Potty Training a Boy?? - Springfield,MO

Updated on June 06, 2012
L.A. asks from Springfield, MO
13 answers

My son has shown some interest in the potty, and requests that I change his "doppie". However, I cannot motivate him to sit on the potty and he generally doesnt care when he's wet. He's probably isn't quite ready. He will be 3 Christmas. How do I go about training a little boy anyway? Sitting? Standing? Thanks for any advice on the subject......

ps....I dont want to motivate/reward with food so advice other than that would be great. Thanks!

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answers from St. Louis on

My boys were trained at 2years 3months and 2years 4months. I started by rewarding them simply for sitting on the potty, then for peeing (even if in their diaper) in the potty room, then for peeing on the potty. I tried lots of different rewards (stickers, animal crackers, potty dance, mini marshmallows) and what finally did it for both of them were potty presents. I got a basket, filled it with dollar store toys that were wrapped, and kept it in the bathroom. They were only allowed to look at the presents while sitting on the potty, and every time they had a success they got to choose a present. Eventually we went from every success being rewarded to breaking the day in half (going all morning without an accident, and all evening without an accident), eventually to all day. We did about 10-20 presents for each "stage."

I will say that we started training each of them (getting them familar with the potty) at 2, but that we backed off if they weren't ready. If they weren't showing improvement in 2 or 3 days we stopped for a week or two, then started again. When they're ready, they're ready, if not, you can't force it.

As for standing/sitting, mine learned sitting on the potty, and as another poster said, we taught them right away to "tuck it in" so as not to spray all over! I can't quite remember when we switched to standing at the big potty, maybe around age 3?

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answers from Kansas City on

I have 3 boys...2 are potty trained. We started with sitting down on the regular potty and they both transitioned to standing a few months after they were trained. They both trained in less than 2 days. They were both 2y 9m. I just let them run around in a t-shirt and underwear so they would be able to get undressed quickly.

My older one was self-motivated. My middle son needed a sticker chart. I printed a 8x11 picture of him off the computer. He put a sticker on it every time he used the potty. Once it was all covered up, we threw it away!


answers from Redding on

I put large bricks in front of the toilet so the boys could stand and pee, they also peed in the backyard pretty often. I never had them sit to pee, that was reserved for pooping. They wanted to be like dad, and he wasnt a sitter for going pee.
Having a male role model for potty training a boy is pretty priceless.



answers from New York on

If he wont sit and doesn't care if he is wet you are wasting your time. But I am confused because if he doesn't care if he is wet, then why does he request a diaper change? If you wait until he is ready it should only take a week or 2 to potty train instead of the nasty drag out thing that so many moms do these days. It's ok if you don't want to use food but you need to figure out what he really likes and is little. Stickers of his favorite character is a great one. When you are ready to train and put him on the potty every 20 minutes in the beginning, it helps to give him a small reward for just sitting there. The reward could be watching his favorite video or show. Just curious...why no reward with food? I have not heard any studies that showed an adverse effect when using food/snacks as a reward for potty training.


answers from Milwaukee on

I just finished potty training my 2nd boy. He will be 3 in a few days. It's been a long process of diapers/no diapers etc. Finally it was candy that pushed him over the edge and it was only 2 days of a few tiny pieces of candy. But if you are going to get all freaky with food then try and sticker. :)

He stands to pee but his big brother learned to pee sitting down.



answers from Kansas City on

My son learned standing up when he was 3 years, 3 months from watching the other boys at school use the big potty. I can't say I trained him at all - I waited until he was very ready (his teacher's suggestion because he was trying it at school) and told him one day there would be no more diapers. And we never used them again. (He learned sitting down to poop from watching the girls so he knew how to get on/hold on to the seat.) Luckily, he was even ready for no diaper at night from the very start. He is almost 4 1/2 and we have had only 4 accidents ever, 2 poo/2 pee.

I think the key for us was not looking at it as training, something that needed to be drawn out, fussed about or planned. I had no problem with changing diapers and knew there would be no success if he wasn't 100% ready and frankly I wasn't driven to give up the convenience of diapers. I did not want months of potty practice, messes to clean up or having a timer run our day. I took a wait and see attitude, not understanding why I would need to train him or rush for any reason. For once, my laziness paid off! Letting him take the lead made this one of the easiest parts of parenting so far.

Our two pooping accidents - that happened at school many months after he was trained - reminded me how I could not have dealt very well with "training" or having a kid in unders before he was ready!

To show him how proud I was (and continue the motivation once he started) we did stickers. He picked a piece of paper and a set of stickers to use if he peed and another if he pooped. Once he got 10 of either, he got a prize that he had picked beforehand. The pooping prize was bigger b/c that seemed a bigger deal and since he doesn't do that every day it took a lot longer to earn. I was worried I would get into a prize issue as he continued to earn them, but after about 30 pee stickers and his first 10 pooping ones he lost interest in that whole aspect except to maybe put a sticker on every now and then.

