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 and potty training readiness is determined by his own social,
psychological and physical development. For some additional tips regarding your
son's readiness, check out our article entitled
Training-When Should I Start?
Should he sit or stand when first
learning to use the potty?
Different techniques work for different children. Some boys jump right
into imitating brothers, fathers or uncles and urinate standing up. It
may be easier and less frustrating, though, for the child to initially
learn to use the potty while sitting down. Since bowel movements and
urination often happen at the same time, it makes sense to have your son
start by sitting on the toilet. That way, he can feel a sense of success
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, he should be
guided by a male role model. 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 remember to
give positive encouragement any time he tries to get his stream in the
toilet. You may want to make a game out of it. Put some cheerios or
other biodegradable "targets" in the toilet for your son to use 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
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 up onto using a stool. If he is
more timid, his own 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 irritate your son's penis. 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 with your son while he is sitting on the potty. For an extra
incentive, try using a
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/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 entitled
Potty Training At Daycare and
Finally, have fun with your son! Make potty training
enjoyable. Have fun spending time with your son reading potty books,
watching potty videos, and working on a potty chart. Give lots of good
feedback. Kids will continue to participate in fun, positive activities.
If it becomes a power struggle or you find yourself becoming frustrated,
take some time out and reassess whether it's the best time to potty