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Easy Ways to Potty Train Boys

6 Tips For Potty Training Boys

Although many potty-training tips apply to boys and girls alike, potty training boys does pose some unique challenges. Whether you're wondering when to start potty training boys, whether to teach sitting or standing first, and how to encourage good aim, readers have offered great toilet-training tips to help you potty train boys with confidence.

1. Be Patient

As eager as you may be to ditch the diapers, many moms stress the importance of delaying toilet training until your son is ready. Amanda G. shares, "There really is no right age. Just keep your eyes open for signs of readiness." Jessica D. agrees: "My little boy is a little over 3-and-a-half, and he just now decided he wanted to potty train. . . . He will do it when he is ready; just be patient and give lots of encouragement." Common signs of potty-training readiness (which generally appear between age 2 and 3) include asking questions about the bathroom and toilet, staying dry for longer periods of time (indicating stronger bladder control), wanting to wear "big kid" underwear, or telling you when he's soiled a diaper.

2. Try Sitting First

"Start out by sitting, and then move to standing," advises Michelle L., one of many moms who recommend first teaching boys to urinate while sitting before graduating to standing lessons. In addition to simplifying the learning process, Melissa V. shares that starting with sitting can minimize messes: "There are little toilet seats that fit onto the regular toilet seat. It makes it smaller so he won't fall in, and there's a little cup on the front so he can't miss the toilet." Tarsha D. adds that sitting may also be the most practical option based on the height of your little one. "I'm a mom of four boys, and I taught all of mine to sit first (especially my second son; he was so short he coudn't even reach the toilet bowl)."


3. Let Him Watch Dad

The standing element is an obvious challenge for potty training boys. When your son is ready to learn to pee standing up, several readers, including Alicia O., recommend having an older male relative set an example. "Let him follow daddy around or older siblings; seeing other boys like him use the toilet might motivate his interest."

4. Give Him a Target

In addition to having another male demonstrate, one trick many moms share is to toss circle-shaped cereal into the toilet and have your son take aim. "We put Cheerios and Froot Loops in and let them target-practice. This was fun for them, not to mention a great way to teach a boy how not to pee on the seat or rim," says Jennifer A. Other moms, like Katie S., a mother of two children in England, suggested using a ping-pong ball for the target (don't worry, it won't flush away).

5. Take It Outside

With five sons, Lisa B. definitely speaks from experience when she suggests incorporating outdoor time into potty training boys. "I think potty training boys is easiest when done in the warmer months of Spring and Summer. Pick a tree in the backyard and have fun! They learn quite quickly."

6. Motivate Your Child

Continual motivation and reminders are very important for potty training boys, as active toddler boys may not want to stop what they're doing in order to use the toilet or stay on the toilet long enough to relax and go. Tips from readers for motivating boys include buying "big-kid" underwear that he'll want to keep clean, having special toys and books for potty time, and offering plenty of praise and prizes. "[We] made a chart with stickers so whenever he would use the potty we would let him put the sticker on the chart, and at the end of the week, if he had 10 stars we would take him to the store and buy him a little toy. It didn't take long to have him completely potty trained," says Cassie J. "Try using temporary tattoos! That's how I got mine to like going to bathroom. Then when [he] saw the tattoo, it reminded him and he was proud to show them off!" offers Carol G.

Looking for more tips? From communities about raising boys to articles on bed-wetting in older children, Circle of Moms is a helpful source for parenting information, whether you're a parent to infants, toddlers or school-age children. Try joining the community based on your child's month and year of birth to connect with other moms currently going through the same challenges and exciting developments.

15310468 15310468 3 years

I don’t normally comment on articles, but I have an experience I’d like to share that will hopefully help others in a similar position as myself. We recently started to potty train my daughter (Jo) any time my husband and I tried to "potty train" my daughter it seemed like nothing was working! I did a lot of searching and found this site called which allowed me to potty train my daughter quickly and calmly.
As it turns out, me and my husband were not using the correct techniques. But I can now happily say that I no longer worry about her, she is now fully potty trained. I have even recommended it to family members and friends. If anyone is in a similar position, I recommend using http://bcenter.pottytrainingin...

