Are you ready to ditch the diapers and have your little dude start doing his business in the big boy potty? As the parent of a boy, I can tell you that the rumors are true. Potty training boys is quite the undertaking.
Thankfully, when you wait until they are ready to start learning this essential life skill, the process is much easier than you might expect. If you think your son is ready, we have tons of potty training tips for boys from real moms so that you can make the most of this monumental milestone!
Potty Training Boys Versus Girls
First and foremost, it's important for parents to set reasonable expectations for their child's potty training journey. In order to do this, there are a few key facts that to know:
- It takes an average of six months to fully potty train a child.
- While every child is different, there are a few things that are different in potty training boys vs. girls. For exemple, boys on average take longer to potty train than girls (by two to three months).
- Only 40 to 60 percent of children are potty trained by 36 months.
- It is normal for kids to still need nighttime diapers until the ages of five or six.
- Nighttime toilet training should not begin until your child is waking up with dry or slightly damp diapers or waking in the night to ask to use the potty.
- Parents can potty train their kids during the day and still have them in pull-ups at night.
If you're having setbacks, you're not alone; 80% families also go through setbacks while potty training their little ones.
When to Start Potty Training Boys
Before you begin potty training, start by determining your child's readiness. This includes a willingness to learn, a growing awareness of their bodily functions, and the ability to complete certain tasks like taking their pants off and pulling them back on again.
While most children begin to show an interest in potty training between the ages of 18 and 30 months, the right time to start will depend entirely on your child.
If your son isn't ready to potty train, the whole endeavor probably won't be unsuccessful. While you may want to get him out of diapers sooner rather than later, it's better to wait until he is showing signs of readiness. If you proceed too soon, it could make the process longer and increase your son's chances of a regression.
How to Potty Train a Boy
Our essential potty training guide details the specific signs of readiness, how parents can prepare, the various toilet training methods you can employ, and how to get started. Once you complete these steps, the remainder of this article details the specifics of potty training boys and how to help them find success using advice from real-life moms!
Select the Right Potty
Potty training boys can be messy. That is, unless you buy the right gear. When shopping for a training toilet or potty seat attachment, look for ones with a removable urine guard. The "removable" part is very important because while this is a useful feature, some little boys become reluctant to use the potty because this attribute can scrape against their penis when they climb onto the seat.
If your son associates the toilet with pain it could impede your progress. By purchasing a toilet that has a removable guard, you can make sure that it is the right choice for your son. If you find that your little boy doesn't like this feature, you can easily take it away. This saves parents from having to stop potty training until a replacement toilet can arrive.
Start Sitting, Then Stand
Take a second to think about it - when you poop, you normally pee at the same time. It's natural that this happens. Unfortunately, during toilet training, it can be hard for your little guy to decipher if he needs to pee, poo, or both. That's why it is best to have him sit first, and then stand once he has the hang of things.
Have Him Go Potty With Dad
When he is ready to take a stand at the toilet, one of the best ways to teach him is to send him to the potty with his dad, uncle, and/or grandfather. This allows him to see how it's done.
Try Target Practice
You can also throw a piece of O-shaped cereal into the toilet to help him practice his aim. This turns it into a game, and what kid doesn't like that?
Parents can also invest in dissolvable tinkle targets to help their little boys better their aim without the worry of clogging up the toilet!
Things to Cover When Your Son Is Switching to a Standing Position
While the practice of standing while peeing seems obvious adults, it's important to break things down for your son. Here are the basic steps in this process.:
- Press your legs against the bowl. This can help with aim. Once they master hitting their mark, they can back up.
- Have him hold his penis to further help the stream land in the toilet.
- If you don't have a cisgender man to show him how to do this, one of the the best ways to explain this is to compare it to holding a garden hose. Using his dominant hand, his thumb should be on the top of the shaft, aligned at the tip of the penis. His fingers should cup the underside of the penis, with the index finger slightly farther back than the thumb.
- Once he is done, if he missed his target, you can make it his job to wipe up his mess.
Potty Training Tips for Boys From Real-Life Moms
Since potty training boys can be a struggle, we reached out to some real-life moms who have helped their potty princes to become successful kings of the throne! This is the advice they gave:
- Let them see themselves pee! It helps them to better understand the process. This is most easily done in the backyard where they can run around naked.
- Have your son sit on the training potty backwards. This limits the mess and keeps them in the right direction for when they transition to peeing standing up.
- Avoid mixed signals. If your son if showing signs of readiness, ditch the diapers and don't look back. Accidents will happen. That's normal.
- Dress them in loose pants or shorts. This makes it easier for them to get to the potty in time.
- Keep books, stickers, and washable toys in the bathroom to keep them on the toilet until they are done.
- Once they are standing, give them a target to focus on. Parents can buy black stickers to put at the base of their training potty that display an image when they come in contact with urine.
- Potty training charts are a great way to motivate your kid!
- Don't pressure him too much. Let him take the lead and praise, praise, praise!
- To determine nighttime readiness, limit liquids at least an hour before bed. If he's waking up dry or almost dry, then take the plunge!
Potty Training Takes Patience
No matter if you are potty training boys or girls, there will be setbacks, accidents, and frustrations. This is completely normal. As hard as it is, be strong and power through because the prize at the end of this project is well worth the effort! The only reason to stop is if you started too soon. Remember, readiness is the key to success when it comes to potty training your little man.