Differences Between Potty Training a Boy Vs. a Girl


While every child is different, it has been proven time and time again that girls potty train earlier than boys do. On average, girls take less time to make the full transition from diapers to using the toilet. Many other differences exist between the sexes when it comes to the skills they need to master as part of the process.

Staying Dry During the Day

  • According to the results of a 2002 Medical College of Wisconsin research project into children's toilet training habits, girls stay dry during the day at 32.5 months and boys at 35 months. The study found that girls remained dry for a full two hours at 26 months, boys at 29 months. Make the toilet training process fun for both boys and girls by having a positive attitude. Let your toddler help you choose a potty and a first pair of underwear.

Staying Dry at Night

  • In 2008 a Brazilian study found that 10.6 percent of girls were staying dry at night at 24 months, compared to 6.8 percent of boys. Introduce a trip to the toilet just before bedtime. Children learn through imitation -- a girl will copy how her mom uses the toilet and a boy will copy his dad -- so if a parent uses the bathroom at the same time, the toddler will naturally want to do it in the same way. Even if the nighttime toilet trip is a success, continue to put your toddler in a diaper overnight until he wakes up dry. A wet diaper in the morning is a clear sign that he's not quite ready to go without it.

Verbalizing the Need to Go

  • The Medical College of Wisconsin study found that girls verbalized the need to go to the bathroom at 26 months, while boys were doing it at 29 months. Plenty of boys prove the exception to the rule, however, so it's a good idea to introduce the potty to both sexes at around 24 months. Being aware of the potty and getting used to having it around will help both boys and girls with the toilet training process.

Ditching the Diapers

  • On average, toddlers are potty trained between 22 and 30 months, and girls do it a little quicker than boys. Boys can be expected to take an average of three months longer than their female counterparts to achieve all the necessary skills required to become fully toilet trained, such as pulling down their own underpants. According to What to Expect, girls can pee on their own by 33 months, boys by 37 months. Girls can sit still for several minutes at a time to poop in a potty at the age of 39 months, while boys generally master this about five months later.


  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images
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