Potty training a boy is different than training a girl. Boys typically train later and have to learn to use the toilet sitting down and standing up. Although you might be tempted to teach him to stand up and pee, you’ll see better results by starting him sitting down. He'll let you know when he's ready to start, so pay attention to his cues and let him guide you through this adventure in potty training.
Make Sure He’s Ready
While the average potty training age ranges from 18 to 24 months, boys can take up to age 3 to show signs of potty training readiness. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, starting your child’s potty training before 27 months could take a year for him to catch on, while 27 to 36 months takes five to 10 months. For best results, he needs to be ready. Readiness includes keeping his diaper dry for two hours, being able to follow directions, the ability to pull his pants up and down and the ability to let you know he needs to go.
You'll need a child’s potty seat or toilet seat cover before your son begins his potty training adventure. Have your son pick out his seat so he feels like he’s part of the process. With a standalone potty chair, find one with a separate bowl for easier cleanup. If using a toddler toilet seat cover, you’ll need a stool. Your son’s feet should rest flat on the stool when he sits on the toilet. Since you’re teaching him to pee sitting down first, get a splash guard that helps direct the pee into the toilet’s bowl, rather than straight ahead.
Start Sitting Down
Sitting down first keeps it simple for your son. You’re combining bowel movements and urination into the same step. By training sitting down, you can reduce the stress involved with potty training since your son isn’t learning to manage the potty equipment, big toilet and clean-up from aim-related messes at the same time. Once he’s fully potty trained you can teach him to urinate standing up.
There is some debate as to whether or not toilet training pants are best for potty training. You can start out with training pants, but if you notice your son uses them like a diaper, consider moving to underwear instead. Bring him with you to the store so he can have a say in his favorites. Nighttime bladder control can take a few weeks to a few months after he’s successfully potty trained during the day, so use training pants overnight until he consistently wakes up dry in the morning.
Tips for Success
Before you start training, show your son the toilet and how it works. Have a male figure demonstrate how to use the toilet and explain what is going on. When ready, start with a potty training routine. Have him use the bathroom before and after sleep and 45 minutes to one hour after drinking. After eating, wait 15 to 30 minutes before making him sit on the toilet. He only needs to sit a few minutes at a time. If he goes, praise him. Never scold him for not going or for having accidents. If he refuses to try the potty, has frequent accidents or is afraid, consider backing off for a few weeks and trying again.