Potty Training your Son: Where to Begin
Parents all seem to agree. Potty training your son can be a frustrating process. Do you train your child to sit down or stand up? Can you explain it in a way your baby understands? Potty training girls is said by many to be a much easier process. So, what’s the big difference? Well, for one thing, girls sit to alleviate themselves. Another reason for the difference is strictly developmental. Where girls are designed to first master fine motor skills at a young age, boys are working on gross motor skills. Translation: girls can sit down and focus and boys need to move around. They wiggle, they jump, they learn better when they are active.
Our friends at Zero to Three shared that 22% of children are out of diapers by 2½, and 88% of children are out of diapers by 3½. Now that we know it can happen, it leads to the ultimate question, how can you, as a parent, make potty training fun and engaging so that your son can learn at his best while keeping it all in the bowl?
1. Evaluate Training Age
Not all children are ready to begin toilet training at the same time. Age and ability must come into consideration. Never push your kids into potty training if they aren’t ready. This can cause anxiety issues and a negative view of the toilet. So, how do you know when he is ready so you can start potty training your son? Does he seem curious about toilet usage? Can he sit down calmly on the toilet first before using it? (Try the baby potty first, even if nothing happens, just have him sit on it).
2. Buy a Training Toilet
When it comes to potty training your son, remember potty training begins early. It can be difficult for young boys to learn on a regular toilet. Until he’s ready for it, start him off on a little plastic one. Some even come with fun sounds when the handle is pushed. Once he’s mastered that, have him try the big potty. Just don’t forget to teach him to lift the seat!
3. Target Practice
Sometimes boys have a hard time hitting the toilet bowl. Though this may sound odd, when potty training your son, turn it into a game to make things fun for your little one. Take some plain Cheerios and toss a handful into the bowl. Have your son aim for them. As he masters hitting the targets, he’ll be learning without realizing it and you’ll be relieved there’s less to clean up once he’s done.
Be sure to remind yourself when potty training your son, that accidents will happen. The first time you put your child in underwear, don’t be surprised if they expect it to act just like their old diapers. It’s not a huge deal. Hands wash, furniture can be cleaned, and laundry will get out the rest. It may take a few tries before he realizes how uncomfortable he is in wet underwear. Some even argue that taking away the diapers and just suffering through the accidents actually encourages mastery of the toilet at a faster pace.
5. The Nude Approach
Some parents have actually found success by letting their child run around the house in the nude! While this might sound odd, it helps bring the child’s attention to bodily functions. It also helps parents keep track of the child’s frequency. Keeping track of when your son goes will help you learn how many hours apart he needs to go. It will also help prevent accidents once a routine has been established. You’re getting closer and closer to your goals by potty training your son.
6. Keep a Schedule
When potty training your son, this step is a ‘must’ when you switch your son from diapers to underwear. You want him to get into the habit of using the toilet before he soils himself. Just like with a puppy, you must establish the potty training ideal of where to go and what you expect of your child. Say he needs to go every two to three hours. You can take your son to his potty and have him sit or stand at the approximate time to encourage him to go. This behavior can reinforce what it is you want him to do.⏰
7. Reward Good Behavior
This is essential to potty training your son! No, it doesn’t mean run out to the store to raid the toy aisle every two hours. You can buy a bag of M&M’s or something that’s small (but easy to chew and not a choking hazard) and simply hand one out. Be sure to add positive praise and a smile as well. You want your son to feel proud and associate toilet training with good behavior. Once he tackles this, he’ll be on his way to mastering bigger and better things!✅✅