HELP! Potty Training tips for a BOY!


I have a 2.5 year old boy- my husband and I started trying to potty train our son, but then had our 2nd baby, and it  put on the backburner, now that the baby is 6 months old, we're trying again, but he just doesn't want to do it unless we bribe him big time. I don't want him to expect things all the time. We have been doing a little box of stickers, or treats, but he doesn't want them as prizes. He wants trucks or big toys; and we've said no.

ALSO: Would you recommend we us a potty or the toliet seat insert - where we get him to stand and pee like "daddy"

Please any help, suggestions, etc would be great!!
Apr 20, 2012 @ 03:04 pm

12 Replies


the potty

We had the same situation...started training and then our second child came along! What really got our little guy excited about peeing was buying big boy underwear, then when he peed we would give big high fives, and we had a chart on the wall where I would draw pictures for every pee he had! At first I would take him every 30 mins or so ( yes its hard with young ones but it was big brothers time to shine!), then would move it apart a bit more! If he got really stubborn about going I'd tell him the potty (the toilet) was very thirst and needed a drink and for some reason that got him there! If we had a good day we'd make it a big thing - call daddy if he was working out of town, or nanny, anyone that would listen!! Above all I really think the child has to be ready to do it! Just keep trying and he'll come around!! All the best :)
Apr 20, 2012 @ 10:43 pm

Potty Training - our house

Ahhh...we went through the same thing with our second baby. The spacing between the first two was long enough to complete potty training with our son. The two years between my second and third children (daughters) with a mixture of other life changes (moving to different country, new house, new job) made potty training less priority. Hence, in the twilight of her third birthday we realized we weren't getting anywhere and she actually liked wearing pull-ups. What she liked even more was the possibility of getting a kitten for her birthday. We said if she could only wear big-girl underwear and no pull-ups she would get a kitten. A few weeks into this her efforts started to dwindle. Her third birthday came and potty training wasn't even close. She got a lovely fish tank with goldfish instead of a kitten. Although happy with her fish she really wanted to have a feline pet. We continued on with potty training with little success. I decided to try something on my next grocery trip. I was already purchasing diapers for our newborn and told my 3 year old that the store ran out of pull-ups. It was a Friday afternoon. She was big enough to change herself so I told her to put on some underwear instead. We did this for the entire weekend with a couple wet bottoms. By Monday she was wearing underwear full-time. She also was my only child not to have night-time accidents after the switch. (The other two were trained at 18 months and 2 years respectively) A couple weeks later she picked out her first kitten.
Training a boy is a little different than a girl. We used cheerios in the toilet to encourage peeing. Made it fun for him. Gummy bear or hershey's kiss as a reward system has worked for friends. Picking out a toy after no accidents for a week helped in the end. Good Luck
Apr 28, 2012 @ 08:36 am

Cheerio Game potty train

I agree with michpetea... with my son i used the cheerio game too and i was Persistent... monitored the liquid intake and 30 mins later take him to wash room to try and go and if he did big excitement and trip to park if he didnt then we would keep going back every 10 mins till he did.. he was potty trained under a weeks time...
Apr 29, 2012 @ 02:01 pm

Naked Works :)

I have potty trained a girl and a boy. The girl at 24 mos and the boy at 23 mos! The sure fire thing that worked for them (and something I've heard from lots of moms) is to have them naked - ALL THE TIME!! I know it sounds crazy, but it works. I used rewards of peanut M&M;'s (there's nothing wrong with it - for many things in parenting). So they got one for going pee on the potty and two for poop. It takes about a week of staying at home with a naked bum and then you're usually pretty safe to go out - with pants on, of course ;) The key is that BOTH parents need to be on board and on top of it. Timing in between potty trips is huge. Some days kids seem to be able to hold it in longer than others. My general rule is to set a timer for every 15 minutes the first day, until they pee and then 30 minutes after a pee. Just be clear and consistent so they know that when the timer beeps, it's potty time. There may be some fighting, but they'll get used to it. Then once you've done that for the first few days (with lots of fluid intake), go a little longer. The big thing is for you to remember how long it's been since they've gone. It's basically you that's getting trained at the beginning, lol. Once they have no accidents for a week, then we went to Build-a-Bear. The idea of having a big reward at the end was very intriguing for them. If they have a specific big item they've wanted for a while, buy it for them and put it somewhere they can see it, but not reach! The treats stop after the big toy is bought, but until then, don't forget to take them with you wherever you go, 'cause they'll ask :) Be clear so they know that after they get the big toy, no more treats, because they're a big kid now :D Good luck, hope this helped!
Apr 29, 2012 @ 10:20 pm


My personal preference is for boys to learn sitting. My almost 3 yr old stands in public washrooms, but always sits at home. I had a portable potty always in the living room, it was more convenient - especially because I was nursing a newborn when I trained them both!
Apr 29, 2012 @ 10:24 pm
Ali de Bold

Great tips!

