The ULTIMATE Guide to Potty Training Boys


If you have recently decided that it is time to potty train your little boy, then you have probably found that you have so many questions that you don’t have any answers to.

Potty training is a big step in child development, and all children go through this process differently. Some find it really easy, and others might struggle a bit more. Either way, you might be wondering what the potty training process involves, and what you should do for the best results.

People often say that boys are much harder to potty train than girls, but this isn’t actually always the case. All children are better at some things than others, and each will have its own challenges. In order to successfully make it out of the other side when it comes to potty training, the best thing that you can do is to focus on what your child responds well to and what they don’t. This way, you can adapt to suit their needs.

In this article, we are going to explain the ins and outs of potty training for boys, and hopefully, this information can help you along the way. We also have some helpful tips that we will leave for you along the way which might help to make the process slightly easier for both you and your child.

The ULTIMATE Guide to Potty Training Boys

How to Potty Train Boys

The first question that any parent would naturally have is ‘how do I potty train my son?’, which is why we will jump straight in with this first. It can be a daunting experience, but with the right knowledge and information, it can be much less complex, and more focused on what you need to be doing. 

Choosing a Method of Potty Training

The first thing that you will need to do is decide which method in which you are going to follow in order to potty train your child.

There are lots of different options available to choose from, and many different methods that might be more suited to different families. The method that you decide to follow is entirely up to you and will depend on your personal circumstances and preferences.

You can do some research into the different methods that are available to you to figure out which one that you think would be the best option. However, don’t feel like the option that you choose is set in stone.

If you find that it is not working as well as you thought that it might, you can always start again and try something new. A lot of potty training will revolve around trial and error, which can often help you learn which methods your child responds well to, and which they don’t. 

How to Choose a Method of Potty Training

There are also some things that might influence your decision making, that you will need to consider before deciding on a specific method. One of these could be the time that you have available to you.

If you are a stay-at-home parent, then there might be a wider variety of methods to choose from, but for working parents, the amount of time that you have available to dedicate to potty training could impact the choice that you make. If you are not with your child 24/7, then certain other options may be a better path to follow in order to get the best results. 

Another deciding factor could be how ready or confident your child is about the potty training process. Children that are less confident may need a slower approach that allows them to take their time to get used to the idea.

However, if your child is super-ready to get potty trained, and they are more outgoing, they may be more suited towards some of the fast-paced methods of potty training. All children will work at different paces, and it is best to choose a method that matches their pace, so it doesn’t become too overwhelming. 

Finally, you should try and find a method that will fit into your home life and routine, so that it doesn’t become too disruptive. Often, the best potty training results can come from routines that your children can follow and learn to expect.

This way, they will be clear on what is expected of them, and what they need to be doing in order to progress. Setting aside specific times to work on potty training can prove to be beneficial in the long run.

However, not all families will be able to follow a strict routine, so you will need to think about how your chosen method is going to fit in with your lives. There are methods out there that can help with this too. 

Have Everything Ready

Once you have a plan of action on how to approach the potty training, you can start to gather any necessary supplies that you might need.

This could include equipment like training pants, seats, and toilets, and we will explain more on how to use these in conjunction with potty training a little bit later. However, for right now, we are going to talk you through some of the basic things that you might find helpful to use.

One of the first things that we recommend that you have available is loose clothing for your little one that is easy to take on and off. Having trousers, like joggers/track pants, that are easy to remove and put back on again can be really helpful during this process.

It can also help to eliminate any accidents that could occur if they really need to go but can’t get their trousers off. To further help with this, you could also purchase some training pants to help take care of any accidents.

You can also get little targets that teach boys how to aim when they go to the toilet. You can get ones that are more entertaining, or normal standard ones, but they will teach them how to aim while standing up.

Something that isn’t necessary, but you could do if you wanted to, is to create some sort of a reward system that can help to encourage the correct behavior.

While we are not saying that you should buy them a new toy every time they manage to go in the potty (trust us, this gets really expensive really quickly when the reward is Thomas a Tank engine train every time!), you could use a sticker chart or something similar so that they can see they are doing a good job.

Start Preparing

It can be helpful to decide on a date on which you are going to start potty training your child, and you can even make them aware of when it is going to begin. You can try explaining to them what is going to happen and make it a normal conversation.

This way, you can both be prepared for what is going to happen. Leading up to this date, you could opt to read them storybooks for children that explain potty training and what they are going to be doing.

This way, it won’t be a big surprise on the day that you start, as they know it is coming. You can also put on animated tv shows that explain the subject in a way that they can understand. 

It can be really helpful to plan to stay at home for the first few days of potty training, just to be on the safe side. A great starting point could be on a weekend, and you could spend your time at home together. 

Learning to Sit Before Learning to Stand

One of the first things that you will have to teach your child is that both bodily functions need to be done in the potty.

