Ever since I found out I was having a baby boy, one of the things that stuck in my head was: “potty training boys is SO MUCH harder than girls!” Obviously, I’m a boy mom of 2, so I have no idea if it’s true or not– but I DO know that potty training my first son was a breeze.
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I put off potty training my toddler a little longer than I probably should– I think he was ready right when he turned 2, but, we just moved to Germany and he was adjusting to some pretty big changes, so I held off. And then some of my fears probably held me off a little longer after that– I believed that potty training would be a nightmare. I wasn’t ready for it. AT. ALL.
Seriously though, my son was out of diapers (during the day) and going pee/poop on the potty like a champ. I was stunned. He caught onto the whole potty training bit fairly fast and I’m here to share with you my tips that made the experience easy (for both of us) and how yes– it IS possible to potty-train a boy without ripping your hair out.
1. Ask yourself: is your toddler ready?
Is your toddler really ready to potty train? Here are a few signs you can look for to figure out if it’s time to ditch the diapers:
- shows interest in using the potty
- tells you after he went poop in his diaper
- has a dry diaper after nap time
- knows the meaning of words like ‘potty’, ‘pee’, and ‘poop’
2. Buy big-boy underwear.
The very first step (obviously besides buying the actual potty) is to pick out some awesome and cool big boy underwear. Getting your toddler involved in picking out their very first pair of big boy undies can make this new transition an exciting one.
Explain to him that his big boy undies need to stay dry– that he can’t pee or poop in them– he does that on the potty, now. It helps to pick out some underwear with fun characters that your son LOVES. For example, my son is a PAW Patrol fanatic, and so he got so excited putting these on to wear (and keep dry!)
Amazon has a great deal on my son’s fav. PAW Patrol underwear.
3. No diapers during the day and ABSOLUTELY NO pull-ups.
We did the naked method– meaning, my son was naked basically the whole first day of training and he only wore diapers when he slept.
I hated the thought of using pull-ups…it was going to be an all-or-nothing thing for us, so those weren’t used, just the underwear. I did it this way because of two reasons:
Reason number 1: I didn’t want to confuse my toddler by putting a pull-up on him.
Reason number 2: Putting real underwear on my toddler let him understand that yes, if he goes pee/poop in his big boy underwear, it won’t feel nice!
4. Consistency and patience.
It will take a lot of consistency, especially the first 3 days, so keep persisting and most importantly, be patient.
I loaded my toddler with cups of liquid and constantly had him on the potty (even if he said that he didn’t need to go, he still sat on the potty to try) every 20 minutes. Like clock-work.
We love these Munchkin brand Miracle 360 sippy cups!
I also had to find patience (somewhere between the end of day 1 and the beginning of day 2, I can’t remember) because yes, this WILL get super frustrating. Just don’t give up!
5. Self-reward instead of treats.
Toddlers feel a huge sense of pride once they accomplish something on their own, so let them feel that!
I didn’t want to give my toddler candy or stickers just because he used the potty– I mean yes, it IS a big deal, and call me mean mommy but I wasn’t jiving with that. Instead, there was A LOT of praise, jumping up and down and high 5’s all around.
6. Buy your toddler a training urinal.
I waited far too long to do it, and I’m here to tell you, fellow toddler mama, to NOT WAIT ANYMORE.
This training urinal for boys is the real McCoy.
Best of all, my son loves this thing.
I’ve heard from several boy mamas that there toddler doesn’t pee standing up yet and wondering how to introduce that (besides uhm, watching dad). Lo and behold the training urinal.