Are You Ready?
Potty training boys…! Is your son ready? Are there signs of readiness? Visual cues?
Girls and boys have different needs when it comes to potty training, and I have no clue how it works with a girl, so let’s keep it for the boys on this one. The best way to know when your son is ready to do ‘peepee’ or ‘poopie'(we use these two terms at home, so bear with me) alone at the toilet is to listen to him.
Although most children are potty trained by the age of 4, in the United States, it’s important to know that all kids are very different. Some kids start as early as 18 months old! No judging, no comparing on this one, your son will go do the ‘do’ when the time is right! It’s a big deal!
The potty training process is one of the most talked about topics on dad forums, along with pull ups, toilet seats, a reward system, or even wet wipes. So what’s the next step?
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Here are some tips for potty training for boys that will help you and your little man get through this special moment together. Keep in mind that most of our training was done on a full-size toilet but did use a baby bjorn mini toilet when he was tiny. Many will start with baby toilets that are easily accessible but this post revolves around the big boy version.
Potty challenges will occur but with simple language and with a good planning phase a successful trip to the potty will be in the near future.
no more diapers!
Don’t get ahead of yourself just yet…
This is not only an important factor of parenting as a whole but also here…potty training for boys takes time. It’s a new skill. He needs family members to guide him with positive reinforcement. Your little guy is not a machine and his bowel movement might come and go.
Keep in mind he’s never aimed at a toilet before. Depending on his age he might still be too wobbly on his legs or even too short to reach over the rim of the toilet bowl. So he might need physical support or have a little urinal while attempting his aim. It might take a long time to get adjusted but that’s why you’re there as professional help.
We all love a good routine around the house to keep things in check, and this goes with ‘going peepee or poopie’ as well. Establish a morning potty training routine to have your son ‘go’ after breakfast or first thing after waking up. As previously mentioned, a nighttime routine is also great for everyone involved.
If you haven’t started a routine yet, set a start date. It’s an important milestone in your boy’s life. Make it awesome.
Remember this is all NEW to your son. Either he’s aiming while standing or sitting down waiting for his bowel to move, it’s all new. He’ll get the hang of all this in no time, but during the unknown phase, he needs to be comfortable with his surroundings. This might include closing the door, keeping the door open, having a parent present, or having no one present!
Sheesh…It’s all different, it’s all new. Bring him comfort while he does the ‘do’ and it’ll all work out fine.
This is a doozy because we don’t know when it’s coming! That’s why a good potty training for boys routine works wonders. Can you time your own bowel movements? Probably not to a tee, but you can understand your needs because you’ve been doing it for decades.
Your son on the other hand has just entered a whole new world without diapers, so he needs to understand his body and how to express it to you. If it takes extra time, let it be. The right time will come soon but a lot of time will be needed for toilet use to become comfortable for him.
5-Sitting vs standing method
If your son is too weak or too short to stand while urinating, you can try to have him sit down in the beginning until he can stand and do it. This will also give him confidence for when he needs to sit for ‘poopies’. Make sure that you are giving him a hand so that he doesn’t fall into the water, as your little one might be small enough to fall through.
We used a potty training seat which was very helpful. Some are adjustable to the growth of your child.
6-Accept a mess
…to a certain limit of course. It’s ok if your boy makes a mess when he begins wearing regular underwear instead of a diaper, but it’s important to let me know that it’s a mistake but he should not make too many of them as he’s a ‘big boy’ now.
If you nonchalantly tell him it’s ok all the time, he will not learn the importance of this important phase. Remember #1 on the list.
7-Get an hourglass(a sand clock)
A good idea is to get the one that has a 3-minute time frame. It’s great for keeping track and letting him know that 3 minutes is a limit that you put on. Of course, he will often take more than 3 minutes, this is mostly for ‘show’ and routine building. This clock will also serve later when he’ll need to know how long he should brush his teeth.
8-Praise, plenty of it
Don’t overdo it with this one. Yes giving him some praise is great as he reaches a new milestone, but don’t let him expect the same fantastical reaction each time he ‘goes’. Praise and praise some more, at first, with hugs, kisses, and jigs around the house, but that should be kept at a minimum as the days go by.
Honestly, the first step to toilet training children is to make sure that it’s a positive experience from day one.
Night time rituals
You should limit the liquids your son drinks 2 hours before his bedtime routine. This will make sure that his bladder is not overly full. To make the idea work best is to (obviously) let him urinate before his sleep time.
Not only will this make his body more relaxed it will also help him sleep more soundly and he will not toss and turn as much as having a full bladder during the night. The same goes for poopies!
++Another quick tip here is for you and/or your wife to go to the bathroom and keep the door open. Why? It’ll show your son that it’s ok to poop and that everyone does it. It’s a natural thing and there’s nothing to be intimidated by or scared of.
First and lastly GOOD LUCK! Don’t overthink this…The good news is that he’ll learn much quicker than you think. You can also invest in a sticker chart. He will surely want to prove himself to you with his best efforts so have fun!
I’d like to say that when I trained my son, it was a game of Russian roulette. My wife and I were, and still are, a dedicated team. We tried no diapers during the day and that was quite successful, but the night version was a little difficult.
Funny enough we only had one or two ‘accidents’ with urine at night, it was the step-by-step approach we used that made the training successful. Surely the routine part of this list along with comfort is tops in my mind as these two helped my son understand the new way of living that he was starting.
The toilet training process seems daunting at first but once a new routine comes your boy will find his own way.
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