How to Potty Train a Boy?

Read about the many ways you can potty train your boy.

Children were potty trained much faster 60 years ago. Mothers stayed at home and fathers were the working men of the family. Times started to change with the late ’60s and early 70’s revolution when equal rights were an active part of our society.

The Vietnam war changed the baby boomer generation and drugs and alcohol were becoming more predominant in cities. The American people started changing their views, divorce was becoming more popular, sitcoms on television were showing more single parents raising children and the change in styles started with the Hippie and Punk movement.

Music changed and mother’s started going to work. Cloth diapers were out and disposable diapers were in. The age changed for potty training for a boy from under 2 years of age to almost 4 years of age in some family settings. Girls are easier to potty train but boys can be potty trained as well around the age of two. Parents just have to be very consistent.

The Beat Time to Potty Train a Boy

When it comes to teaching a boy how to use the toilet, this takes a good amount of motivation and cooperation from your boy, and your patience and time. The answer to potty training being successful is knowing when to start.

Make sure your little one is showing interest, willing, and also physically able. There are many kids that are ready by 18 months, but others might not be ready until they are over the age of three. Researchers feel that boys tend to stay in their diapers more than girls. Boys are sometimes less interested and are more active, so they don’t have time to think about the potty.

Parents shouldn’t start pushing their son to get ahead because when parents start to potty train too quickly, this just defeats the purpose and the process takes longer. The answer is no matter when parents start, they will still arrive at the same outcome.

Once you have figured out your boy is prepared to train, then it’s time to focus on the perfect timing. Major life changes and stress, like moving into a new house or apartment, or a new baby on the way can make the training to be difficult.

If there is dysfunction in the home environment, it makes potty training harder. Make sure your child has a good routine intact and wait until he seems willing, so your potty training experience turns out to be successful.

Be a Good Role Model

Toddlers learn best by imitating and watching their parents. A first step that is natural is to let them watch you using the toilet. He might notice that mommy and daddy use the toilet differently, and this is a good way to explain to them how girls and boys use the toilet differently.

It’s good to be anatomically correct when you talk about different parts of the body and it’s best to stick to the original name of the genitals like “penis” for boys.  It’s not necessary for silly names for genitals because you don’t use silly names for any other body parts. They might be embarrassed if they are calling their penis a “peepee”, a name so many parents refer to.

Purchase Proper Equipment

When the child is ready, it’s important that they’re able to lean forward with their feet still on the ground when having a bowel movement. Experts in the field think parents should buy a child-like potty, which means your toddler can declare as his own. This also helps him feel safer on a smaller potty than on a regular toilet.

Young kids are very fearful of falling in the toilet and they develop anxiety, which can prolong the process of potty training. You can also buy an adapter seat for the toilet.  If you choose to do this, make sure it’s comfortable and is securely attached. In addition, purchase a stool so your son may get off and on the toilet anytime he wants and can still ground himself with his little feet.

When you buy a toilet for your child, avoid buying one with a urine guard. These might protect the bath from pee but the urine guards can scrape a boy’s penis when they sit down on their potty, which might cause hesitation when it comes time to use it.

This is also a good time to show them fun picture books and videos so they can understand all they need to know about the potty. There are good books out on the market and one book comes with a doll and miniature potty! It’s good to look at book stores or online for helpful potty training books for boys.

Help Your Toddler Feel Comfortable about Using the Toilet

Parents should encourage their children to use the potty. Let your son claim ownership of his new potty. Parents can write the kid’s name on the potty or let them decorate it how they want. Some kids aren’t very vocal at 2 years old so if they don’t like their potty, and refuse to go on it, they might want to use the big toilet like daddy. Whatever the case may be, let your little one try to sit on their toilet with their clothes on to start for a week.

