Tips for potty training boys

Tips for potty training boys
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Potty training is a milestone that all parents seem to dread. Personally, while I look forward to not having to faff about with nappies, it is daunting. We’ve been introducing a potty to Small Boy for the past few weeks. He will happily sit on it and sometimes use it, but we are definitely not “there” yet.  We’re hoping to have the whole potty training thing licked within the next month of two, not rushing it because Small Boy has his very distinct views on things at the best of time. I’ve read a few books, but like all these things I wanted to get tips from real parents. In particular I wanted to hear advice and techniques for boys.

So, I set off a flare into the parenting bloggersphere and this is what these experienced parents told me. I’ve linked to their websites for you, including some of their detailed posts about potty training, so check them out!



Daddilife talked about pre-training. This is when you start introducing the concept of going to the toilet somewhere other than your nappy. For example, taking your child to the toilet with you, or having a potty or two around the house and saying what it’s for.

“One of the most important things I ever discovered was the steps just before potty training – pre potty training – that really set us up for success for our son”


Pick the right potty

I relate to this as we’ve bought a few different types. Small Boy definitely has a preference!

“Letting them choose their own potty – we tried loads and when my daughter tried her own she finally did it” –  Ankle Biters Adventures

Of course, for some children, going straight to the toilet may well work. We’ve bought some great toilet training seats which sit securely on the toilet and don’t slip. You just need to get a step if you want little one to reach it on their own.

“We found bypassing the potty and going straight to the toilet helped, he’s confident out and about now and we don’t have to carry a potty round. We also tried to show him how to lean forward so he didn’t overshoot” Working Mum Cambridge


Pick the right pants

Picking the right pants is important to. In part there’s the practicalities of finding pants that will hold a poo, and allow your son to feel a little bit wet if he has a dribble, but also engaging them in it. We’ve bought some cloth potty training pants which we’re going to try out.

Mummy’s Waisted says, “Take them to the shops and let them choose their own ‘big boy’ pants, that they will be excited to wear”

Mum Diaries  highlights the practical points “One of the biggest things I learnt quickly whilst working as a nursery nurse was, don’t put boxers on toilet training boys. Especially loose fitting ones! Unless of course you want to be playing follow the smell! ”


Most of the books will tell you to wait to potty training until your child is ready. This usually means they can recognise when they need to go the toilet, hiding (e.g behind the sofa when they’re going a poo), or telling you they’ve been to the loo in their nappy. These experienced bloggers and parents told me the same – don’t rush it!

“We left it quite late – 3 years and 3 months, but my boy went straight on toilet seat and was dry on a flight 5 days later. Dry overnight a little less then a month afterwards.” Captain Bobcat


“Don’t rush potty training and don’t compare them to other children their age or their siblings, every one is different. Potty training is also much easier in the summer months as they have less clothes to contend with!” Big Family Organised Chaos

“Wait until they are ready. Don’t try to do it before. Boys also tend to be ready later than girls” Teddy Bears and Cardigans

“Just wait. My boy was a little later than others but as soon as we took the nappies off he was dry in the day straight away and then at night just a week later with no accidents. Much easier and less stress!” Yorkshire Wonders


Make it entertaining

We’ve bought a few books about potty training for Small Boy. He’s quite happy sitting on the potty if he has a few books to choose from (or CBeebies on the tablet).

“We got a children’s sound book that we read all the time. We then followed what the main character did and each time he did something on the potty played the sound.” Raising Moonbows

Read a kids book about potty training for boys – it’s simple and really helped my boy as he didn’t want to be ‘baby with a smelly nappy’ anymore but ‘a big boy with underpants’; also buy a size bigger underwear as I found it to be quite tight and small in general.” Cosmo Mum


Don’t compare

Don’t compare them with girls. Some of my friends were potty training their girls at 18 months, I tried with my eldest and it was a nightmare. 3 years is more realistic. Also my youngest was happier standing up wee so a step was good.” A Strong Coffee

Patience and timing seems to be the key. It certainly helps to take the pressure off.

What tips would you like to share? Pop them in the comments below. I’d love to hear them.




This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase I may make a small commission. This is at no cost to you.


This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase I may make a small commission. This is at no cost to you.

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