We’ve all heard the idea that potty training boys is harder than it is for girls. While it’s true that on average, girls tend to complete potty training about three months earlier than boys, it doesn’t mean that your little boy is destined to have more of a struggle. Many boys master their skills early and quickly, just as many girls may take longer and struggle more.
Your child’s gender isn’t as much a factor as their readiness and personality. In fact, by using our careful preparation list and some of our expert tips, there’s no reason potty training your boy can’t be a breeze!
Potty Training Preparation Is Key
It’s time to potty train your boy! Before you dive into the adventure, here’s some advice that will help prepare you and your son for his potty training journey:
- Know when to start. The best way to potty train a boy depends on several factors. Every boy is different, and the same can be said about their potty training experience.
Some children simply train earlier (or later) than others. Ultimately, it’s important that you follow a journey that works for you and your boy.
- Set aside your expectations. On average, it takes eight months to potty train a child, and many children take even longer. Just remember that this is a partnership. You are your child’s coach, and he needs you to stay with him for the whole course!
- Check your potty training to-do list. You’ve taken the Potty Training Readiness Quiz. Great news! You and your boy are officially ready to start potty training.
Now it’s time to look over some simple tasks from our to-do list:
- Warm-ups: Have your child practice toilet tasks individually — pulling down pants, sitting on the potty, wiping, flushing — in a low-key way. Using Pull-Ups® training pants is a great way to practice pulling pants up and down, and it reinforces your child’s sense of being in charge of the process.
- Open bathroom policy: Offer to let your toddler hang out with you in the bathroom while you’re doing your business. It’s an important way for little kids to learn.
- Safety: Create a safe environment in the bathroom with a sturdy step stool up to the toilet. The more they feel they drive the process, the more successful they’ll be.
- Potty training pack: Keep a “potty training pack” of a pair of pants and Pull-Ups® training pants tucked into a zipper bag, and stash one in your car, in your purse or bag, and at Grandma’s house.
- Potty partners: Talk with any potty partners like babysitters, grandparents or other caregivers. You want to share your family’s potty training plan so you’re all on the same page.
- Other potties: Point out all the potties in other places — at Grandpa’s house, at the mall and at the grocery store. Many toddlers don’t realize their home isn’t the only place in the universe with a potty!
- Stock up! Make sure to stock up on Pull-Ups® training pants with your son’s favorite characters. Purchase underpants with your son's favorite characters on them as well.
- Take a quick trip to the store with your son and let him pick them out. It will make him feel extra excited to make the transition.
Potty Training Tips for Boys
Here are tips specifically geared toward potty training boys:
- Teach your son to use the potty sitting down. Standing up and aiming into the toilet is a skill that can come later. Help your little guy make potty progress by showing him how to pee sitting down — unless you’re willing to mop up the bathroom a few times a day, that is!
- Junior takes his cues from you, and eventually you can show him how the big guys do it.
- Let him decorate his potty with stickers!
- Giving your son the chance to personalize his potty is a fun activity that can make him take ownership of the training experience.
- If your bathroom is far from his play area, consider getting another potty that you can keep nearby. The closer your son is to the potty when he feels the need to go, the more likely he is to make it.
Help him make potty training his own. Matching your approach to your son’s personality is the best way to work together to make the process successful.
Reward Your Boy's Success
Rewards and incentives are a great way to acknowledge your boy’s accomplishments along the way and to celebrate a job well done.
- Create an incentive chart that works for your little boy. You know best which rewards appeal to your child – stickers, small treats, video time or a coveted toy. Make sure to have a small reward ready, such as placing a sticker on the chart, every time he goes.
- Craft a potty training treasure chest for your son. Your little guy can hardly contain his excitement. He’s learning to use the potty! Here’s a fun and easy way to tap into that newfound enthusiasm for all things potty. Create a treasure chest that will encourage him to celebrate each tiny victory throughout the potty training journey.
Potty training a boy can be a stressful experience, but with the right tips and tools, you and your little guy will be on your way to potty success. Make the journey fun and be sure to celebrate every success. Before you know it, he’ll be potty trained and onto the next big milestone!