Many aspects of potty training are the same for boys and girls alike, but in this post I am going to cover a few unique aspects of potty training boys. Thinking through these tips from the start will make potty training much easier for you and your son.
Sit or Stand?
When your child first begins potty training, they don’t have a lot of body awareness and will be learning to identify those sensations along the way for both peeing and pooping. The more your little boy sits down to pee, the more likely you are to catch a poop in the process. You don’t want to complicate the process and split toilet training into two separate jobs: urination and bowel training.
Children must sit and relax on the potty in order to have a bowel movement, and BMs often happen at the same time as urination, so sitting down often makes for more effective and easier training.
Another point in the sit versus stand decision is this: many children are not tall enough to master aiming at the bowl when they begin training. If your little boy is too short to properly reach the toilet, you will be cleaning up unnecessary messes, and he’ll be learning poor toilet manners from the start. There are toddler-sized urinals available on the market, but like stated above, this could interfere with bowel movement training. Having your son sit down on his potty chair and having him get into the habit of holding his penis pointing downward into the bowl will be a good place to start, and it will help prevent many future messes.
If your son is using a full-size toilet, you can have him sit and straddle the toilet seat facing backwards. This makes it easy for him to climb up, puts him in the proper position for elimination, and you’ll avoid the overspray that can wet anything nearby.
Transition to Standing
Children must sit and relax on the potty in order to have a bowel movement, which is why sitting down in the beginning stages of training is more effective and easier. Of course, there will come a day when you can start the transition to peeing standing up into a regular toilet.
This transition can start happening once your little guy is doing well with potty training and is tall enough to reach the toilet bowl easily. Throw in a square of toilet paper, specially made potty-time targets, or a few Cheerios to help him perfect his aim.
Good Toilet Manners
Start teaching good toilet manners from the beginning! Teach your little boy to lift the seat to pee, and then return it to the lower position when done, and not to spray anywhere but in the bowl. If you make this a habit from the start, he will always do it this way. The women in your son’s life will be very appreciative that they don’t ever have to endure the unpleasant surprise of sitting on a wet spot or the cold porcelain bowl.
Do Boys Potty Train Slower than Girls?
It is common for people to think that boys take longer to potty train than girls, and overall there does tend to be a slight difference. Studies show that girls are one to three months ahead of boys in displaying readiness skills for potty training; however, this difference is insignificant in the big picture.
These general guidelines also vary greatly when you look at individual children. Every child is unique, and the age range for starting and finishing potty training is quite broad. The whole process itself can take up to a year, so a few months difference is not a huge factor.
Potty training timing mostly depends on individual personality traits, readiness factors, the age of training, and the parent’s approach. Follow your child’s cues, think through the process, and you will be on the success side of potty training without any major bumps in the road!