Potty Training Tips for Boys. Is it really that hard potty training boys?

I want to give you some potty training tips for boys. Potty training boys can be a little more challenging than girls, but I know from my many years of experience that it is really just different, not impossible! You should read the basics for Potty Training Problems first. OR if you want to jump straight to my Potty Training Girls page.

diaper gas

As I mentioned before, I do believe girls are a bit easier when it comes to potty training than the boys. They seem to be able to "hold it" (peeing) longer at an earlier age. Just my opinion! All kids are different- some are ready earlier than others, some need diapers at night, some may do awesome one week and then next week have daily accidents, some may get it figured out in a day or two and never have an accident again! This is some information that parents need to hear. You'll have to reassure them that accidents do happen. And if their child has an older sibling, they should not expect this potty experience to be the same. It is extremely hard not to compare! (I know, I have 2 children of my own).

In fact, both of my children (they are both in their 20's now) are boys. Back in the 80's they were toddlers. My philosophy on potty training tips for boys came from my mom... "They should be going on the toilet before they reach the age of 2!" (ready or not!) Wow, did that cause some stress, not only for me, but the boys, too. I was able to accomplish this, though. (They were both completely potty trained prior to their 2nd birthdays). And in an odd sort of way it helped me in how I have been able to be successful in potty training boys in my daycare home for many years and be able to give you these potty training tips for boys.

group of babies diapered

Certainly my philosophy has changed. Years ago, disposable diapers were a relatively modern convenience and very expensive and we simply couldn't afford them. We used cloth diapers with "safety" (agh!) pins and rubber pants. My 22 month old little toddlers knew when they were wet and didn't like the feeling at all. They would walk funny, pull the diaper away from themselves, etc. That was the "magic", if you will, of the cloth- They didn't like the FEELING!Makes perfect sense to me!

Here is what I have learned from this and experienced to give you my potty training tips for boys:

How old should the little guys be when you start potty training boys?

That's a good question! I can guarantee you that the correct answer is definitely not 2! What I know is it all depends on their readiness. Read on...

So how will you know (and the moms and dads)?

Watch for these signs for potty training boys:

- His diaper may be staying dry for several hours. (This means the bladder muscles are developed enough)

- He knows what peeing or pooping is.

- He may TELL you he peed or pooped (of course it is usually too late for you to get him on the toilet, but at least he is beginning to realize what he is doing!)

- He may TELL you he wants to go pee or poop (or whatever he'll call it...pee pee, poopie, wee wee, ackie- you get the idea)

- He may want to sit on the toilet or pretend he is sitting on a toilet with his clothes on, or he'll even pretend his toys are going potty.

- He has a bowel movement at a (usually) predictable time -sometimes he will go squat in a corner or try to hide! Please note this because of ALL of my potty training tips for boys, this seems to be the most common sign!!

- He is able to "push" when he has to poop.

- He can pull his pants up or down.

- He shows interest in others going to the bathroom- he'll want to know what they are doing.

- He doesn't like wearing a wet/poopie diaper. (This is much easier with cloth! If this is something you use in your daycare, potty training for boys may start earlier than with disposable diapers).

- He isn't afraid of the toilet. baby potty chair

So here are my potty training tips for boys- These have worked for me for 30 years!

Now that you have all of the signs that he is ready for learning to use the toilet, how do you proceed?

How you should prepare for potty training boys:

- I have found that boys that are put in "big boy underwear" with plastic pants over them, and NOT pull-ups do remarkably well. Yes, he will most likely have accidents and it can be messy to clean up.However...when you are potty training boys and he wears a pull-up it really isn't any different than a diaper. Pull-ups pull the wetness away from them as a disposable diaper does, and he will not get the discomfort of being wet. And when he goes poopie in his underwear, he will know it. (remember the potty training tips for boys about squatting in the corner!) The majority of all the little boys I have trained have NOT liked this feeling or their smell.

- I ask the parents to bring me several pairs of underwear and plastic pants along with several pairs of pants/shorts and socks (some times stuff dribbles down their legs). The plastic pants help to keep their clothes from getting soaked or soiled (as well as your floors/furniture). They hold "stuff" in!


- I do recommend putting a diaper or pull-up on during nap time until they are consistently dry during this time for a couple of weeks.

- When you start potty training boys, be sure to take him to the potty every 20-30 minutes. You should give him adequate time to go, but don't stay in there too long. (More than likely you will not be able to because of the other children you need to watch in your daycare.) Should he sit or stand? It is really up to him. He may have to sit if he is not tall enough to reach. One of my child care provider associates will sit the boys backwards on the seat to keep the pee in the toilet.(One of her potty training tips for boys!) baby with hand up for potty - When he does go potty, be sure to tell him what a wonderful job he's done!! (We practically have a party the first few times!) All kidding aside, I usually will give him a stamp or sticker or small treat (if parents allow).

- Be sure to share with parents all of his accomplishments and accidents in the day. If he has had a bowel movement, let them know when.

- I put all soiled underwear and clothes in a plastic bag for parents to take home.(Then outside on my front porch). I don't have the time in my day to do laundry... this will be up to you how you will want to handle this- I recommend you send them home.

- Be consistent every day- remember what I said about parents, too!

- If he cries and is scared when it's time to go potty then I would stop. You can try again at a later date. Learning to use the toilet should be a positive experience for him!

That is about it for potty training tips for boys, for more information on potty training, see my Potty Training Problems page!

Potty training boys isn't always the easiest, but hang in there... he will catch on!

Remember- With your patience, consistency, and my potty training tips for boys we will get the little guy using the toilet in no time!


Go to the top of Potty Training Tips for Boys. OR for my Potty Training Girls page.


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