The sitting and standing part of going to the toilet can become confusing, and make them unsure about which they are supposed to do and when. This is why it is often easier to teach them how to go when they are sitting down, before moving on to standing up. 

Try and get him to pee and poop whilst sitting down, and when he has the hang of it, you can try moving on to standing up. However, make sure that when you do this, you explain all of the difference between standing up and sitting down.

They need to understand that poops are for sitting and pee is for standing. Don’t forget that there is absolutely no rush to move from sitting to standing, and boys don’t actually need to pee standing up if they don’t want to. 

Standing to urinate also requires a lot more skill that some children may take a while to get used to. This also means a lot more work for parents that have to clean up the mess.

When it is time to teach them to pee standing up, they should be completely toilet trained, and have enough motor and coordination skills. They also need to be interested in progressing, otherwise they might not be comfortable doing so. 

You might find that your child insists on peeing standing up, especially if they have seen other people doing so. They will be ready to learn to pee standing up as soon as they feel comfortable, and there really is no reason to rush.

Having a male family member to explain this might be helpful, but is not essential. Some young boys might be nervous, but you can try to make the experience more fun for them by getting targets for the toilet so that they can practice with their aim.

One thing that you should be prepared for is having to clean up the mess following these lessons, as it is highly unlikely that they will be expert aimers after the first attempt. However, the more that they practice, the better at it they will get.

Some Helpful Tips for Potty Training

There are times throughout the day when your child is most likely to need to go to the toilet. These times are typically first thing in the morning when they wake up, after they have eaten their meals during the day, and right before bedtime.

Scheduling potty breaks at certain times will help him get into a routine and learn when he should be using the potty. 

Children will typically give us clues as to when they need to go to the toilet, and we can usually see this through their behavior. They might be standing with their legs crossed or jiggling around a lot. You can keep a close eye on them to look out for these signs. 

Try to avoid having your child on the potty for more than five minutes at a time. If they don’t need to go, you can try taking a break and have another go at it a little bit later on. 

If you are having a hard time getting them to pee while standing up, you can encourage them to try going while they are sitting down. Eventually, you can progress to standing up once they get the hang of things. 

Time to Progress

When you feel like you have gotten to the point where your child is comfortable going to the toilet on the potty, and that they know when they are supposed to be going to the toilet, you can try going out of the house for short periods of time.

It is probably a good idea to pack some spare clothes, just in case, and to make sure that they use the potty just before you leave the house. Try not to be disheartened if any accidents do occur, it does happen. 

After you have tried this a few times, and you have both started to get the hang of things, you can start to take it another step further. You can start to make the switch to normal underwear for longer periods or even full time, and eventually get rid of the diapers completely. 

Potty Training at Nighttime

The final step for potty training is working on their nighttime routine. This is generally the hardest and most time-consuming part of potty training, but this might not be the case for everyone. As we have said before, every child is different.

Once they are making it through the day without any accidents, the only thing left to work on is the nighttime. Thankfully, there are some things that you can do to help them avoid any accidents during the night.

The first thing that you can do is to limit the amount of liquid that your child is having to drink before they go to bed. The more that they drink in the lead-up to bedtime, the more likely that they will be to have an accident, so you should keep this in mind.

You can also encourage your little one to use the potty before they go to bed, which should help too.

Something that we recommend that you purchase is a mattress protector. This is an extra sheet that you can put on top of their mattress that will protect it against any accidents that do occur. Even if they don’t have any accidents, it is better to be prepared than to have to buy a whole new mattress.

When to Potty Train Boys

Learning how to use a potty is a new skill that every child will have to learn at some point. The best way to do so is to take things at a pace that your child is comfortable with.

The main skill that you will have to practice during this time is patience, as potty training will require a lot of this. Being patient will only aid in their progress and development, which is why it is so important. 

When children are physically ready and able, they can actually learn to control their bladder and bowel when they choose to. Try not to compare your child’s progress with other children’s progress, as we keep saying, every child is different.

Interestingly, most children can actually control their bowels before their bladder. We will give you a quick breakdown of these behaviors below with a rough age estimate of when you can expect these developments to happen.

Around the time in which your child turns one, they are likely to have stopped pooping during the night. By the time that they turn two, some children can remain dry throughout the entire day, but this is still quite early, so not all children will be ready at this stage.

When they are around three years old, the majority of children will make it through the day without any accidents, but the occasional accident can still occur, especially in response to certain emotions. At age four is when you will find that almost all children are able to stay dry throughout the day.

In terms of going to the toilet throughout the night, this will usually take a little bit longer. It is usually between the ages of 3 and 5 where children are able to stay dry through the night, but this might not be the case for everyone.