After he’s done this for one week, try to coax him to take off his pants. If he hesitates, don’t put pressure on him. This is a problem that could set back the whole process. If your son has a favorite toy, use it for teaching him how his doll or animal toy goes potty. Most kids enjoy playing with their toys and making the same scenarios as they do, and your child can learn more this way than by just telling them what they should do.

Sometimes you can find toy toilets or make play toilets for their doll or favorite animal toy. This way when your son is sitting on the toilet, he can do it together with his favorite teddy bear.

Make Sure He has Cool Underwear

Show your son the benefits of potty training by shopping for new fancy big boy undies. Give him the choice of picking out the ones he likes most.

Talk about the shopping trip in advance and make it sound really special so he becomes excited about not only using the potty but for wearing real special underwear as daddy does. If he seems apprehensive about putting on the underwear, try and suggest that he put the underwear on over the baby diapers. Once he gets used to them, he will tell you that he wants to get rid of his diapers.

Set a Training Routine

Your schedule depends on you when it comes to getting your son out of their diapers. It also depends on his preschool or daycare schedule. If they’re in school, it’s time to work out your strategies with their teachers. You will have to make a decision about the way you want to alternate diapers and underwear, or just make the change to underwear all day.

It seems like training pants that are disposable are great because it’s easier, however; most parents and experts in the field find it better to use the old fashioned way of putting them right into their underwear. It doesn’t matter if they have to change their underwear a few times a day. 

This is how they get the picture that they don’t like being wet. Pull-Ups just are another form of a glorified diaper and your son doesn’t feel the water against his skin or running down his leg. The usual training pants made of cotton are actually more absorbent while your child is being trained.  If you are cleaning up more accidents, it’s ok because they will understand. Check every 20 to 30 minutes and have their potty close by or in a nearby bathroom.

Parents should make these decisions based on what’s good for the family, including their son. The pediatricians might suggest a few different ways as well. The best thing to do is to keep using diapers at night or the disposable underwear and also when you are out in public with your son. Let the teacher or their other providers use their own judgment for the right time to make the switch to underwear in the school environment.

Boys should be Taught to Sit at First and then Stand

Occasionally, urine and bowel movements arrive at the same time, so it is okay to let your kid sit down when he has to pee and poop at first. This way he learns that both go into the potty. This is also a good way for him not to get distractions by thinking it’s fun to spray. He needs concentration so he can learn how to pee into the toilet while he is standing.

Don’t make him sit longer than 15 minutes, and become sidetracked because you’re playing a game on your phone. Parents make the mistake of letting their boys watch TV or use other devices while on the potty seat, and this is setting you up for failure along with your son.

Once they get comfortable with sitting down, it’s time for him to try standing up. There’s no hurry to get him to stand and he can still pee while sitting down. If your son seems to understand and copies daddy, let him try it on his own. Otherwise, he can sit on the toilet as if he feels comfortable when it comes to peeing. This is why it’s good your son has some kind of male role model so he understands faster.

If your son becomes hesitant, try putting cereal shaped like the letter O in the potty for target shots. Parents will always have to clean the mess from the floor. This will happen until your son gets his aim on the target. If it doesn’t bother you about your son going pee in your yard, try taping or painting a target on the tree.

Remember urine is sterile for the first 30 minutes and remind him that he can’t do this sort of thing in public. This is something you should think about as a parent in regards to future problems growing up.  It’s a ticket to urinate in public by law enforcement, so talk to your child about that as well.

Let Him Experience Nudity

One thing that will help your son is to let him spend time in his birthday suit. This will help him figure out when he has to go to the bathroom. Make sure the potty is close by while he is playing, and have him sit on it during regular intervals. If you let your son play naked, you know the floor might get wet so have him play somewhere that won’t be ruined by a bit of water or you can also remove the furniture and carpets.

Constantly monitor him to see if he is getting ready to go potty. He might start to grab himself or to jump up and down in one place, and these are indications that he probably has to go potty. Make sure you are very attentive during potty training time so you can accomplish this feat in as little as 3 days if you are consistent enough. Do this routine consistently and the more time your son is not wearing diapers, the quicker he will learn to be independent.


