The top tips you need for Potty Training Boys
When your little boy gets to around 2 years old you will one day look around and notice that all the mummy chat has changed from poonamies, lack of sleep and weaning to when, how and when when when should I potty train my child?
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Potty training is for sure one of the things I was most daunted by as a new parent. The biggest question for me was when is the right time to start potty training boys. I had heard tended to take longer to potty train and that it was often harder to crack with boy. So potty training boys was a bit of a mystery to me. However, at around 2 years old my little boy started asking to have a go on the potty at nursery. They said he was having a bit of success on the 2 days that he was at nursery so I bit the bullet and got ready for potty training.
How to get started with potty training boys?
The first thing to do is for sure is to pick a date. You as the parent need to be ready as well. After potty training my four children I am totally convinced that this is vital step. If you are not prepared and ready then it just isn’t going to go well and that is potty training boys and girls.
The second thing I would do is do your research. There are endless articles and books that promise virtually instant results. The fact that you are here tells me that you are already doing this so yay for you! You might want to follow a set method for potty training or go it alone. With my eldest child I went with the Gina Ford method (Potty Training In One Week) as it seemed straight forward, well, it did until I complicated it by actually trying to get a child to do it – only joking I really did find this method easy to follow and it made sense to me. One thing I would like to impart here is that I really don’t think that potty training is ever done and dusted in a week. I think you can make great progress and be in a place where you can go out and do things without being in potty training panic mode and maybe even be in a place where your little one is making it to the potty pretty much every time, but they will still have accidents! In my experience this can go on for a while and each child is different.
Start talking to your little boy about potty training. I loved this Pirate Pete book and so did my little boys. Especially the pictures of poo – they are easily pleased.
Is potty training boys harder than potty training girls?
I have potty trained two girls and two boys. I do not think that potty training boys is any harder than potty training girls. In fact one of my little girls was by far the hardest and one of my little boys was by far the easiest to potty train. In my experience it is all about waiting until they are ready. If I could give you just one thing to take away from this post it would be wait until they are ready. Don’t be influenced by the experts or by your mummy friends. Do it when they are ready. In fact I actually say when you think they are ready wait another couple of months… My easiest little to train was a boy and as the twins had just arrived I waited past the point where he started to be interested in the potty. I had four under four so I just couldn’t take on anything else. It was the best decision ever. He was virtually dry within 3 days (see above as of course he still had accidents) and was then dry at night within a few weeks.
What is different when potty training boys rather than girls?
As a mummy to boys the only thing that is different is of course the anatomy of it all! If you are using things like seat liners or Potty Training Pads in pants then just think about where you place them – boys tend to have all the leaks at the front of their pants. Also when they are seating on the potty they need to make sure that their penis is pointing downwards. They may need to gently hold it down as otherwise there can be a bit of a hose effect….
My top tips for potty training boys
- Boys tend to love praise so use a reward chart and stickers like this one Potty Training Reward Chart for Toddlers – Dinosaur Design – Sticker Chart, 4 Week Reward Chart, Certificate, Instruction Booklet and More – for Boys and Girls
- If they love stickers also get some stars to actually stick on them for extra excitement and something that lets them show the world how well they are doing
- Be really positive and don’t react negatively to accidents; despite what society says in my experience boys are very sensitive and need reassurance
- If you can then start potty training boys in the summer when they can wear shorts. Trousers tend to have buttons or zips and this is really hard to do quickly for you and them! Also shorts are easier to wash and dry. If it is warm you can even start off without any bottoms. My boys loved being nuddy rudey as they call it.
- Try pants with a character that they like on them and take them to the shop to let them choose
- Try to give them ownership of the process as much as possible. Constantly hounding them about whether they need the potty for evermore won’t give them the opportunity to recognise the signs themselves
- Build up to leaving the house maybe not for a few days, but try to find somewhere you can go where it won’t matter too much if they have an accident as if you keep staying in they will get bored and frankly so will you. This is liable to cause irritation and then the potty training accidents are more likely to wind you up
- Take a cushion wrapped in a plastic bag and then inside a cushion cover when you go out in the buggy that way if there are accidents you just have to wash the cover. Alternatively you can use Huggies DryNites Disposable Bed Mats, Mattress Protector, 28 Mats Total (4 Packs of 7 Mats) as buggy seat liners
- If you need to go out in the car use a waterproof mat to line the seat. We bought some designed exactly for this purpose so that they fit the car seat well – safety first peeps!
- Get a waterproof top sheet to put on your sofa. I told my littles that this was their special big boy blanket to make the chair extra soft. Trust me you don’t want them having an accident on your sofa cushions
- Keep explaining what the potty is for (without hounding them though) and use questions to check they understand for example asking where should mummy do her wee wee?
- If you feel comfortable doing it let them see you going to the toilet so they understand everyone does this
- Do practice before you actually start properly. This was the best bit of advice I got from Gina Fords book. It involves spending some time removing nappy when they wake up, at nap time and before the bath and getting them to sit on the potty. They are likely to have success at these times so they get used to the feeling and how pleased you are without the pressure of never having the nappy and having to remember when to go
- Do it when you both are ready and not when everyone tells you to. Key questions to ask yourself are:
- Can they communicate what they want?
- Is their nappy often dry after nap time?
- Do they know when they have done a poo?
- Are you prepared for it? Do you feel in a calm and relaxed place as a parent?
- Have lots of pairs of pants as it is tough to not get frustrated if you start to run out and they are still having accidents. I had 18 pairs with my eldest.
Remember mama you have got this and that they will get eventually. Try not to put pressure on yourself to have potty training boys done and dusted. It might take them longer than the 3 days or week you have been promised, but it will happen.
Don’t worry if they have accidents this is normal and if you find it hard you are not failing. This is a hard thing for them to learn. I know others say never go back, but I think that is rubbish! I am not saying chop and change from nappy to potty that would be confusing and counterproductive, but if you have been training for a week or so and there is no progress then give yourselves a chance and just stop. They aren’t ready and it is going to be a much harder and longer process if they aren’t ready. Potty training boys might be stressful to start with as there will be accidents, but it shouldn’t cause you or them to be distressed. Good luck mummies and daddies.