This is a collaborative post in association with Andrex, all words and opinions are my own.
So, the time has come to start introducing the idea of toilet training to Arlo. I had a surprisingly easy experience with Athena when it came to getting her out of nappies and within a week she was dry day and night, has never wet the bed and only had a couple of accidents in the week after. Getting her to go from potty to toilet was fairly easy too, and I am confident now that she has started school, there have been no accidents and she uses the school toilets when she needs to. I know however, that our easy experience was quite rare. Friends have all said ‘oh just wait till you do it with Arlo, boys are way harder than girls’. So I thought I’d pop a little post together about the differences between girls and boys when it comes to toilet training as we’ve started introducing the idea to Arlo now he’s two and a half. Of course these are just from my personal experience of starting the process with one of each!
Girls will get excited about choosing new knickers. You’ll end up practically bankrupt because they have to have the pack with My Little Pony on as well as Paw Patrol, and the character pants are twice the price of any other set. Boys couldn’t care less. We stood in the aisle trying to get Arlo excited about pants, he wasn’t interested! Even Athena was getting excited about the range of pants he could choose from. All I got from him was a ‘me NO like!’
Boys seem fairly happy to stroll around with a full nappy. Girls don’t. Athena would demand a nappy change quite early on, even before she could talk properly she’d just pat her bum then lie down in front of me for a change! Bit awkward when we were in the library…
Girls seem to be interested in other people using the loo, whereas boys don’t seem to find it at all exciting! Maybe it’s that early pack mentality of a gaggle of girls heading to the loo together, but Athena loves it when I have to take her and Arlo into a public loo when I’m out with both of them; She’ll narrate exactly what’s happening and loudly, which is fun for all the little old ladies waiting in the queue outside I’m sure! Arlo is just interested in pulling toilet paper out of the dispenser and making a mess!
Both boys and Girls love to play with toilet paper… Athena would happily use about ten sheets given half the chance and although Arlo has no interest in using toilet paper for its intended purpose he will quite happily unravel half a roll and send it careening down the stairs, or sit in a little nest of it on the bathroom floor!
Boys are fascinated about wee, but on their own terms. Arlo will happily pee in the bath/on the kitchen floor/at the beach and watch a little puddle form in front of his feet. Basically anywhere but on the toilet! Athena however used to get a bit weirded out when she had accidents in those first few days, and demanded a full change of clothes pronto, and a bath if she got so much as a splash on her foot!
Boys and girls love to wash their hands, using as much soap, as much water and as much splashing as possible (in my experience anyway!) and oddly they both seem to dislike using hot air dryers when we are out and about!
Girls are easier in the clothes department, they can wear a dress or skirt and can easily pull their knickers down for a pee. Boys are a bit trickier as they need to yank down their trousers and get them out of the way before going to the toilet! Things with buttons at the waist have been banished for now in favour of things with stretchy waistbands!
Both boys and Girls should both start their toilet training sitting down to pee. A friend learnt this the hard way, I won’t tell you exactly where her little lads pee went when he got excited about standing up at the toilet, but she had to use mouthwash…
Girls are trickier to teach to wipe than boys, over a year on Athena has it sussed now and does it correctly each time, but thankfully this task should be easier to teach Arlo, especially once he’s learnt to pee stood up! The Andrex Clean Routine is great for ensuring that kids are properly clean and not leaving themselves at risk of an infection or getting sore: Using three to four sheets, you must remind them to wipe from front to rear until clean, following up with Washlets to ensure a proper clean. Then dry with toilet tissue, flush and wash hands!
It also helps that our rolls of Andrex Gentle Clean have little puppies embossed on them and are dermatologically tested so little bottom-friendly! So although toilet training is slow going with Arlo we’re introducing the idea again after an initial period of indifference, so wish me luck! Any magical tips for making the process easier with boys would be appreciated!