Potty training is one of the biggest challenges of toddlerhood. It is among the most significant milestones for your children, but it isn’t always easy to achieve.
While potty training for boys and girls is basically the same, there are a couple of additional tasks for boys to accomplish. Potty training might initially seem an exceptionally difficult mission, but if you know what you need to do, you will go through it much more smoothly.
Let’s now see what kind of tricks you can use to achieve stress-free and quick potty training for boys!
Keep in mind timing
Be mindful that potty training is successful only if your son is ready. Most toddlers learn potty skills between the age of 18 months and three years. However, the exact timing will differ from case to case. Generally, your son shows the following signs if he is physically ready for potty training:
- He shows interest in using the toilet.
- He is dry for time periods of at least 1-2 hours.
- He poops at a regular time every day.
- He can pull his pants up/down himself.
Also, make sure that you don’t do potty training with significant distractions in the background like the birth of a sibling or going on a holiday.
Your son might be not ready even if he shows these signs. If he strongly resists going to the bathroom or if you have more failures than successes after a week of training, then your boy isn’t ready for potty training yet.
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Plan potty training beforehand
Before actually doing potty training, introduce your son to the idea of potty training. You might do so by a variety of means, including:
- Let him see you, or preferably his father or older brother using the bathroom. Before going to the bathroom, tell him that you need to do a wee so he starts associating pooing and weeing with the toilet.
- Read him books or show cartoons explaining potty training like “The Prince and the Potty” and “Pirate Pete’s Potty”.
You might want to allow your boy to choose his potty training seat. Also, make sure to get easy to remove bottoms that will be more convenient for your boy to pull down and up before and after going to the toilet. You should thus avoid buttons and belts.
In fact, equipment is pretty important in potty training. Getting a potty instead of a potty training seat is preferable. The potty should be of a child size, which will allow the boy to feel more secure. Apart from that, make sure that the potty doesn’t have urine guards. While urine guards might eliminate the risk of a mess, it might scrape the boy’s penis while he sits on the potty.
If you want to get a toilet seat adapter for a regular toilet, make sure that it is comfortable for your boy and attaches firmly to the toilet. Besides, provide your boy with a stool during training sessions because he otherwise won’t be able to get on and off the toilet alone.
Teach him to go the toilet sitting first
There are several reasons for you to teach your son to pee standing before everything else:
- Sitting allows for much less mess.
- Standing can be distractive.
- Your son might be too short to pee standing.
Apart from that, peeing while sitting might be a personal preference for your son. Initially, focus on teaching your son how to pee sitting.
Afterward, when your son shows interest towards peeing standing, you can show him how to do it. The best way to do this would be to get help from his older brother or his father.
To perfect your boy’s aim, you could put some circle shaped items in the toilet as a target, which adds another element of fun to potty training.
Add a fun factor to potty training
As a challenge and a huge step for your boy, you should think about making potty training less daunting and more fun for your boy.
A key part of the fun factor is rewarding your boy. Think about it this way: why would your son stop playing with his toys to go to the toilet for nothing? Potty training as-is is much more boring for your boy than having fun in his playroom!
Add rewards to make your son want to go to the toilet. The best kind of reward is sweets, chocolate, toys, or basically anything he loves.
Apart from that, make sure that your boy doesn’t get bored while on the toilet: toddlers have a short attention span! Sing songs, read a book, tell a story, or do anything to keep your son entertained.
Dealing with fears and nighttime training
Even if your boy learns to pee in the toilet quickly, he might still have fear of pooing in the toilet. This could be due to a variety of reasons, including being used to standing or being afraid of falling into the toilet. Understand the issue and help your boy overcome it by motivating him with rewards.
Another question is nighttime potty training. In general, you should consider nighttime potty training if:
- Your boy is completely dry and clean throughout the day.
- He most of the time wakes up with a dry nappy in the morning.
If you want to do successful nighttime potty training, there are two things you can do:
- Limit your boy’s fluid intake before bedtime.
- Leave a night lamp on in your son’s room for him to be able to go to the toilet himself.
Nighttime potty training takes longer because it depends on the boy’s ability to hold the urine for extended periods of time. It could take months and even years for your boy to stay dry at night, which is actually perfectly normal.
In case your boy wants to sleep without diapers, go ahead and allow him to do that. If a few nights show that he is not ready yet to sleep with no diapers on, return to diaper mode without judging your boy. Just tell him that he is not ready for sleeping without diapers yet, and reassure him that he will be soon ready to try again.
In case your son stays dry three out of five nights, you can allow him to sleep without underwear. However, keep in mind that accidents are completely normal until school age.