It is relatively common for children to wet the bed, and 1 in  5 children aged five will occasionally wet the bed. This is a problem that you can overcome with time and patience. These pullups for older bedwetters can help prevent embarrassment for your child. 

Is My Child Ready For Potty Training?

The first thing that you should be aware of when it comes to your first attempt at potty training is that you cannot force your child to go on the potty.

If they are not ready, they will more than likely refuse to use it, but over time, they will come around to the idea when they are ready. During this period of time, all you can really do is to positively encourage the type of behavior that you are looking for. Try to talk about the potty positively, and use the tools and resources available to you to help.

What Age is a Good Time to Start Potty Training?

The most common age where parents start to think about potty training their child is when they are around 2 to 2 and a half years old. However, with that being said, there is no perfect time to start potty training.

It is quite a subjective topic that will depend on your child’s progress and development, and whether or not they feel ready to take on such a task.

In terms of the time of year, some parents would agree that the summertime is the best time to start potty training because you can put less clothes on your child, which can help them be able to undress themselves to use the potty. This is not essential, but it has been known to help.

Another great time to start potty training is when there aren’t any major disruptions to your lifestyle or daily routine. If you are in the process of moving house, it might be best to hold off until you are settled into your new home to start the process.

Too much change at one time can be a bit overwhelming and has the potential to negatively impact their progress. It can also make things more confusing for them. Consistency is key when it comes to potty training successfully. 

If you are still struggling to figure out when would be the best time for you to start potty training your child, there are some signs that you can look out for that could show that your child is ready. Some signs that you can look out for include:

  • They are aware that they have a wet or dirty nappy
  • They know when they are peeing, or they tell you that they are doing it
  • The time period between wetting is at least an hour
  • They show signs that they need to pee like fidgeting or crossing their legs
  • They know when they feel the need to go (they might even tell you)
  • They are able to sit on and get up from the potty by themselves

If your child is aware of when they feel the need to go to the toilet, and they are able to tell you, then it is likely that they are ready for potty training. They are also likely to do really well as they can understand what is happening. 

Potty Training Boys That Are Afraid of the Toilet

There could be a variety of reasons that your little boy is afraid of using the toilet. Most of the time, you can resolve these problems by following a few simple steps, and sometimes, the problem will resolve on its own. If your child is afraid of using the toilet, there are some things that you can do to help.

The Fear of Going to the Toilet

One of the first reasons that your child might be afraid of using the toilet is because they are actually afraid of letting it go. This is actually a fairly common fear for children, and they might be holding it in to avoid going to the toilet.

Essentially, the act of going is what is making them worried in these circumstances. They have learned to feel secure when going in a diaper, and anything other than this can be daunting for them. 

To combat this, you will need to give them lots of time and space to come to terms with the idea of going in the toilet. You should also give them as much comfort and reassurance as possible to help make them feel safe in this new situation.

Never force your child to sit on the toilet, as this is only likely to make things even worse. Don’t give up, and keep trying until they feel comfortable with the idea.

Fear of the Potty

It is natural for some children to be afraid of the potty, as it is something that they are completely unfamiliar with. The fear of the potty could come from the fact that it is an unfamiliar environment for them to go to the toilet. The idea might make them feel uncomfortable at first.

Another reason that they could be staying clear of the potty is that it is too hard or uncomfortable. It might also be because it moves around on the floor, or that they feel like they are going to fall in.

In these situations, it might be helpful to let your child pick their own potty, or you may even have to try a few different ones before you find the right fit. If it is due to unfamiliarity, you should try to read lots of books and watch lots of children’s TV where the potty is mentioned. This will help to familiarize them with the concept. Try buying a pack of their favourite stickers that they can use to decorate the potty, this can assist with removing the fear.

Fear of the Toilet

There are also some children that will quite happily use the potty but are completely afraid of using the actual toilet. This is most likely due to the fact that it is an entirely different experience for them, and they may feel slightly intimidated.

This could be from things like the size of the toilet in comparison to their potty, or even the fear of falling inside of the toilet. Finding out what part of using the toilet is scary for them can help you to solve the problem. If your child is at the point where they are progressing from using the potty to the toilet, then there are some things that you can help them with. 

There are a variety of resources that can help with the explanation of using the toilet, like books and DVDs, and these can be really helpful in normalizing the idea.

You should also get a sturdy step to go near the toilet to help your child further, but make sure that it is secure and that it isn’t sliding across the floor. This can help to make your child feel more safe and secure when using the toilet. They might also be scared of the unstable surface of the step, but you can get ones with a silicone or similar grip so that they stay in place.

Some parents will opt to use a potty seat that actually fits over the toilet, which can help to make the experience feel more familiar. It also makes it seem like less of a gap for them to fall in if that is what they are concerned about.

You can even get your child involved in the choosing, so they can pick a fun and appealing seat that they like. This might make them less apprehensive about using it. Make sure that it is secured in place so that it doesn’t wiggle around when they sit down.