Your child will most likely have their fair share of accidents, but sooner or later, he will gain a feeling of accomplishment because he made it to the potty and put something in it. This is when you celebrate and make this a special occasion. Make sure you keep reminding him that he reached a huge step in his life and give him a reward. He can watch a video or you can take him to the park and stay longer than usual so he can play.  This is important to little boys when they are learning to potty train. They gain more confidence and self-esteem after they have mastered something like potty training. Don’t make a big deal about every single trip to the bathroom, because this can start to make your child nervous and embarrassed from too much attention.

If You don’t Succeed at First, Try Again!

Learning to go potty is a skill and the more your son uses the pot, the more he will succeed at getting better at it. There are a few ways you can make it easier for them. Make sure your son has clothing is loose and can be removed easily. You can also buy underpants that are one size bigger. If your son still troubles with going potty, don’t punish him. This will completely defeat your purpose because your child will feel like they did something wrong.  When you feel frustrated, just remember that using the wrong tone with your child for going potty, might mean buying more diapers. Remember, using the potty is another skill just like learning to ride a bike. Accidents happen with any skill your son is going to learn. There are kids that have used the toilet for months and still have an occasional accident.

If you get to the point and you don’t feel like you are making much progress or your son is getting too frustrated, give it a break for a while.

Make It Fun

If you present potty training like a fun activity, your child will definitely feel more motivated. Try using some colored food into the potty. Kids will be excited that they can watch the water turn green. You can also put a bunch of his books in your magazine rack if you have one. Put this next to the potty so he can open them and read whenever he sits on it. You can also choose to read them their favorite story. 

If your child is no longer interested in the potty but is on a good way to learn, you can start offering rewards. Try using a calendar to keep track of all of his feats and stickers. Whenever he uses the potty correctly, give him a sticker to stick on the page. He can then watch how many stickers he gets and this too might help to keep him motivated and not bored. If you find the stickers are tripping his trigger, try another reward, like his favorite food, or a toy. You can do this when he collects all the stickers or stays dry all day for a week at a time.

Move on to Night-Time

When your son is beginning to stay dry during the day, you can start thinking about your plan for the night training. When he is easily using the potty during the day, then start to check the diapers after naptime and in the mornings during the six months after day training is completed.

Nighttime training takes more time because your son has a small bladder and he can only hold urine for so long. This can take a few months or sometimes years before your child’s body is mature enough to stay dry all night. This is also normal and according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, ten percent of 7-year-olds and five percent of 10-year-olds still have bedwetting accidents.

When your son wants to sleep without diapers, let him try it. If the first few nights show that he’s not ready, then put the diapers back on and don’t act disappointed or judge him.  You can explain that he may be ready but his body isn’t ready yet for not wearing diapers at night. Simply tell him that he will soon be old enough and he can try again.

If your child can stay dry for 3 out of 5 nights, you can start congratulating him into underwear “all day and all night long!’  Remember don’t give them a big sippy cup of water or milk before bedtime or after 5 pm.

You have to support him trying hard and staying dry by watching the liquid intake. Have him go to the bathroom before he goes to sleep. If they’re having a problem staying dry during the night, don’t fret.  Kids are going to have accidents at night for a while until they are well on their way into grade school.

Time to Get Rid of the Diapers

This is a good time to start reflecting on the hard work your son has done along with the help of his family with his potty training achievements.  When your son has reached the finish line and he’s ready to stop using diapers, he has really mastered a major skill and has accomplished a lot for a 2-year-old boy.  He has built his own self-esteem and confidence with your consistent help and feels like a big boy now.

This is a good time for parents to congratulate them by telling them they have achieved the goal of wearing underwear. Then ask him to give away any new diapers that are leftover to a family with babies or younger kids. Your whole family can have a small party and dance, make some popcorn, have a grill out and have some relatives come over.