I'm definitely going to revisit this thread in a year when we start potty training.
Apr 30, 2012 @ 08:49 am

Know when your child is "ready"

I agree with @lace: you have to wait until your child is ready. For many kids, that's somewhere around 2-3 years old when you start. Actually completing potty training (pee and poo) might take many months, though the pee training is usually a lot quicker than poo training... at least in my experience.

@Catvonstein, I would not be too discouraged that your 3 year old is still a work in progress. Any kind of disruption (new addition to the family, moving, illness, marital problems, etc) can seriously mess with a child's training and even cause them to revert fully. All you can do is keep at it. It SUCKS, I know! Every time I say to my husband that maybe possibly I might want another baby, he reminds me of potty training and then I come to my senses.

I held off teaching my boys to pee standing up, and now that they do, they often splash or spray amiss. If I had my choice, they'd always sit down! But it's part of being a boy so I allow it. When you are ready to teach how to pee standing up, I would go with the toilet seat insert. I started off using a little potty with my first but then it was a trickier transition getting her to use the proper toilet. With my next 2 I didn't even bother with the potty - straight onto the regular toilet with an insert from the very beginning.

You can use bribery (I did, though only with small bribes. I never tried the big bribes and strangely, my kids had never asked for it - guess I was lucky there!), but ultimately, what gets them to do it is their own desire to be a "Big Kid". Preschool can be helpful there due to the "peer pressure" (as in, monkey see monkey do) and because the teachers help reinforce the potty training. Sometimes the ONLY reason your kid will pee on the toilet is for that sticker or KitKat mini bar or whatever, then as soon as you've run out of treats, they wizz in their pants. To me, the bribes are of limited usefulness. They have to WANT to do it for their own sakes. And sometimes that means you have to wait just a little longer until they are ready.

If your child reaches 4 years old and is still having accidents regularly, it might be time to step up the pressure in a positive way. I was very careful about never using negative reinforcement when my kids had problems. That only makes them equate peeing or pooing with punishment. I used natural consequences - if they peed their pants, well, then they had wet pants! I also used the naked method (posted about that right here) which worked really well for me. I would suggest you also ask your pediatrician for pointers if you're really concerned. And buy yourself an extra large bottle of Tide :)

Hang in there, hon! It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel but I promise you it's right around the corner. Now that the weather is warming up, you can try the naked treatment - couldn't hurt, right?
Apr 30, 2012 @ 09:54 am

what worked

My son was very stubborn also and I heard boys potty train later than girls. I got my son a step stool and told him no more baby diapers so he wears boxers. He not once has had an accident. As a matter of fact he takes pride in being a big boy. Now, for #2 we got him a seat that goes on the "big people" toilet. Prior to this purchase we tried the stand alone child potty but they just didn't work as well.
Jan 05, 2013 @ 09:09 pm
Ali de Bold

The sooner the better

I am no expert in this department but my son, who is just shy of 1 1/2 has been pooping on the toilet for the past couple of months. I think it's because he's probably a genius, not a reflection of my potty training skills because even the pediatrician was shocked when I told her.

But in case it is because I'm so clever I'll share. What I've been doing with him for as long as I can remember is bringing him into the bathroom with me when I have to use the washroom so he can understand what the toilet is for. When I sit on the toilet, I sing the same song that I do when I change his diapers. Yes. I am one of those mothers that invented and sings a peepee and poopoo song. I wanted him to make the connection that grownups sit on the toilet to go pee and poo and babies get their diaper changed. I also taught him the sign language for "poo" so he could tell me when he needs to go as he only has a handful of words in his vocabulary.

We have had the occasional incident since we started in October but 90% of the time, he tells me he has to go and he does it all on the toilet. He is still in diapers because it's mostly poo on the toilet and pee in his pants, but that will be the next phase. The other day he was in the shower (he showers like an adult) and he made the poo symbol. I rushed him over to the toilet and it was just pee. I'm so proud that he does this I can't even tell you. Maybe you can tell.
Jan 10, 2013 @ 01:43 pm


I can't even look at you right now, ali-de-bold ;) You are quite possibly the luckiest mom in the history of our species.
Jan 10, 2013 @ 02:13 pm

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