It is commonly believed that, on average, boys tend to start potty training a little later and can take a little longer than girls. (2) No one really knows why. Perhaps it’s because boys are, on average, developmentally a few months behind girls, or that girls are more conscious of needing to be clean and dry.
When it comes to potty training, though, there is no set rule that will work every time at precisely the same age or at the same point of the process. “[E]very child is different and the most important thing is to focus on when your child is ready and to train in the way that best suits them – regardless of gender.” (2)
Is my child ready for potty training?
Most children between the ages of 24 and 27 months are ready for potty training although it’s not unheard of for children younger than 24 or closer to 36 months to begin training or even be done training. (3)
The key factors are each child’s level of physical maturity and the readiness skills they need for successful toilet learning. These appear between 18 and 30 months in both boys and girls.
Girls are, on average, are trained by 29 months and boys by 31 months. Remember, these are averages, not the rule or “must be trained by” date. “Ninety-eight percent of kids are trained by 36 months of age.” (3)
You can learn plenty of great toilet training readiness skills at the University of Michigan Health System website here.
While the average time frame for completion of toilet training is three to six months, children may continue to urinate at night until around the age of five. Most children (90 percent) do stay dry all night by the age of six.
It is common for children to experience toilet training regression or setbacks usually related to stress or a simple assertion of child’s individuality and need for control.
This is temporary and should be addressed in a positive, rather than punitive manner. Punishing your child may cause the regressive behavior to continue longer and actually make your child more afraid to go.