There is a theory that it is harder to potty train boys than girls. But as a mom of two boys and my closest friends having boys, I can say that our boys were potty trained by the time they were two. In other words, six boys were potty trained between the ages of 17 – 24 months. And it wasn’t hard. So how do you get started potty training your boys?
1. Have a Potty Seat Ready: Have a simple, easy seat that doesn’t have a lot of crevices to clean or a cushion that will soak up waste. When boys pee, they have to aim and their accuracy isn’t always perfect. My favorite potty was the Baby Bjorn Little Potty, which was one piece. Keep the potty in the bathroom, so they get used to it and you are ready to use it as soon as they are ready.
2. Lead by Example: If you aren’t conservative and your kids already invade your privacy in the bathroom, then they can learn by example. When they see mommy sitting to pee and daddy standing to pee, they’ll get the idea pretty quick. Or if you already have potty trained older kids, they can be a good example too.
3. Videos: Stock up on your library. There is a wide array of options out there. You can purchase potty training books and videos online or even borrow them from the library. The one that had the biggest impact on my children was Potty Power.
4. Know Their Schedule: Most moms know exactly when to expect a wet diaper. When boys first wake in the morning, after naps and shortly after lunch are common times for children to release their bladders. If it’s around that time, let them have success on a potty instead. Sit them on it in, while you sit on the floor with them and sing them a song or read them a book.
5. Rewards: When they do use the toilet, reward them. If you are starting young, it doesn’t have to be a toy or something expensive. Clapping, kisses and phone calls to daddy or grandma work just as well.
6. Use Training Underwear: Once you start training, you will want them to get to know the difference between diapers and underwear. You can purchase thick underwear, known as training underwear, for them to practice with. Get a few packs, since you’ll probably go through a few of them a day. You will find training underwear in the baby section of Target or on Amazon.
7. Stay Calm: If they have an accident, the best thing to do is stay calm. Simply say, “Peepee (or your word of choice) goes in the potty, not your pants.” Let them sit on the potty and put them in dry training underwear.
8. Naked Potty Training: Many boys do well with naked potty training. You will end up with a few puddles, but the quick access makes it easier for them to succeed in getting to the potty on time.
9. Keep the Potty Accessible: By the time a toddler realizes he needs to use the potty, running to the bathroom might not be an option. If he is playing in the living room most of the day, keep the potty in the living room too. It is also a good reminder about where he has to go. Once he has more successes, move it back into the bathroom.
10. Time It: When you first start potty training, you might want to have them try every thirty minutes. They won’t have to go every time, but once you start having a few successes, you will realize how long your child can go between potty breaks. Thirty minutes will turn into 45 minutes, then an hour or longer. Just keep increasing the time and soon you will have an independent potty trained boy.
I would start actively potty training at 17 months, especially if you notice your child is dry for long periods of time. Good luck.