After talking to a lot of my Mommy friends, I have come to the conclusion that boys can be harder to potty train than girls. In my house this is true, at least. My daughter seemed to automatically take to the potty, and has had very few, if any, accidents. Both of my boys were stubborn when it came time to use the potty, even though they completely understood the concept.
If potty training your boys has you ripping your hair out and feeling like you're at your wits end, don't despair! I have 5 great tips and tricks that should make your stubborn little men racing to their potty in no time.
- Be Patient. Be very, very patient. First, please keep in mind, there is no right age for potty training. Some kids learn very young, while others may require a bit more time. The key is to be sure that your child is physically and emotionally ready to take the plunge. (Yes, the cheesy toilet pun was totally intended.) Some signs of potty training readiness include staying dry for longer periods of time or overnight, asking questions about the potty, and alerting a parent right away once a diaper is soiled. Some children will also have an undeniable "potty face" that they make when they need to relieve themselves. Learn this face, and be sure that the potty is available in a hurry should it appear.
- Streaking is FUN Okay, maybe not so much. However, allowing your little man to run around naked while introducing the potty can be very beneficial. As he learns the signals that he needs to go, there may not always be time to fiddle with annoying things like buttons and zippers. So by letting it all hang out, he saves valuable time, making it to the potty in time and potentially saving you the need to shampoo the carpet or do yet another load of laundry. In time, he will be more prepared to handle the urge to go, and will make it to the potty in plenty of time to disrobe. Trust me here...Having some "Naked Time" can really make the start of potty training easier. For him AND for you.
- Let him watch Daddy pee. In my home, being a parent means there is very little privacy. This means that when we need to use the restroom, little people have absolutely no problem barging in, or sticking their little fingers under the door while they plead for attention. This invasion of privacy can come in handy during potty training, though. Little boys can learn a lot about the Art of Peeing, simply by watching their Daddy go. Now if only my husband could aim....But that's a different post entirely.
- Start off sitting down. This may sound like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many little boys try and pee standing up from the get-go, and then get frustrated when they can't make it into the toilet bowl. Until your little man fully understands how to control and aim his equipment, sitting down while peeing might be a better option. One that will prevent a great deal of mess, too!
- Give him a target. When it IS time to have your little guy try his hand at standing while he goes, it might help to give him something to aim at. Sure, the toilet bowl itself is a big enough target, but that isn't any fun. We have given Xander and Kyle things like Fruit Loops or even a ping pong ball. All you do is place them in clean toilet water, and tell him to SINK them. Trust me, if you turn this into a game, he will be much more interested in succeeding. My boys were!
Potty training can be a chore for little boys as well as their weary, exhausted parents. Keep your head up, and keep trying! Offer kind words of encouragement, and remember, potty training is a journey and doesn't happen overnight. (Usually.) Patience is key. Most of all, enjoy these moments. Our little boys grow so fast, so remember to relish in these little milestones and enjoy them!
How did YOU successfully potty train your sons? I'd love to hear some more tips and tricks!