If you are a parent trying to figure out how to potty train your son, you may think it will be more complicated than teaching a little girl. While there are obvious differences overall, the process is basically the same for both genders. Here are some specific guidelines to follow when you are potty training your little boy.
When to Start
It is widely accepted that boys take longer to train and learn later than girls. However, this is not proven to be true. Realistically, a boy can be anywhere from 2 to 4 when they learn how to use the potty, give or take a few months.
Of course you cannot just rely on age, as there are clues that your child will show you when they are ready to stop using diapers. Here are some of the major ones:
- Complains about diapers
- Asks about underwear
- Inquires about the toilet
- Knows when he needs to go
- Can dress and undress himself
- Can support his own weight
When you child is showing you some of these clues, it is time to think about starting the preliminary steps of training. The preliminary steps involve showing your son the basic steps of what the training will involve.
- Buy all the tools you need. This means start buying potty training books or videos on the subject, a potty chair, and whatever else you think you will need to instruct your child on how to use the potty.
- Consult friends. You probably know other people that have been in your position before. Ask around for tips and tricks from the parents that have successfully potty trained their boys. They will be a wealth of knowledge and may be able to save you some time and money.
- Show your little one what you bought for him. This will probably include his own potty, new underwear, easy to remove clothing, and the books or videos you chose. You can read the books to him and show him the videos to get him ready for the whole process.
After you introduce these steps and he gets familiar with them, it is time to show him what to do. Lots of parents agree that it is easier to break the lessons up. For instance, you might want to teach him to pee sitting down first, then how to go number 2, and then to urinate standing up, so don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to teach all three things at once.
Before trying anything for himself, he will need to know what to do. So when he shows interest, it is okay for him to watch as his mom or dad goes to the bathroom. It isn’t something gross; there is no other way to learn except to see what is going on in there. If you are the shy type or uncomfortable with your child watching you or your partner, there are also baby dolls or stuffed animals that can be used to illustrate the point. For example, you could show a doll sitting down on the potty, washing their hands, and other things, although again, these would be easier for your son to follow if he were watching an actual person do them.
At this stage he knows what to do and it is time to see if he can emulate what he has seen. Start asking him daily if he wants to use the potty, to see what he says. If he seems interested, take him to his own potty and let him relax on it. It is okay if he doesn’t go on it at first, because he is learning what to do when he has to use the bathroom. Keep trying this until he goes on the potty more often than not.
It is easier to teach a child to use a potty in the daytime and allow them to wear pull-up diapers at night. The pull-ups are not hindering the learning process because they are designed to help the child know when they are wet, which is something they are figuring out at this stage, but aren’t fully skilled yet.
Keep trying these dry runs until they consistently work or until he always tells you when he needs to go and grabs his potty to do his business.
The Sky is The Limit
Now that he has mastered how to go and where to go, you can institute the rest of the steps. He should be taught how to pee, number 2, wiping, and washing his hands, although of course, he will need help wiping, but it doesn’t hurt for him to learn the process. It also may take a while for him to master all these steps, as some children can take a few months to learn everything.
Other Helpful Pointers
The general guidelines have been discussed, but there are a few additional things to keep in mind when potty training your son.
- You should always encourage your child and never scold them when they make a mistake or have an accident.
- Rewards are good to have when he does a good job with his training. Some good examples are stickers, a special reward system, or a toy. Anything he really wants and will look forward to getting will work.
- Nobody is perfect. Even when he is consistently going in the potty and hasn’t slipped up, anything can cause him to have an off day. Don’t get discouraged because this is perfectly normal.
With this collection of knowledge, you will be able to train your little guy on how to use the potty when the time comes. It is a very important lesson to learn but not a lesson that you should not dread teaching him. You can gather all the information and ask for all the help and advice you can, and then follow these simple steps to teach your kid in the most efficient way possible.