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10/9/14blog post

6 Tips for potty training boys

Ethan has successfully potty trained. I admit, he was not really interested until about 30 months of age and I am pretty laid back about these things. However, by waiting until he was ready it has gone rather smoothly. We have had fewer and fewer accidents each week. There has been more of challenge with him over the past couple of months since introducing the idea with Audrey. The challenge has been teaching him to stand up to go potty and successfully aim. In my frustration for having very stinky bathrooms lately, in spite of more cleaning, I have complied the following list of tips that I hope any of you parents of boys out there find useful.

  1. It is OK for them to sit on the potty. This is especially true until they reach a height where it is comfortable for them to stand. Also important if they need to go #2. They need to be balanced on the seat because they may need 1 hand to help them aim. This is where a potty chair or a toilet seat insert may come in handy.
  2. Use aiming techniques such as cereal pieces or the commercialized water color changing tabs. Or have him aim for the hole in the bottom of the toilet.
  3. Teach them to clean up the seat (and surrounding area) if they miss or dribble.
  4. Use the great outdoors for target practice if this is acceptable to you. Put some tape or paint on a tree or fence post to be the pee target. Be sure to instruct them on the boundaries for this practice so that they do not try to pee at the fence downtown while watching the local parade.
  5. Reward successes. Use rewards that you have been using already in your parenting. Positive words or praise, affection such as hugs/kisses, stickers, small toys or even small amounts of candy or money.
  6. Tread lightly with failures. They are part of the learning process. Punishment is discouraging and not helpful. Do expect that he helps you clean up to teach responsibility for self.

I can say that with a few weeks and months things continue to get better and better and I sit back and am amazed at how quickly time goes by!!

By: Melissa King, DO “Dr. Mom Sqaud”

Dr. King is a general pediatrician in the Children’s Health Clinic at Dayton Children’s and the mother of two kids. As part of the “Dr. Mom Sqaud,” Dr. King blogs about her experiences as both as doctor and a mom and hopes to share insight to other parents on issues related to both parenting and kids health. Learn more about Dr. King.