Jill14759330 Jill14759330 3 years
And what a big challenge it was to potty train my kids.. Luckily I found a great method while surfing the internet which has helped a lot of parents to potty train their kids. I really recommend you to try it as it worked wonders for us, got my kids potty trained in three days! This is the site
Jill14759330 Jill14759330 3 years
Potty training can be so hard, I've also been there. But luckily I stumbled upon a website and tried a 3 day method I found there. That really worked great, wish I knew of that earlier. Can really recommend it to every parent that is struggling out there!
Kaylee15184710 Kaylee15184710 3 years
Potty training my boy led me to create the Potty Wiz - - a potty seat that lets boys easily sit (without urinating out of the bowl) or stand (without the need for aiming). It makes potty training so much simpler and hassle-free!
Kyria14814263 Kyria14814263 4 years
I had good luck with the pee doll and reading when on the potty. Yes the doll body doesn't look the same but when you're starting out with sitting on the potty doesn't matter. Plus for us it was a great topic to talk about the difference between mommies and daddies. Also we talked about why in restaurants we have a ladies room and a mens room. I think combining a few techniques helps a lot. As well as don't stress about it. Take your time, little ones need to learn to feel the sensations in their bodies. This doesn't just happen overnight.
JennieWilliams1370011233 JennieWilliams1370011233 4 years
Great tips! For us it was a nightmare to potty train our twins. When I read an interview with a Potty training guru I tried the method they talked about and that really worked!! Got them on the potty within a couple of days. Can recommend it to any parent struggling potty training their kid(s)! You can read the interview on: Good luck!
Jennylanning Jennylanning 4 years
My son has no problem going pee but he will not poop in the potty, How do I get him to poop on the potty?
AnieshaHunt AnieshaHunt 5 years
I have my son sem-trained. He'll go pee pee in the potty no problem, but will NOT do #2's! My Mum said she had the same problem with my brother, & to just stick it out for the next few months. Fun times, lol.
DanaDortch DanaDortch 6 years
My son started the whole process himself. Took his diaper off and climbed on the toilet one day so we ran with it. Pull ups were just diapers to him. It's taken about two months to get him to the point where we have no accidents but then again he won't be three until April.
TerraPatient TerraPatient 6 years
We also stopped using pull ups unless it is a benefit to ME as a parent. I sleep in twice a month so he wears pull ups then...most of the time he isn't allowed to wear them. It's important that they feel what it is like to pee the bed and NOT have a safe guard. While you shouldn't shame it's also important not to encourage by making it easier to adapt to unrealistic expectations. Those expectations being that they will always have a safe guard against all unpleasant things.
TerraPatient TerraPatient 6 years
Never shame a child when it comes to going potty. My son is 5 and still wears. Pull up at night. He only weighs 35 lbs. So tiny...if I cut his drinking down it would dehydrate him in the evenings. Our peds said he would develop the natural reaction during sleep whenever his body and brain connect in that way. He is doing great...if it's drynor wet it's the same reaction...dry is okay let's get dressed. Wet is oops we had an accident let's get cleaned up and dressed so we can take the sheets off together and get them in the wash. Whatever you do don't spank or shame. They are just little people in a big new world and you know...if he still pees the bed at night when he is 6 it's okay because he is a healthy happy little boy. Worse things could happen.....and I don't mind doing laundry.
DeanneValdes DeanneValdes 6 years
My son is 3 now and b4 he turned 3 he would number 2 on the potty and wants nothing to do with peeing. I have an older daughter 4 years and it was so different. He's starting now to get the concept of peeing on the potty but why would it take almost a year from knowing how to do number 2 which in my mind would be harder to learn? TIA
kelliemiles kelliemiles 6 years
Any tips, my boy has just turned 4, he will use the potty/toilet all day long when he has nothing on his bottom half, but as soon as he has pants and trousers on he always has accidents. I ask him every 5 min do you need the toilet/potty and remind him to tell me when he needs the loo, but he still has accidents. i've tried the pull ups but he regards them as nappies and just goes. I went through 4 pairs of trousers and pants within and hour. Take the clothes off and not a prob, no accidents at all. Any others have or had this prob??
JennaMozingo JennaMozingo 6 years
Can't wait to start potty training my first boy after 4 girls. It'll be interesting. Right now, I'm training his twin sister of 20 months. She has really been easy, but Edwin is not quite ready yet. If it takes until next summer, than I'll def. be letting him go outside. With all my kids, if they can see it come out while the feeling is there, it makes it click. My kids do not have problems being in public now that their older. It's what they did in the old days and how I was potty trained. It works!!!
SaraHughes25776 SaraHughes25776 6 years
we started toilet training at about 2 and are still going (nearly 2 1/2) he has not quite worked out the 'needing to go must go' sensation yet....but is quite happy to pee in the toilet and used his 'wee-man' which simulates the standing and peeing (best thing i ever bought) as he loved using it and then tipping it in the toilet (learning to be independant). We are still plodding along at this stage not putting pressure on him so as not to 'scare' him as i have heard so many horror day it will all 'gel' in his brain....but for now it more a routine :) Boys thrive on Routine :)
JulieOHara27661 JulieOHara27661 6 years
when my oldest was potty training i made a potty chart and gave 1 sticker for peeing and 2 sticckers for pooping and once a whole row ( about 10 spaces was filled up) he was able to pick a toy out of the "treasure box" ( prior to potty training i took him to the dollar store and let him pick out a bunch of cool things and told him to get them he had to use the potty) He was VERY SUCCESSFUL with this. He went from diaper wetting to big boy underwear and staying dry through the night right away
MelodyAnthony17103 MelodyAnthony17103 6 years
my son is learning to pee on the potty very well wer having strouble with pooping he dosnt like it wen its in his diaper and he rips it off and make a huge mess but he wont tell us wen he has to go or wen he does go and most of the time you cant tell wen he is pooping.what should i do?
CeairraHerron CeairraHerron 6 years
Great tips! thank you :)
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