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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 and potty training readiness is determined by his own social, psychological and physical development.

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 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, 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 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 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 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/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 Preschool.

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 train.