Potty training is a rite of passage for any parent and child. There are many tips and techniques suggested on how to make this a less challenging ordeal, most especially for boys that take to using the potty later than girls. Some would be quick to offer advice on when to begin potty training, how to teach proper aim and whether to begin teaching the boy to sit or stand up. It can be a very stressful time for the both of you, as your son might not readily accept this change; you on the other hand, would be forced to make do and clean a lot of spills and unmentionables. Below are some tips in potty training that can be done with minimal stress and mess—a positive step to your son’s growth and development.
When Is the Right Time to Potty Train Boys?
The time will come when you will inevitably train your son to stop going number 1 and 2 in his diapers and there is no absolute age in which to get him started. It varies depending on his physical, behavioural and cognitive readiness to take on the challenge. Some boys start as early as 18 months, while some begin by the time they are 4 years of age.
Physical considerations would be if your son has a stable schedule in which he prefers to poop and also if he is able to pull his pants up or down on his own. Another good indication is when he is able to have a nap without wetting his diaper or has dry periods of up to an hour or two. Readiness can also be demonstrated by his willingness to be more independent and be able to communicate his need to either pee or poop. The child would also be a perfect potty training candidate if he is able to follow simple instructions and also has the desire to earn praises as well.
What Equipment Is Needed for Potty Training Boys?
The first thing that you must have on hand is a toilet that would be fit and comfortable for your son. If you look around department stores, you are bound to encounter little toilets that have detachable receptacles where your son would drop his waste and pee. It is best that you find ones that appeal to your son’s taste. You can choose among a myriad of cartoon characters or animal figures that would be friendly looking enough for your son to allow him to do his business.
Buying a potty that your son can call his own might be less daunting than making him go on a full-sized toilet. Some toddlers experience falling into the toilet when they poop, this can turn out to be extremely traumatic to them.
However, you can always opt train him to do his business on the real thing. By putting a training seat atop your normal toilet seat, your son can effectively poop in a comfortable manner on your very toilet.
To train him to do number 1, you can put up a footstep that your son can use from which he could stand on. Be sure to guide your son every time he climbs these steps and every time he sits on the training seat. Slipping might naturally occur.
If you opted to give your son his own potty, you should place your son’s potty at a place where it is most accessible. Some of these places might be near his playpen or anywhere near the bathroom.
Tips on Potty Training Boys
1. Help Him Get Comfortable with the Potty
This is the tricky part. Your son might not be exactly ecstatic on making this life change. You must make your son realize that the potty is the only place where he can do his business. Help him make it “his own” by getting him to decorate it with stickers and suggest that he try pulling his pants down and sitting on the potty. If he resists, keep cool and refrain from pressuring him. You can opt to use a favorite toy or doll to demonstrate how easy it is to sit on the potty and help your child feel at ease.
2. Motivate Him
You can also encourage your son to get used to potty training by getting him to see its benefits. Take him shopping for his very own underwear and allow him to choose whichever type (boxers or briefs), design, and cartoon character he prefers. Getting “cool underwear” would get him to be enthusiastic about wearing underwear just like Dad or his older brother. You can get him accustomed to the feel of underwear by having him try wearing it on top of his diapers. In time, he would be comfortable with the notion of wearing it, and eventually take to ditching his nappy altogether.
3. Praise the Progress
In all of these instances, it is of the utmost importance that you do not force your son to use the toilet or that you punish him for making a mess. This perceived power struggle would be extremely troubling and stressful for him. Let him take his time. And when the joyous moment arrives when he is able to successfully poop or pee in his potty by himself, make a big deal out of it. Celebrate it by giving him a reward for being a “big boy” and give him something memorable to mark his achievement.
4. Make the Process Fun
Keep motivating your son and pretty soon, he will be so used to it that your days of changing diapers will soon come to an end. It would also help to keep him interested in using the potty by making it fun for him. You may opt to put coloring so he would eagerly flush after he does his business. Give him book options to read as he waits to finish and have him stick his own paper cut-out on the potty to improve his aim. Don’t forget to reward each time he successfully uses the potty by giving him stickers or for an extra boost in morale, have him pick out his favorite treat in the candy store.