10 Great Tips for Potty Training Boys

10 Great Tips for Potty Training Boys Picture

I have potty trained three dudes in my lifetime.

Okay, 2 and a half, because the last one pretty much did the whole thing on his own, under protest from me.

People who read my blog see The Dudes, diaper free and awesome, and immediately seek advice on how they can get their kids out of diapers and into underwear without pulling their heads bald.

So, let me help with that.

10 Great Tips for Potty Training Dudes without Losing Your Mind in the Process

1.  Wait a little.  Nothing says your kid has to be toilet trained and working on his memoirs by the time he celebrates his second birthday.  And, I know, I know, your mom is brow beating you because you were trained and making your own breakfast by that time.  Don’t listen to that noise, because chances are, you weren’t trained, SHE was.  To make sure that she rationed your beverage intake and took you to sit on the potty at regularly scheduled intervals.  Yes, this strategy works, but it’s also kinda sucky.  Wait until your child’s physical and psychological development progress a bit and it will be a more natural process for everyone.  

2.  Watch the signs.  Does your little man have interest in using the potty?  Does he talk about it or show any signs of even knowing that there is a special place for that and it’s NOT his diaper?!  Kids start to show interest in the potty and what goes down in one when their brains tell them they might be ready to try one out.  If your Dude is oblivious to those goings on, it may be a sign that he’s not going to be a potty boss by week’s end.

3.  No potty, no pants. We spent a lot of time sans pants while potty training. Having a visual on, um, things allowed me to more easily note when things were about to pop off and it helped them be more aware of things too. At our house, when you entered Potty Training Camp (see below), you also relinquished your right to wear pants unless otherwise noted.

4.  Get the right tools.  I am a huge proponent of using good old fashion cotton undies from the start.  I didn’t use Pull-ups to train any of my Dudes because, when you break it down, Pull Ups are really just elastic waisted diapers.  The Dudes could be  comfy with knowing that they could just pee their Pull-Up and no one would be any the wiser. Even the “feeling” ones didn’t bother them enough to make them stop it.  There is something about standing in a puddle of your own urine that many kids just don’t enjoy, making it an experience they actively want to avoid duplicating.  We certainly used Pull-ups when we went out of the house.  But at home it was all undies (or nothing) all the time. 

5.  Host a Potty Training Camp. Every time I potty trained a Dude I devoted a week to the effort.  One week of hardcore trying: going commando, following them around the house with a a wad of paper towels and a bottle of disinfectant in hand, and keeping the eagle eye trained on them for any signs of squatting. If, at the end of said week, potty trainee was still actively avoiding the throne or just peeing on my floor to spite me, we’d throw in the towel, literally, and leave them alone about it for a couple of months.


6.  Ask for help. Dudes learn dude stuff easiest from other dudes. Get dad (or another male relative you trust) to take your little guy into the potty a few times and show him the learn-how-to-pee-like-a-man ropes. It’s amazing how fascinated little guys get when they learn that THAT can do THAT once they’ve witnessed it. Everything mom has going on in the bathroom is just soooo much less interesting.

7.  Don’t get caught up in the gimmicks.  Probably that annoying Elmo potty movie won’t work, and all of those potty for a sticker or a chocolate or whatever won’t either, so why bother torturing yourself?  Your kid is going to pee in the potty when you are consistent and he is ready, that’s basically all there is to it.

8.  Ignore trash talkers.  Even if that trash talker is your own mama.  Refer to #7 to see why what they say about you and your baby really doesn’t even matter.

9.  Keep it positive.  No one wants to grow up with a potty complex.

10.  Chillax already.  You know how when you were trying to get pregnant and everyone was all, “Hey, calm down and stop thinking about it and then you’ll get pregnant!”?  And you were all, “Shut up, like I can even do that!  It’s all I think about!”?  But sure enough, the day you stopped obsessing about it, you peed on a stick, and voila, baby on board!  This sorta works just like that, and yeah, you will do that same happy dance the first time your kid makes in the pot, you just will.

Need more help?  Pop over to my blog today to see some great potty training tips from other Dude Moms!

What do you think?

10 Great Tips for Potty Training Boys

Amanda has been wowing the Internet since 2008 when she launched her pretty-much-useless guide for parents, parenting BY dummies. As it turns out, her parenting advice is not generally useful for more than a good laugh, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need! Amanda spends her offline time (which is embarrassingly limited) running a photography business, working as a social media director for a local magazine, writing freelance articles about stuff she loves, wrangling her 3 little Dudes ... More

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  1. Emily says:

    I think that not using pull-ups is really great advice. All they really do is prolong the process (and cost more money.

  2. Wow! Potty training at 9 months! That’s cool. My mom said I was potty trained by a year old so I know it can be done, I just didn’t do it. Go you!

  3. Theresa says:

    Idk, I think sooner is better if you have the ability. I’m a SAHM and we’ve been potty training for 3 months now. Our son’s now 9 months and I’d say 7 out of 10 poops are on the potty and he pees nearly everytime he’s on there. We use cloth diapers so he definitely feels what’s going on down there and he seems pretty proud when I praise him. Doing it early on there’s no coercion needed. I actually trust my mom when she says we were potty trained at a year old because the methods are working with my son. I think the whole idea of "waiting until they’re interested" is ludacris. My sister didn’t take early measures and her son almost wasn’t allowed to go to pre-k because he wasn’t fully potty trained. I know fewer and fewer women are able to stay home with their children, but earlier is better in my book. Btw, I also took the time to find and old school wooden potty with a tray on it so my kid CAN’T get up. He sits calmly and plays with a toy while doing his business.

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