Explain potty training just like you do anything else.
It’s important to remember that for the first two or so years of his life, peeing and pooping in a diaper was just the way the world worked. Now that you’re ready to potty train him, you can’t just expect him to understand why, all of a sudden, he has to pee in a weird bowl. It’s a good idea to start out by introducing him to his area a few weeks before the onset of potty training and explain what it is and what it’s used for. Do so in a fun way by making up a rhyme or telling him a story. There are also plenty of toilet training books available that are geared toward boys that you can start introducing him to prior to potty training.
Don’t push sitting or standing. Give them a choice.
Many experts will tell you to start the potty training process with boys sitting down. This is because it’s believed to eliminate the confusion associated with sitting and standing. However, this doesn’t apply to all boys, just like not all boys like peanut butter and jelly. It’s important to give your boy a choice between sitting and standing and find out what works best for him. Boys are designed to urinate standing, so it makes sense that not all boys want to sit down. Plus, they’ve most likely seen dad standing in the bathroom, so they might be more curious to do the deed just like him. Get a potty chair that makes sitting and standing simple, comfortable and fun, like the Potty Wiz.
Give him a role model right away.
You show your son how to eat, how to sleep, how to play – why wouldn’t you show them how to urinate both sitting and standing? At the onset of potty training, whether it’s mom or dad, show him how to do the process both ways. If dad isn’t around, take a water bottle and pretend you’re peeing standing up. Like anything else, he needs to be shown.
Be aware of genital injuries due to training on the adult toilet.
Believe it or not, the toilet your little boy is afraid of can actually pose a health risk. Genital injuries due to falling toilet seats are not uncommon, in fact, the risk seems to be increasing. Between 2002 and 2010, researchers found the number of emergency room visits for toilet-related injuries to the penis increased by about 100 visits each year.
To prevent this, use a small kid-size potty chair when training a child to stand and, if you do decide to use the toilet seat, ensure the child stands on a non-skid stool so his anatomy is out of the range of the falling toilet seat lid. You can also invest in a soft-close seat and lid.
Make it a game.
Boys love a good game more than anything, especially when it comes to potty training. If they find something boring or stressful, they’re going to give it up faster than last night’s cooked carrots. You need to ensure the process is fun and stress-free. You can use a cool potty training chart like ours, invest in a potty training board game, make up a potty song to sing while going, or toss cereal pieces in the pot as an aiming tool and offer rewards and incentives for hitting the mark. There are plenty of ways to make potty training fun for your boy.
Buy a potty training doll.
We’re talking about a boy doll or even a stuffed animal that accompanies your child to the potty every time he goes and makes him feel comforted. There are plenty on the market, but some favorites are the Potty Monkey and the Potty Scotty dolls. Having a potty companion that they help “teach” to go potty will make them feel more autonomous and encouraged.
Forget the underwear and the pants and pick up some carpet cleaner.
The best approach to potty training is investing a lot of carpet cleaner and skipping the pants and underwear when possible. This allows your boy to realize when he’s made an accident and see the result of it rather that it getting absorbed into clothing. Truthfully, this is probably going to take a few months of pants-free evenings and weekends, but your time will pay off in the end.
Do your product research.
This is one of the most important tips. Please be aware that not all products are made the same and a cool character design or color should not be mistaken for practicality. A good chair or other tool will probably cost you a little more initially, but save you a lot of stress, mess and money because you won’t need to buy follow up products. We highly recommend adding a travel potty to your shopping list.
Consider purchasing a multifunctional potty seat designed for boys.
The Potty Wiz, which can be pre-ordered now on Kickstarter, is a good option for a multifunctional seat because it’s a potty chair that accommodates a young boy in the sitting and standing position, rids training of stress and mess, and encourages autonomy in all stages of potty training. Not only does the Potty Wiz work when sitting or standing, it also allows a young child to urinate naturally standing, without the need to learn how to aim at such a young age. It also features a built-in target, so when the child is ready to aim, it makes the process a fun and rewarding game.
Kids know when parents are stressed. And the worst time to be stressed is when potty training your boy. He will feel your stress, it will make him stressed and there’s a good chance it will make the process harder. Remember, it’s a process and an important life skill and he’ll master it eventually.
By Kaylee Wickline, mom of two boys and founder of the Potty Wiz.