The time has come to start potty training your little boy, but where should you start? We’ve set out steps to guide you along the way!
Your baby boy is growing bigger by the day, and now it’s time for the potty training to begin. But where do you start? He wants to be a big boy and stand like daddy, and you want to keep your floors dry!
One step at a time. He had to learn to crawl before he could walk, and he has to learn to sit on the potty before he can stand. Check out our handy guide on how to potty train a boy successfully, and pick up some great tips to help you along the way.
What Time Is the Right Time to Start Potty Training?
Experts provide a pretty wide age range of the best age to potty train kids which is between 2 and 3 years old. However, in all honesty, you can’t put an age on it, as every child is different. Girls are often ready to potty train before boys, so make sure he’s ready before you begin.
Ask yourself these basic questions:
- Can he walk to and sit on the potty?
- Does he follow basic instructions?
- Can he express to you that he needs to use the potty?
- Can he stay dry for at least two continuous hours?
- Is he interested in using the potty?
- Is he interested in wearing big boy pants?
If you can answer yes to the majority of these questions, then you may want to consider starting to potty train your baby boy.
How Long Does the Potty Training Process Take?
The time that it takes will greatly depend upon his readiness and willingness to learn to potty train, and your determination to encourage and support him until he is independent doing it.
One particular study saw parents achieve a success rate of 68 percent by 36 months when they started potty training their child before 24 months old. Parents who started potty training after their child was 24 months old saw a lower 54 percent success rate by 36 months.
The study, like many others, found that girls seem to master potty training quicker than boys. So don’t feel disheartened if your friend’s little girl achieves it before your little boy!
What Are the Steps to Potty Training Your Baby Boy?
I’ve created a little step by step guide to hopefully offer you guidance along the potty training process and eliminate the many frustrations that you’re bound to have!
It will be stressful, and he will have many accidents before he masters potty training to perfection. So be prepared!
Step 1: Choose a Method
There’s loads of different potty training methods out there, and I can’t tell you which ones are right and which are wrong because ultimately it comes down to what works best for you and your little boy.
Some methods may seem a little intense, while some may appear more relaxed. Some are based on a “trial and error” approach and some are more “lead by example”. But try to choose a method and stick to it, as to not cause confusion—which could lead to more potty related accidents.
Consider the following, when choosing the best potty training method:
- The readiness of your baby boy.
- How much time you have as a parent to devote to potty training.
- Your lifestyle and how the potty training method will work around this.
While potty training methods have differences in their approaches, remember the following points that are key in every one:
- All methods focus on praising your child, and giving lots of love and affection throughout the process.
- Every method is compatible for using with rewards. Whether it be stickers, sweets or a new toy—that’s for you to decide!
- Methods should never include punishment for making accidents or getting it wrong. If your child fears the potty training process, it will only delay them in mastering it.
Step 2: Stock Up On Supplies!
If you hadn’t already guessed, you’re going to need a few extra supplies for support with a little boy compared to what you may need for a girl.
He’ll soon learn that he can aim his little winkle pretty much wherever he likes, which is why you need to make sure that he’s aiming it in the right place and not all over your toilet seat!
There’ll be plenty of laughs along the way, I’m sure! But just remember to be assertive, so he doesn’t think it’s a game or that it’s acceptable to water the plants.
Consider getting the following:
- Potty or training urinal, if you want to start with this before moving onto the toilet.
- Potty training toilet seat, that sits on the toilet and provides a smaller hole so that he can balance his little bottom.
- Splash guard to keep urine splashes inside the toilet instead of out of it!
- Toilet targets (they stick onto the inside of the toilet) so he can aim effectively.
- Loose bottoms such as tracksuit bottoms that can be easily pulled down.
- Comfortable big boy pants.
- Character soap with a good fragrance to promote hand washing and make it fun.
You may also want to consider getting a reward system such as a sticker chart for motivation or a record chart so you can keep track of his progress.
Fun books about using the toilet and potty training may also be useful for your baby boy.
Step 3: Prepare Your Child and Get Started
Set a date and prepare your boy for it. Use lots of positive language and really boost his confidence so he feels good about the big step he is about to take.
Consider staying at home to begin with, so you are close to home comforts and your baby boy is in his safe place.
Keep a close eye on him, and pick up on cues that he may give to show you that he needs to use the toilet. He may start bouncing his feet or crossing his legs.
Schedule potty breaks to get him into a routine, particularly first thing in the morning and before bed. After meal times and activities is also a good time, as he will have been seated for a long period of time.
Don’t make him feel that he has to sit on the toilet for long. If he doesn’t do anything after 5 minutes, then take him off of it and try again a little later.
Make sure that you explain to him that he should sit on the potty and use his hand to point his penis down into the bowl.
Step 4: Leave the House
Once your baby boy is beginning to get used to the potty training process at home, try taking him out to practice bladder control while out and using public restrooms.
You might want to get a portable potty to take out with you, if you feel this would be a good idea for him.
Be prepared that he may have more accidents while out, so take extra supplies such as a change of clothes out with you.
Step 5: Learn to Stand
You can teach your boy about standing while peeing whenever you think this is most suitable. Some parents find it easier to sit first, then progress onto standing. Others find it better incorporating it all at the same time.
There’s no right or wrong answer, so assess your little boy’s ability and do what works best for him.
Using toilet targets or a simple Cheerio cereal can make aiming easier while adding an edge of fun to the process too!
A few tips on teaching him to pee while standing are as follows:
- Be sure he is standing closely to the toilet to shorten his range and therefore make aiming easier.
- Instruct him to hold the top end of his penis so that he doesn’t pee on his hands.
- Teach him to lift the lid now so that he gets into the habit nice and early!
- Practice makes perfect, so the more he tries the better he will get at aiming.
Step 6: Days Before Nights
Nighttime potty training will be much more difficult than in the day time, so work on mastering nights last.
Most kids should be able to keep dry all night between 5 and 7 years old. Don’t feel disheartened if he still has nighttime accidents after mastering his day time potty training.
Limit drinks before bedtime and encourage him to use the toilet before going to sleep. If he wakes at all during the night, then be sure that he uses the toilet to get into the routine.
It may be a good idea to invest in a mattress protector. You can get different kinds, some that are disposable and some that are easily washable and reusable.
Step 7: Bin the Diapers!
Get rid of diapers as quick as you can, so you boy knows there isn’t a possibility of reverting back to them.
Once he has mastered his potty training method, he will no longer need those diapers and should turn to wearing pants full time.
Make it fun and let him be the one to throw away the baby diapers! Let him take his moment, and feel proud about the big boy step that he has taken.
Keep Sane And Keep Going
Potty training can seem like a nightmare, and is definitely one of the most difficult things we have to teach as a parent. But don’t give up!
Don’t compare him to his siblings or to your friends’ kids, because potty training is such an individual thing for every child.
Ditch any expectations that you have, and just go with the flow of what works best for you and your son.
Just think, in a few years’ time you’ll look back and laugh—or cry! But either way, the potty training will be over and done with and you’ll be on with tackling new parenting challenges!
Good luck—you can do it!