Fear of Using Public Restrooms

The fear might not be over once you have gotten through the potty stage, and many young children become afraid of using public restrooms. This can again be down to feeling intimidating, but it can also be because they are shy about doing their business in public.

It is much easier to get used to the situation when you feel comfortable and safe in your home environment, but the public restroom is a whole different ball game. 

Unlike in your home, there are lots of unfamiliar people, lots of noises, and ultimately, a whole new experience to deal with. There is also the automatic flush that can sometimes go off at the wrong time when they are still sitting on the toilet, and that is enough to scare any child. 

Before you head out into the public world, it might be helpful to get your child used to use facilities in more comfortable scenarios. You can take them to family and friend’s houses, where they can use other people’s toilets, and find that it might not be so scary when it comes to going into public restrooms.

Avoiding the scenario altogether is probably not the best idea, as they will find it much harder to overcome their fear in the long run. Try to prepare them for the situation when you are going out. You can also take a portable potty seat like the one that you might be using at home, as this could make the experience less daunting. You can buy foldable potty seats online, and they can be a life-saver in public restrooms.

How to Potty Train Boys With Training Pants

For any parent that is starting to potty train their child, there are lots of different things that you might find helpful along the way.

One product that many choose to rely on is potty training pants. These can either be disposable or reusable, and it is completely up to you which one that you wish to use. They can be really helpful to make sure that your child is feeling confident when it comes to swapping out their nappies for big boy pants. If you use training pants, the jump between the two might not seem so drastic. 

You should be aware that training pants are not as absorbent as diapers, but this does help your child to understand when it is wet. They will need to be changed after an accident, as they are not able to avoid leaking as well as diapers.

Training pants are not a replacement for diapers, they are simply one step closer to normal underwear. You should try to encourage your child to keep them dry throughout the day, but accidents do happen, and training pants will make these situations much easier to deal with. 

Training pants are a great tool that you can use to help alongside potty training, but they should not be relied on as an alternative. Throughout potty training, they can learn to keep their training pants dry over time. Not all children will like wearing training pants, as it is a big step, but they can be really helpful for other children.

How to Use a Potty Training Seat

For those who haven’t looked into the world of potty training seats yet, there are actually two different types of seats that you can get. We are going to explain everything that you need to know about potty training seats below.

Something that you should know right away is that there is no one potty seat that works magic for every single child. It doesn’t matter which type of seat that you use, as long as your child is comfortable using it. 

The first of these is the standard potty training seat that most parents will use to teach their children how to use the potty. These potty training chairs are the types that are a small chair with a hole in the middle, and a removable pot that you can take out and clean.

They are great for children that have just started potty training due to the fact that they are stable, very easy to use, and they don’t require any difficulties to access them or flushing. They are easy to take around with you and can be moved from room to room when needed.

However, these potty training chairs will need to be emptied and cleaned, which might not be as pleasant. Though the cleaning can become a chore, they are great for teaching your children how to use a potty.

All you have to do is place the potty on a stable and even floor surface, get your child to sit on it, and use your chosen potty training method to teach them to associate it with going to the toilet.

The second type of potty training toy is the toilet adapter seat. This type of seat will fit over the normal household toilet, and they work to make the seat smaller and more comfortable for children to use. These toilet seat adapters work to help children transition from using the potty to using the toilet. There is no cleaning involved, and you can simply flush away the waste.

Some children can find these seats a bit daunting at first, which is to be expected considering all the new things they have been learning and doing.

There is also a high chance that you will need to get some sort of step so that they will be able to get on and off of the toilet by themselves. It can take some time for them to get used to the new experience, but they should be able to with practice. You can get seats that have padding to make them more comfortable, and you can also get flip-up style seats that can stay on the toilet.

How to Use a Potty Training Toilet

Training toilets are another tool that you might find helpful to use when potty training and they can also help with the transition from the potty to the toilet. They are a great middle-ground option that can help your child progress without becoming scared of the toilet.

The potty training toilet will look and feel exactly like a normal toilet, and there will also usually be a button that you can press that will create a realistic flushing sound. Not only does this help them get used to using a toilet, but it also helps them to get used to flushing after they go. 

It is no secret that potty training can be a difficult experience, but using a realistic training toilet can really help to make a difference for those that are struggling. These toilets are very realistic, and they often have a splash guard and a lid that opens and closes to make things more convenient.

The training process with a training toilet is no different than it would be with a potty. Essentially, a training toilet is an extravagant version of the potty, that helps to make things more realistic. To clean the toilet, you just need to take out the removable pot like you would with a potty. 

It has a back that locks in place & fits full-sized wipes, it features an anti-skid rubber base so it won't slide when there's a training session taking place and the pot is removable for easy cleaning.

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