Potty training: Boy edition

Filed under: Toddlers Preschoolers, Preschoolers, Resources

Having successfully survived the trials and tribulations of toilet training four boys automatically earns me the title of "Male Potty Training Expert" among new parents. However, when anyone asks how I transitioned them from raunchy diaper-fillers to super dooper potty poopers, I truthfully say I still have NO IDEA.

The terrifying thing I learned early on about potty training is that you cannot force a kid to do it, it has to be their own decision. (If a kid figures this out too early in the game, you are SCREWED, by the way.)

Here are a few potty training tips that seemed to work in our household:

  • Don't waste money on a potty chair. Instead, get a little step stool and show your little guy how to climb up on seat of the regular toilet, facing the tank to get the job done. It's much harder for little bums to accidentally fall in when positioned this way AND allows the child a better view of the jet-stream action.
  • Never underestimate the excitement of being allowed to pee on a target! Throw in a few Cheerios to encourage a reluctant wee-er. (A word of caution: If you're not vigilant or clear on the rules of engagement, you might find other, less flush-able objects tossed in the commode. ASK ME HOW I KNOW!)
  • There are books and DVDS about potty training that are helpful in getting the idea of toilet training across. "Everyone Poops" and "Once Upon a Potty" were well-read favorites among my boys and "It's Potty Time" video is annoying as all get out, but does have some of the best potty training lyrics EVER.
    For example:
    "He is a super dooper pooper, he can potty with the best! No more diapers to get in his way, we are really impressed!"
    "Wipe, wipe, wipe yourself always front to back! Carefully, carefully, now you have the knack!"
    "On top of your potty, you're sitting to poop. Life is so much sweeter,
    when your diapers don't droop."

    (Caution, I haven't seen this video for nearly 4 years, YET I STILL KNOW THE WORDS TO EVERY SONG.) ((Also, it contains a freaky clown and everything involving freaky clowns should come with a warning label, yet doesn't for some reason.))
  • This is one of the few areas of parenthood where I found bribery to be acceptable. Actually, it's less "bribery" and "payment for poops rendered." If I'm asking the child to leave whatever they were doing to sit on the toilet rather than just going in a diaper uninterrupted, I think that's worthy of a treat. It might just be ONE M&M or mini marshmallow from in the sacred "Potty Treats" jar, but that was enough of an incentive to get them out of diapers entirely, eventually.

Do you have boy toilet training tips or tales to share?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.