and still sometimes pees at night so we use a pull-up or else I'm changing the sheets. i hear a lot of girls can end up wearing pull-ups for a long time! i never had problems with my boys, though! michael was funny … he's a man of his word … he always said he'd potty train when he turned 4 and ON THE DAY he turned 4 he was fully done and neither boy ever peed at night. girls are way different!

  40. Yes, most girls toilet learn much easier and quicker then their male counter parts! My daughter is turning 3 in just a few days and has been potty trained since Jan 2010. I went with her lead and it was super easy!! We used a sticker chart and M&Ms as a reward!

  41. RebeccaPaige says

    I have 3 kids, my oldest Andrew 22years and currently in the US ARMY and in Iraq. Well he was a mothers dream when it came to potty training. He was begging to use the potty and always sitting on it by his 1st bday. He was completely PT by 18M.
    Now, Bella 3years, well she decided on her 2nd bday she wanted to be big girl n potty so we started then, its been a year and we are no closer to success than we were a year ago. Then we have Liam 2y, and he is just excited that he can stand up and potty. He is more iinto telling us he has to go or WANTS to use the big potty than Bella.
    I had been told by my mother that girls are better & easier than boys. However, right now Bella is just proving that to be false info and my boys are beating the odds here.

    We have 4 potty seats and 2 toilets, this is a no waiting household!

  42. TuxGirl says

    My daughter’s only 10 months, so no personal experiences, but according to my parents, the trick was simply to find a “natural consequence”… For me, I had wanted to get a tricycle, and my dad simply said “you can’t ride a tricycle in a diaper”. With that information, I potty-trained myself easy as can be, even though the previous number of months had been a fight, trying to get me to potty-train.

    I’m curious if anyone has tried the cloth-diaper-style training pants for potty-training. Do those have the same problems as pull-ups? When the time comes, I’m not sure if I want to go straight to undies or try using the cloth training pants. Since our house is carpeted throughout, it seems like undies could be a bit more of a pain….

  43. My oldest daughter, now 12 years, was super easy. She started showing interest around 18 months and was completely potty trained by her 2nd birthday. She didn’t even wear pull-ups at night. My second daughter was the same way. Their ease of potty training spoiled me though. My third daughter was completely the opposite. She showed interest but was very lazy about telling us she had to potty, especially if she was busy with something. But once she got the hang of it and like not being wet anymore, she did much better. However, she stayed in pull-ups at night until she was almost 5 years.

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