Updated May 26, 2021
Are you looking for potty training tools and tricks to get your toddler out of diapers?
Potty training can be stressful for not only the child but the parents as well.
Here are some tools and tips to help make the process easier.
When it comes time to potty train a child, parents are usually a little nervous.
There are so many horror stories about it taking a long time and all the accidents, but it doesn’t need to be that way.
There are ways to make sure that children and parents get through the process without stress.
The first thing to do is to make sure that a child is actually ready for toilet training.
If a child isn’t ready and the process is started too early, then there is a greater likelihood that he will take longer to be diaper-free.
It will also cause you as the parent needless frustration.
This is so important. If your toddler isn’t ready, all you are going to do is cause meltdowns, hurt feelings and feel like a failure.
When is a child ready? Here are a few signs to look for before even thinking about the process of potty training:
- Is the child interested in the potty or wearing “big boy/girl” pants?
- Does the child have the vocabulary to tell a parent he has to use the potty?
- Does the child dress and undress himself?
- Can a parent predict when a child will be wet or have a bowel movement (BM)?
- Can the child stay dry for two hours or more at a time, and typically dry throughout a nap?
If a parent answers yes to most of these questions, the child is probably ready to start.
Yet, it would still be a good idea to give him a little more time, typically three months, so that parents are ready also.
Potty training tools for toddler boys
Tips and tricks to reduce parent stress and help boys learn to potty train.
1. Sitting down or standing up is always debated. Here’s the answer.
Potty training little boys can be difficult.
A few simple tricks can help facilitate potty training for boys.
Many parents wonder if they should start potty training boys to pee sitting down or standing up. There is no single right way or wrong way.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends encouraging male toddlers to sit down when they urinate.
This recommendation is to streamline the potty training process by teaching one position for both urination and bowel movements.
Parent frustration is also reduced by eliminating the mess boys make before they learn to aim.
Consider teaching the son to sit down until he is completely potty trained and accident-free.
Then help the child transition to stand up while he urinates.
All children progress at their own rate. But these tips may help ease the transition from diapers to potty.
2. Allow the toddler boy to signal when he is ready to begin potty training.
There is no ideal age to begin potty training – no matter what Granny says.
For effective healthy potty training, use the child’s developmental stage to determine when they are ready. An early trainer is no smarter than a later trainer.
The two children likely have differing interests, motives, and priorities.
Keep it simple; teaching boys to pee standing up and poop sitting down will confuse them.
There is no reason a boy cannot pee while sitting down just as effectively.
3. Consider purchasing a potty or potty seat that has a shield to keep the urine in the toilet.
The most popular option choice is the potty seat with attaches to an adult size toilet.
We would suggest that you also purchase a potty that you can put in another room (maybe the kitchen) that can help prevent accidents.
Make it as easy as possible for your toddler to use the bathroom.
4. Talk to the daycare to make sure everyone teaches him the same method.
Consistency is the key factor in teaching your toddler to go to the potty.
Make sure that his daycare provider knows what method you are using at home so they can help reinforce it at daycare.
Daycare situations can be difficult if there are a lot of children, your toddler may have an accident because they were engaged in their play and forgot or the teacher missed their request signal that they had to go.
So don’t be surprised if there are a few accidents at daycare.
5. Place a step stool in front of the toilet that is not to be moved.
Though this sounds simple and inconsequential, boys must know the stepstool will be there for them when they need it the most.
This will eliminate last-minute shuffling around in the bathroom when he is trying to hold it in.
We want to make it as easy as possible for our toddlers to have success. Small wins build confidence.
Have the stepstool right at the toilet for when they may need it.
6. Avoid using Pull-Ups
Using pull-ups too soon in your toddler’s potty training journey is not helpful. It will very likely make it take longer for your toddler to become toilet trained.
You may be wondering why?
Pull-ups are designed to act as a diaper and reduce discomfort.
They keep your toddler feeling dry.
Part of toilet training is feeling discomfort when not wearing a diaper and having an accident.
Actions have consequences. Peeing in your underwear makes you wet and uncomfortable.
It doesn’t take long for your toddler to figure out that’s no fun.
Pull-ups can be used at night for sleeping, it is sometimes hard for toddlers to make it to the bathroom at night.
7. Urinals are made to hang from the side of the toilet and lower the height.
Teaching a boy to pee standing up can be helped by a few other resources.
