Children, Potty Training, Pre-Schooler, Toddlers

Potty Training a Boy: My Experience So Far

Potty Training Pic

I am happy to be sitting here typing this post. I commented on my Facebook page on Monday that I realized it has been a month since I last posted. Things have been crazy busy lately. The good news is that my 3 1/2-year old finally decided to start using the potty after months of us practically crying, begging and pleading with him. We promised toys and his favorite homemade treats but he just was not interested. I am proud to say that he is in undies all day and a diaper or training pants ( I love these chlorine free training pants by Seventh Generation) at night for now. Phew! I thought he would still be potty training in high school at the rate he was going but I guess its normal. They say boys take longer than girls anyway but I didn’t know what to expect being that he is my first and only child right now.

Since I am a temporary full-time stay at home mom now I have had the extra time to work with him. I have been letting him go naked while in the house so that he can go to the toilet when he needs to without fumbling with his pants and undies. He refuses to poop in the big toilet, only pee, but at least we are a step in the right direction. After reading this post from some members of the March 2010 group on, I realize that I am not alone. What has helped you with potty training your child? Here are some things to remember while potty training, especially a stubborn 3-year-old little boy!

1. Relax. Remember, every child trains at different rates. Do not place a time frame on this milestone. Just like your child walked at a different time than your friend’s child, he will also potty train at his own rate. Throw away the calendar. Ignore the Facebook and Baby Center posts of other moms saying that their child was potty-trained at 18 months . This is not a race.

Also, your toddler can tell if you are stressed. He feels and responds to your anxiety. So, smile. Relax your shoulders. Let him know that you are there for him and you are not worried. He is doing just fine.

2. Don’t Punish Accidents. It is very common for children to potty train in steps. And it’s common to have some backsliding. As I mentioned, J felt comfortable pee peeing in the potty first, then after watching Daddy a few times graduated to pee peeing in the big potty. Now he goes poo poo in the little potty. We are still working on staying dry during naps and bedtime. He is also terrified of sitting on big toilets in public, but has no issues peeing in them. (Can’t say that I blame him because I am terrified of the germs in public bathrooms).

We are still teaching him to recognize his body’s signals to use the bathroom. He is also mastering how to pull his pants down and up.  This is a process and some children move through this phase faster while others move through it more gradually.

3. Celebrate Victories. Don’t Worry about Setbacks. Your son will figure it out. Children need to know if they have accidents that they can be cleaned up and move forward without fear of punishment or embarrassment. So believe it will happen Mama and take time to celebrate!