We never used a potty chair. I wanted him to be able to go on any potty at any place we were visiting and not worry about a little chair. He was able to use the big seat because he was old enough to follow directions and had seen so many others do it. My friend's child is almost 5 and went on the big seat for the first time last week. That would drive me crazy!

I really like that he learned standing up and prefers to pee that way. Much better in public restrooms!



answers from Houston on

Just don't keep the rewards chart near the potty or else it will get pee'd on, I promise!



answers from St. Louis on

My son will be 3 in August and I'd say he's about 85% fo the way to being potty trained during the day. Since he was about 1.5, I would put him on the potty before baths just so he got used to sitting there and a few times he would pee. He did do pretty well with peeing in the 'kid potty' but seemed to like the larger one better. I'd say if you are going with a larger toliet, get a stool so he can learn to get up/ down by himself. Can he pull his pants down/up? That is another factor in 'getting it'. Also like someone else said - that's great that he is showing interest but his body may not be 'telling him' yet when he needs to go.

I have decided to train my son (hubby agrees) sitting down because he has no aim! Once he's older we'll transition to standing up. What has worked for our son is starting small. First he was interested, next he would tell us when he was ready to be changed, then he learned how to pull his pants down (still working on pulling them up). So one evening when I got home, I put him in underwear and took him every 20-30 minutes to the bathroom. I did not ASK if he had to go. I just made it a game or pretended his animal wanted to see him going, etc. Then I'd spread it out longer and longer. This past weekend he was in underwear all day and had 1 pee and 1 poop accident (but he has not pooped on the toliet ever so that's another story!) So from now on, if he's at daycare, when we get home he's in underwear. On the weekends when we are home all day, he's in underwear. That has worked for us! We never used food or rewards or a chart or stickers with him. That worked much better with my daughter but he's happy enough when I clap/dance/sing when he goes, so we'll stick with that!



answers from Dallas on

With mine I sat them on the toilet. With my oldest I tired a potty seat but he didn't like it then he got a new baby sitter and she told us to try to put him on back wards and it worked great. The opening is much larger that way.. it also helped them balance themselves cause they could grab the back if needed. My friend the way she got her sons to was to let them when they were outside pee on the side of their house. They loved that so it got them excited enough to work on it. You can make a reward chart. That maybe if he goes a certain number of times or times in a row that you will get him a car or something.

Good luck and God Bless.



answers from Kansas City on

You have a lot of great responses already. I just wanted to bring up the issue of feeling stressed if your son isn't potty trained by a certain age. Recently I ran across an article when we discovered our 3-year-old daughter has a yeast infection. The author is a doctor and he strongly believes that potty training too early can cause problems later. (Note that I wrote 'can.') You can find the article by googling 'potty training constipation babble.' It should be the first link. I'm not suggesting that you make your son wait until he is 3 if he wants to use the potty all the time, but I do think you should wait until he is ready.



answers from Jacksonville on

I taught my son sitting. They need to learn to it anyways to poop so why not, it also keeps the pee off your floor as they have no control or concept to hold it when they are standing to be able to aim it. My son is just now 6 and has been standing on his own will for over a year since he started school but he does still sit down at times too. You can find potty charts on line to print off and put stickers on them when he goes. Or just 1 M&M ever time he tries and 2 for success.




answers from Phoenix on

We started sitting, then he eventually asked to stand. He's only gotten capable of aiming semi-reliably at close to 4. We had to do fall break (at 2.4) or spring break (at 2.8) based on our school's requirements and impending arrival of a new baby. Fall break failed - same as you say, he just didn't care. Spring break, we went cold turkey no diapers (during the day) and put him on the potty every X minutes. I think the reward was an m&m, up to several if he went several times in a row or #2 - if you don't want to use food, find something really small and cheap he does like. It took about 4 days for him to mostly get it and the 10 days of break to get about 95% there (accident every few days - he still doesn't really care if he's wet). When he regressed after the baby, we did a big reward for two weeks dry of a Cars Mack truck that he really wanted, but he was still a little young (barely 3) for that kind of delayed/cumulative motivation - he didn't entirely understand.



answers from Norfolk on

Your son is showing READINESS, but may not have the muscle control yet to actually be trained. Kids develop at all different rates, so please don't feel embarrassed or impatient. I would begin by training him sitting down on the toliet first. There are potty chairs that fit right over the toilet now, and actually have steps to help you little one get up to the toilet himself. No need to bribe. Readiness and muscle control are the keys. Good luck!

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