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Potty Training Your Boy


Do boys take longer to potty train? Yes, it may take boys longer to potty train than girls. But it's a guess as to the exact reasons. Some believe that boys are not physiologically ready as quickly as girls. Others believe that boys lag behind girls in their psychological development. Remember that each child is different. Social, psychological, and physical development determine potty training readiness.

Should he sit or stand when first learning to use the potty? Children respond to different techniques. Some boys immediately imitate adults and try to urinate standing up. It may be easier and less frustrating, though, if the child first learns to use the potty while sitting down. Since bowel movements and urination often happen together, it makes sense to have your son start by sitting on the toilet. That way, he can feel a sense of success no matter what function he's performing!!

When should he stand? When your son can use the potty in a sitting position successfully and confidently, he can try urinating standing up. If possible, a male role model should guide him. Grandpa, dad, brother, or uncle can all provide great examples for your son. Have your son watch the adult urinate in a standing position, and then he can try it too.

Remember, this will take time and practice. Expect a bit of mess, and don't forget to give positive encouragement any time he tries to get his stream in the toilet. Make a game out of it. Put some cheerios or other biodegradable "targets" in the toilet for aiming practice. Even ripped up pieces of toilet paper can turn into potty targets. Also, blue toilet bowl water will turn green when mixed with yellow. Your little guy might motivate to see the color change in the potty!

What equipment do I need? There are many choices of equipment out there. Potty seats come in all shapes and sizes. If your son is agile and loves to climb, he may enjoy a toilet seat topper that he can climb onto using a stool. If he is less stable, a potty seat sitting on the floor may work best. Choose a potty seat with a removable urine guard. Guards can help prevent messy sprays of urine but may also be irritating. If he shows any signs of discomfort due to the urine guard, remove it. You don't want his potty training experience to be painful.

Also, have some boy centered potty training books and videos on hand. The books are fun to read while he is sitting on the potty. For an extra incentive, try using a potty training chart. Every time your little guy uses the potty, let him put a sticker on his chart or color in a space. He'll have a blast taking part in this potty training activity.

What about potty training at daycare or preschool? Make sure your daycare provider or preschool teacher uses potty training techniques consistent with your own. You can send your potty training chart with your child daily so the daytime care provider can also reward potty training behaviors. For more information on coordinating with daycare and preschool, read our article Potty Training at Daycare and Preschool.

Finally, have fun with your son! Make potty training enjoyable. Fun, positive activities motivate kids. And give him lots of praise! If training becomes a power struggle or you become frustrated, take some time out and reassess whether it's the best time to potty train. Sometimes, taking a short break is the best option.