Potty Training A Boy? Try These Tips!

by Tara Saltzburg 1 Comment

Hey There!

If you’re one of the many parents just starting out (or continuing to struggle) potty training your toddler boy, you are not alone...

Michael-Jackson-you-are-not-aloneA few of us here have been through this messy stage already or are going through it right now. While your son’s female peers may effortlessly nudge their parents at the playground letting them know they need to use the potty, you may be left wondering, “Why can’t my son do that?” Well, as all of us boy moms have learned (through parenting and dating), boys are just wired differently than girls. 

Here are a few tips (and one genius hack!) we've been hearing from fellow moms who've been through this messy stage.

Make Sure He's Ready

Perhaps the best potty training tip of all is to make sure your son is ready. While both girls and boys are often ready to potty train around the same age (between 18 months and 30 months), boys are most often trained after 31 months, while girls on average are trained at 29 months. Pushing a toddler to train before he is ready may actually scare him off from training, and delay the process. Before training your son, be sure that he is able to follow directions. In some cases, he may even tell you he doesn’t like his wet diaper.  These types of behaviors are signals he's ready. 

Stay Motivating

Let’s face it, after weeks of trying and several accidents, both parent and child can feel a little demoralized. Your child may fight you about using the toilet because he is just not getting the hang of it, but it’s important for you to stay as positive as ever. In fact, some experts even recommend having a positive attitude when it comes to poop. Calling it “stinky” or using negative words about bowl movements can cause a child to believe it is a shameful thing, especially because it's coming out of their own bodies. Try to only use positive talk when discussing the activity and the well, you know.


Be your son’s biggest cheerleader and use words of encouragement to keep him staying motivated and excited about using the potty. Some kids may need more motivation, so stickers, small toys, and a little candy can be great rewards. Only you know what works best for your little dude, so go with it. 


Keep it Regular

Once you start potty training, keep the momentum going. That means staying on a schedule even on the weekends, including when you’re out and about. Have your child go every hour to prevent him from having accidents and to help him understand the feeling of needing to go. Try that schedule for three days. On the fourth day, have him wear underwear in the morning and have him wear a Pull-Up the rest of the day. As the days continue, slowly reduce the amount of time he is wearing a diaper or Pull-Up until eventually he is only wearing underwear. If this doesn’t work the first time, keep the Every Hour on the Hour schedule going for a full week and then attempt to slowly replace diapers or Pull-Ups with underwear.

Give Him Underwear Time

Similar to keeping him on a potty schedule, try giving your little one extended underwear time. This works well for boys who are able to hold it for a few hours. Underwear time also doubles as a fun reward for your son after he uses the potty. Let him wear underwear after he successfully uses the potty. Underwear time reinforces the reason for potty training and can even make it easier to go considering how much easier underwear is to pull up and down than a diaper. 

Help Him Remember

Let’s face it, little boys have big imaginations and tons of energy, so the last thing on their minds is remembering to go potty. The more you can remind him in between play times, before naps and meals, and before running errands, the better he will do. Again, sticking to a schedule and going at regular intervals will help him (and you) remember.

Try This Hack!

Middle of the night accidents are bound to happen. The last thing you'll want to do at 2am is remove the sheets and replace them with new ones. Try using a mattress pad + sheet + mattress pad + sheet. That way, if there's an accident, you can just take the top set off! Mind. Blown.



Most of all, know that it’s totally okay if it takes a while for your little one to become completely comfortable using the toilet. He absolutely will become potty trained at his own speed, so try not to compare him to his peers. 

Remember, there will be accidents. There will be crying. There will be tantrums on your part and his. Just stick to the mantra:



XO, Tara

Related: Ditch The Diapers: 5 Signs Your Toddler Is Ready For The Potty

Related: My Toddler Won't Poop On The Potty: 5 Tips To Overcome The Fear

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1 Response

John Rey
John Rey

June 18, 2018

Potty training can be quite stressful but following this 6 building blocks will surely change the way you deal with messy floors and garments: https://bit.ly/2JPE5LO

It helped me. I hope it will help you too! Good Luck!

Tara Saltzburg

About The Author

Tara Saltzburg founded Westyn Baby when her son was an infant battling severe eczema. She was always on the lookout for products that would minimize the irritation and ease his discomfort, but safe, non-irritating pajamas proved difficult to find. Tara started Westyn Baby in 2016 with a mission to create better, safer sleepwear for kids - sleepwear that's exceptionally soft, flame-retardant free, sensitivity-friendly, and durable. Read more about WB sleepwear.

Tara was born and raised at the NJ shore and attended Penn State University, where she played soccer and discovered her love of mountain life. She is a mom of one boy and hopes to eventually have enough kids to form some sort of athletic team. She and her family currently reside in Central Pennsylvania and spend the summers in Stone Harbor, NJ.