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How to Potty Train a Boy

Teaching any child how to successfully use the bathroom takes dedication and motivation. However, there are some slight differences between potty training methods for boys than for girls. You may have already noticed that boys tend to spend a little more time in diapers than girls, and that's no big deal. Each child is ready to tackle potty train on their own time, there is no "average" age or specific time to start potty training your child. Watch our expert potty training video for more information.

When He's Ready for Potty Training

When you've determined that your son is ready to start potty training, you'll need to start with the basics. Explain why learning to use the bathroom is so important and the positive outcomes that will come from this learning experience. When you feel he understands and is ready to begin the process, follow these steps:

  • Sitting, first. Even though daddy and mommy use the toilet differently, your son should learn how to urinate sitting down, at first. This will allow him to focus on the warning signs of when he has to use the bathroom, instead of worrying about how to accomplish this task standing up.
  • Personalize the potty. When your son is ready to learn how to use the toilet standing up, make sure the potty size is proportional to him. You'll either need to invest in a step-stool or an individualized potty chair.
  • Entice him. Your son will probably be amazed if you put blue food coloring into the toilet and he can change it to green, just by going to the bathroom. Although this trick works better when your son goes to the bathroom standing up, you can try it both ways.
  • Ready, aim. Teaching your son how to aim is probably one of the hardest, if not the hardest part about potty training boys. You can incorporate games so that he understands the process of aiming. Try putting cheerios into the toilet water and having him aim directly at them. During this process you might want to get used to the fact that there will be a few messes to clean up.
  • Potty placement. If your son is using his own child-sized potty, make sure it's readily available. You'll want to place it close to the play area, or other rooms that your child spends a good amount of time in.
  • Reward system. To encourage your son to use the bathroom, put a potty training reward chart in place. You can have him put stickers on the days of the calendar that he successfully uses the bathroom. At the end of a successful week, you can go shopping for his favorite superman "big kid's" underwear.

Remain Calm

Before you begin potty training your son, you need to realize that he is bound to experience setbacks and days of potty training frustrations. However, if you remain calm and stay positive he's more likely to take after. Remember, pushing your child to get through the process will only make it last longer.