It’s no mystery that boys and girls are different. And while everything cannot be segregated into gender, as a mother of four boys, potty training boys has revealed some unique differences from my friends who have only potty trained girls. The most obvious is the quantity of pee that ends up on your floor when training boys. So today, I wanted to give you my best tips for having success with potty training, BOYS!
But before reading this, determine if your child is ready to potty train. Because at the end of the day, a boy can be ready to potty train before a girl and vice versa. In most cases, I believe potty training readiness comes down to the child.
We also must discuss the two potty training methods, which are slow and steady or fast and furious (similar to the three-day method). Parents have to choose what works best for their schedules. But I am writing these tips based on the fast and furious method because my boys have had more success when not switching back and forth between diapers and underwear. However, you can also apply these tips to a slower and more gradual process.
Tips for Potty Training Boys
1. Choose A Character Theme
If potty training is serious and full of pressure, your odds of success will likely decrease. So one of the best ways to make potty training successful is to make it themed around your son’s favorite character. Whether they like Mickey, Toy Story, or Paw Patrol, pick their favorite character and tell them it’s time to become like them. “Chase loves to use the big-boy potty, and I know you want to be just like him. So we’ll do what Chase does when he needs to go potty and become just like him.”
2. Start with the Cutest Character Undies You Can Imagine and Kiss the Diapers Goodbye
Buy undies to match your theme. As they put the undies on, tell them they are becoming like their favorite character! And while you’re at it, let them get some stickers to decorate the outside of their potty. The more fun the bathroom is, the less pressure they feel. Then once you’ve purchased all the potty training must-haves, have them carry their diapers out to the trash. (P.S. Don’t really get rid of them just in case you don’t succeed but let them think they are gone!)
3. Be A Committed Companion
If they are Batman, you can be Robin. If they are Chase, you are Skye. And as their companion, your job in those three days is to feed them liquids and continually ask about their needing to go potty. And remember to stay patient. If they have an accident, keep them encouraged and built up.
4. Potty Talk Can Be Your Friend
This may make some eyes roll, but I know my boys love potty talk—ya know—saying the words pee pee and poo poo for any excuse they get. So let them know that they can use potty words as much as they want when they let you know they have to go.
5. Make Up A Potty Dance as a Reward
Every time they successfully make it to the toilet, create a special potty dance you do. And yes, this also gets to include potty words. The funnier you make it, the more they will want to use their potty! Treats like Skittles can also be used as a reward, but that can sometimes start a bad habit, too, so you have to decide what works for you.
6. Potty Watches Can Be Your Friend
If you have an active little boy who doesn’t like to stop playing to use the bathroom, they have these wonderful things called Potty Watches that play music when it’s time to go. This takes some of the work away from you and teaches them independence too.
7. Appeal to Their Competitive Side
If your son is competitive, appeal to his competitive side, and make peeing a game! Draw lines in his potty and see how full he can get it! Cheer for him as he makes progress in filling it. If he thinks it is a game, it will instantly become more appealing to your son!
8. Teach Them the Fun of On the Go
Boys have a natural advantage over girls because they can tinkle on the go! So let them take advantage of this when you are in the backyard. And then, when you are not, bring the potty on the go. Ask them if they need to go before entering a store.
9. Have them sit. Not stand.
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT teach your sons to stand while peeing when newly potty training or you will end up with a mess of pee on your toilet, wall, and floor! At first, sitting is a must. This doesn’t really change as they grow.
10. Buy Stock in Disinfectant
Now, this is for your sanity and no one else! Keep disinfectant wipes in your bathroom and an air freshener plugin because, for some reason, that defies logic, the pee will end up all over, even when they are sitting. And you don’t want your bathroom to smell like a truck stop!
11. Nighttime Training May Not Come as Quickly as Daytime
I found that my sons did not necessarily night train at the same time as they day train. It is okay for them to wear diapers at night and not during the day and remain potty trained. The most important aspect is to remove the overnight diaper as soon as they wake and switch to undies. Otherwise, they will get lazy and have an accident.
12. Remember Every Child’s Journey is Different
No matter which child, you can expect the journey will be different. I had one son who potty trained at 2.5 years old and never had an accident again. I had another who started pooping on the potty at 21 months but had pee accidents until 4. Expect bumps in the road, or in this case, little puddles of pee. And have grace! Because by the time they’re 10, they’ll have it down.
Did I miss something? Leave your best potty training tip in the comments!