Potty training boys will be easy if you know exactly what you’re doing. Many parents start to think about training their baby boy by the time they reach 2 years of age. By this time, your boy will be walking and he’ll be able to get to the bathroom on his own, but this does not mean that they are necessarily ready to learn how to use the potty.
#1 When should you start potty training your son? (Is there a specific age?)
Some boys learn to use the toilet at 18 months, some learn as late as 5 years of age. There is no “magical age” when your son is ready to learn, but the key is to begin training when your child shows an interest in using the potty. If you have any modesty (which most people don’t once they have children), then you need to let that go for the time being. You should have an open door policy for the bathroom so that your son can observe adults using the toilet.
If your child has no older siblings, it may take longer to teach him to use it properly. Toilet training is a gradual process and does not happen overnight, so be patient and get ready to go through all of the necessary steps.
Male members of the household need to model how to pee standing up so that your son can see what it looks like to pee in a toilet when you are a male. Children learn most of the necessary behavior by way of imitation and they will start to become curious about using the bathroom when they see adults using the toilet.
#2 Should you use a potty chair or a special adapter for the toilet?
The adapter or seat that fits on the toilet is a very convenient tool because it can simply be placed on the top when your child wants to use it. There are some toddler seats that also come with steps that your child can stand on or use to access it. An issue with the adapter seat is that it always needs to be removed before adults can use the toilet which can be a bit of a hassle.
Personally, we recommend getting a potty chair because it is your child’s own toilet. It is easy to reach because it is scaled to their height and they don’t need a stool or a step to get to it. For potty training purposes, try to get one that’s designed to look cute and fun so that your kids aren’t intimidated by the flushing sound or the seemingly deep “whirlpool” as the water flushes away. It will be a lot easier getting your kids to sit on a potty chair than an adult toilet, that’s for sure.
#3 Potty training boys is different from training girls
Girls seem to adjust to using the toilet much more quickly, because they need to sit down to pee and they may poop at the same time. If boys are trained to pee standing up, they may sometimes have an accident and poop their pants. While this can be frustrating for a parent, you can see why it can be confusing and difficult for boys to learn this skill. When children are really little, they do not understand the urges they feel when it is time to use the bathroom and they may say things like “my stomach hurts” when their bowel starts to move.
You need to understand the signs (which can often be discreet) and encourage your child to use the potty. Many children will hide in a closet or behind a door when they need to poop. You need to be aware of the time of day that they tend to poop and steer them to the bathroom and the potty to empty their bowels instead of in a diaper.
If your child has accidentally pooped in his pants or diapers, don’t get upset with him. After all, he is learning a new skill. Some parents will take the poop and drop it into the toilet and allow their child to flush it.
If your son is going to pee in the toilet standing up, you will need to show him how to lift the lid of the seat and to aim into the water. These are two important and lifelong skills that will take some practice. Your son may miss the toilet and pee on the floor at first, and again, you should not become angry because he is learning.
A great way to improve his aim is to make small paper targets and put them floating in the water, or just toss in a couple of cereal bits to hit with his urine stream.
#4 The occasional accidents
Even when you think that your child has learned to use the potty, he may have the occasional accident. Try not to make a big deal about it, just have him help you to clean up and carry on with your day. You may need to have your son wear a pull-up at night time if he is a heavy sleeper.
Many boys do not learn how to get up and pee during the night until they are much older. They may be afraid to get out of bed because it is dark or they may just sleep through the process of urination. Line the bed with a plastic sheet to protect the mattress and purchase a urine odor removal product to spray on bedding and the mattress cover for those inevitable accidents.
#5 Additional potty training tips for boys
Besides the “target practice” sessions mentioned above, you can also add some sort of food coloring into the toilet before your son pees so that when he adds urine into the mix, the color will change. This will keep them sufficiently entertained and they’ll keep doing this whenever they feel like taking a pee.
Also, a supply of your son’s favorite books should be handy next to the toilet so that he can read them when he needs to poop or you can sit with him while he is on the toilet and read him a story.
You should also start a sticker chart. For each time your son uses the toilet, add a sticker to the chart. Once he receives a certain number of stickers, or he’s able to keep the edges of the toilet dry for a certain number of days, take him out for a trip to the zoo or give him a small toy as a reward.
Make a date to take your son to the store and buy “big boy underwear” once he is done with diapers. Many little boys are super excited to start wearing underwear just like dad or big brother does. Keep in mind that while the act of potty training a boy might be more challenging and may take more effort than training a girl to use the potty, you’ll be absolutely delighted once your son masters this skill that he’ll be carrying on for life. To learn how to potty train a boy within as short as 3 days (it took me a week personally, but I also know of some parents who have done it in less than that), you should check out this video here: 3-day training program.
p.s. If you decide to opt in to the program, there’s a 60-day unconditional refund policy and if it doesn’t work for you in any way, you can get a full refund so it’s really a no-brainer.