Purchasing pee targets will help him learn where to aim his stream.
Urinals are a good idea when you are transitioning your toddler from sitting to standing to urinate.
8. Turn the water off to the toilet, flush it, and draw a target in the bottom using a crayon.
This will provide a mentally concrete area for him to aim for. Don’t forget to turn the water back on.
We have heard from friends that this worked for their toddler son.
9. For boys who do not have the concept to start their stream when standing or sitting at the potty, use the bathtub as a training tool.
Water facilitates urination.
When he is in the bathtub, hold a cup (or hand it to him).
This gives him a place to aim and see if anything happens. Provide verbal prompts by asking him to start and then stop.
This helps teach control of the sphincter muscle.
10. Rewards work. Chocolate is your friend in the potty training marathon.
When he pees in the potty make a big deal and offer a little piece of chocolate or another favorite treat,
This can be a big motivator for some boys.
I say use chocolate because it has worked for every parent I know who has tried it.
My brother and sister-in-law toilet trained their 2-year-old in only a few weeks using the chocolate reward system.
If you are completely opposed to chocolate you can try a sticker chart as a reward, but there is something to using chocolate that can get the job done faster.
11. Sinking ships can also motivate a boy to indicate they need to go before it happens.
Place Cheerios in the water and let him aim at them.
They will dunk under the water as they are sprayed.
The cheerios trick worked for my son.
He got the biggest kick out of sinking the cheerios.
The most important part is that it got him to understand that he needed to pee in the toilet.
It was such a fun game to him he never had another accident again.
And he was a tough one to potty train!
12. Don’t scold. Allow the child to progress at their own pace.
Regardless of the decision of potty training boys to urinate standing up or sitting down, they will become gender aware around ages two or three.
At this age, they will likely turn to any male figures in their life and begin to imitate standing up while going to the big boy potty.
Parents Need to be Ready for Toilet Learning Too
Although a child may be ready for the toilet training process, parents also should be ready.
It isn’t an easy time, and the main thing that parents need to be aware of is how they will handle what is happening.
When getting prepared for potty training, the adults need to look at the best method that will work.
Are they ready to deal with wet or BM pants?
Are they ready to rush a child to the bathroom to ensure accidents won’t happen?
Can a busy parent set up a reliable schedule to help a child through this?
One of the most important things an adult dealing with potty training needs to remember is patience. Without patience, the process will be that much harder for everyone involved.
💡A child doesn’t have accidents on purpose, and this should be remembered.
Everyone needs to be positive and sometimes even laugh about the things which happen.
Everyone is Ready to be Diaper Free, Now What?
To begin the potty learning experience, start with the simple steps of having the child sit on the potty or toilet with an appropriate seat.
Children can have their diapers on or off since this is just a way for them to be familiar with the new important object in their lives.
If a child isn’t comfortable, then it will be harder for the child to be potty trained.
During these visits, the parents need to talk with the child about the words associated with the potty and what will be happening.
These are some books we have used during toilet training with our toddlers:
Same-sex adults could even allow the child to witness the process of using the potty, so he gets a visual of what is expected of him.
The adult can read books or even have a special object that is only for this time.
The next step is to now start having the child sit on the potty without the diaper for short periods of time.
Whenever the signs of a child having to use the potty are noticed, he should be taken to the potty.
When a child actually uses the potty, then praise him to no end. Some parents have even thrown potty parties.
If a child is unable to go, don’t make him sit longer or criticize him, tell him he can try again later.
💡Remember, accidents will happen, and the children need not be ashamed of them.
They are part of the process of learning.
Nobody gets it right the first time, it takes practice, and potty training is the same thing.
Beginning and following through on potty training is a huge step for both children and their parents.
By knowing when a child and the parent are ready, the child is more likely to succeed.
Getting the child prepared slowly with an introduction, and using praise instead of punishment also increase the chance of success.
Working together helps the potty learning process to be stress-free.
All children progress at their own rate. But these tips may help ease the transition from diapers to potty.
Making the learning experience fun for boys can help them get motivated to get out of diapers.
They need a reason to quit using diapers and start using the big boy potty.
These tools and tricks are designed to motivate your toddler and cut down on parental frustration and anxiety.
If you have any questions or concerns about the potty training process and your toddler reach out to your child’s pediatrician.