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Potty Training Tips for Boys

Authored by Alana J. Tutwiler in Child Education 
Published on 06-14-2009

Parents of boys will quickly discover that it takes longer for boys to be potty trained than for girls. Boys can be potty trained while keeping frustration to a minimum if certain key steps are followed.

Signs a Child is Ready to be Potty Trained

For the best results, parents should make sure that their child is ready before attempting to toilet train. Trying to potty train a boy before they are ready will only result in a frustrated child and a frustrated parent.

These are some signs that your child is ready for potty training:

  • Ability to understand and follow simple commands
  • Discomfort with wearing soiled diapers or pull-ups
  • Ability to sit still for periods of two to five minutes or more
  • Has regular, solid bowel movements
  • Stays dry for periods of three hours or more on a regular basis
  • Shows signs of independence
  • Gives signs that they are using the bathroom like grunting or squatting

Motivating a Child

In order to motivate a child to use the bathroom, it’s important to buy a child-sized potty. Allowing a child to decorate their potty chair and practice sitting on it with their clothes on at first will help them get comfortable with it.

One suggestion for motivating a boy to use the potty is to let them pick out a toy that they really want and then allow them to play with it for an hour. After an hour, take the toy away and explain that they have to use the potty to play with it. Then when they use the potty, allow them to play with the toy for an hour. Repeat this every time they use the potty instead of having an accident in their diaper.

Another idea is to let their favorite stuffed animal sit on a small chair or box next to them and pretend that the animal is using the potty while they are. Parents can also allow a boy to pick out special underwear with his favorite character on them. Whenever he uses the potty and does not have an accident, he can wear the underwear.

Establishing a Routine

The key to success in potty training is establishing and sticking to a routine. If a child attends daycare or has a babysitter, it is important that the child care provider follow the same routine. Put the child on the potty in the mornings when they wake up, after meals, and before bedtime, everyday.

Sitting or Standing?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that boys learn to urinate sitting first, then be taught standing up. This may be difficult for mothers to demonstrate, so it’s helpful to have the boy’s father or other male relative or friend to help in this matter.

The most important thing for parents to remember when potty training a boy is don’t give up. Sometimes it may seem as if the child will never get it, but patience and persistence will lead to an accomplishment that parents and their child can be proud of.

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