While you may have heard that potty training a boy is harder than potty training a girl – that isn’t always the case. Potty training readiness varies from child to child – no matter what their gender is.
So, if you think your son is ready to start the process, keep reading to find out everything you need to know for potty training a boy.
What is the average age for a boy to be potty trained?
Most experts say that kids are typically ready to start potty training between the ages of 18 months and 3 years. But age isn’t the only factor that goes into knowing when your kid is ready to start training.
Instead of focusing on a certain age, try to look for other key factors that will help you know when your son is ready to get started.
Your boy may be ready to start potty training if he can:
- Communicate to you that he needs to use the potty
- Walk and run with ease
- Pull his pants up and down on his own
- Stay dry for an extended period of time (more than 2 hours)
- Follow instructions
Another key factor in knowing when your son is showing potty training readiness is the amount of interest he shows in the process. If your son does any of the following, it may be time to start potty training:
- Watches you or other family members in the bathroom
- Wants to stand next to the toilet to pee
- Asks to sit on or flush the toilet
- Wants to wear underwear
- Asks for a clean diaper immediately after peeing or pooping
Day 1 of Potty Training
Now that you know your son is ready to start potty training, it’s time to take that first step! Day one of potty training is the first step toward transitioning your toddler to the big-kid potty.
And while your toddler probably won’t have the process completely down by the end of the day, at least they’ll know what to expect in the days to come.
Follow these tips and tricks for getting started on day 1 of potty training:
Prepare your supplies
Before you start tackling the training process, make sure you’re prepared! Have all the supplies you’ll need to teach your toddler to use the bathroom on hand so you ready for anything. As you’re getting your supplies ready for the big day, make sure you have these items close by:
- Potty seat or toddler potty
- Step stool
- Toilet paper
- Flushable wipes (optional)
- Hand soap
- Paper towels and cleaning supplies for accidents
- Rewards chart or other small rewards
Stay close to your child
Once the potty training day begins, it’s important to keep your child nearby. That way, you can watch your toddler for clues they may need to use the bathroom, like:
- Grabbing or touching their privates or bottom
- Bouncing or wiggling
- Crossing their legs
- Leaving the room or hiding
All these signs are indicators that your child needs to go to the bathroom. If you see your child doing any of these actions, rush them to the bathroom and put them on the potty.
Let them sit on the toilet for a few minutes, but if they refuse to go, don’t push it.
Expect some accidents
It’s likely that your toddler won’t pick up on the process of using the toilet during the first day of potty training. That means you’ll probably have an accident or two during the day.
If he does have an accident, treat it lightly and try not to get angry or show your frustration. Instead, clean up the mess and remind your toddler that he needs to try to go in the potty the next time.
Stay at home
When you start potty training, it’s a good idea to stay at home, at least for the first day or two. This will ensure your toddler is near a bathroom they’re comfortable using. And it will help keep accidents contained to your own home.
Once your toddler is more comfortable telling you they need to go to the bathroom and comfortable using the toilet you can begin to venture outside the house without diapers.
Have some fun
Since the first day of potty training should be focused on the potty, try to incorporate some fun potty-related activities into your day.
Refusal is common
Some toddlers may resist the idea of using the potty at first. This is a pretty common occurrence and is often a sign that your toddler may not be ready.
If they fight the process or refuse to sit on the toilet, take a break from training for a few days and revisit the idea at a later date.
Attempting to force your toddler to use the potty or pushing them when they refuse may backfire and cause delays in training.
Boy Potty Training Tips
Before you start potty training, it’s a good idea to have a few tricks up your sleeve to help your son be successful from the start.
Try these potty training tips for boys to make getting started a little bit easier for you and your son.
- Start sitting down. While he’ll eventually pee standing up, have your son start potty training sitting down. That’s because your son will still need to sit on the toilet to poop, which means you may confuse the situation if you try to teach him to pee standing up from the start. As he is sitting on the toilet, make sure to show him how to aim down so his stream of urine makes it into the toilet and not on the floor. You can also use a potty chair with a guard on it to help block urine when he’s having trouble remembering to aim downward.
- Set a schedule. He may not stick to the schedule – especially during the first few days – but creating a basic schedule for the day is a good idea. Get him used to using the bathroom right after he wakes up, after he eats a meal or snack, and before he goes to bed at night.
- Offer reminders. Throughout the day, remind your toddler to use the potty on a regularly. You can set a potty reminder or keep an eye on him for cues that he may need to go.
How to Teach a Boy to Stand While Peeing
Once your boy has mastered the ability to pee in the potty while sitting down, it’s time to start transitioning him to standing.
There are a few different methods you can use to help your son learn how to stand and aim while he urinates.
Try these tips for teaching this skill:
- Use a step stool. To help him get a good position in front of the toilet, try letting him stand on a step stool to pee – especially if you have a tall toilet in your bathroom. Make sure he’s standing close to the toilet to shorten the range, allowing him to stand on the stool, if needed, to make aiming even easier.
- Show him where to hold. Another simple way to help him guide his flow of urine into the toilet is to have him hold the far end of his penis while he’s urinating. This will help him direct the urination into the toilet more easily.
- Head outside. If the process of teaching your toddler how to aim is getting too messy, take the target practice outside! Take a portable potty or urinal outside and let your toddler head out there to pee until they get their aim under control.
These easy tips and tricks should get you started potty training a boy and get him on the road to success!