While the key elements of toilet training are the same, there are some differences to be aware of when you are toilet training boys.
Boys and girls can be ready to toilet train at different times, and obviously have different parts, so we’ve gathered up a few helpful hints for when your little boy starts toilet training.
Here are some things you should definitely keep in mind when toilet training boys in particular.
1. Boys are generally ready to toilet train later than girls
This means that if you have a girl who has toilet trained, or know some girls who are toilet training, you shouldn’t compare what age they started to see if your little one is normal – everyone starts at different ages, but it’s important to remember boys take a little longer to become ready than girls.
2. Shake it
The biggest difference in toilet training boys as opposed to girls is where the wee comes out! While girls need to learn to wipe, you have to teach a boy to shake off the last few drops of wee from his penis – and make sure you explain what happens to those drops if he doesn’t shake. No one wants that little patch on the front of his pants!
3. Sit or Stand
To sit or stand first? He’ll be standing eventually so you might prefer to teach him that way right from the start, especially if you’re going straight to the toilet (he might need a step if he doesn’t reach yet). If you’re using a potty it might be easier to start sitting down. The downside to standing is more mess; it can make it difficult to get him to sit down to do a poo; and a poo and a wee can sometimes come out at the same time – and you don’t want him standing if that happens! If you decide to start out with him sitting make sure his penis is pointed down when he pees!
Once he has started standing to wee, aiming becomes a big factor. Teach him to hold his penis and point it in the right direction. Try using a marker or a rolled up bits of toilet paper in the toilet so he has something specific to aim for. If he doesn’t learn to aim very quickly, it could be a messy toilet training journey for you.
5. The toilet seat
Also – don’t forget to teach him to lift the toilet seat (and put it back down again!) when he stands to pee. It is easier to aim over the rim than the larger seat and you won’t end up with pee on the seat when you go to use the toilet. Also remember to make the point that he needs the seat down when he sits to poo. I know it sounds ridiculous but I’ve heard of little boys perching themselves above the bare rim to poo because they’ve been told that ‘boys use the toilet with the seat up, girls us the toilet with the seat down!”.
6. Ask another male
Ask Dad or a big brother to help out – sometimes it is easier to watch another male. A doors-open policy can be very helpful when a little one is toilet training.
Also, and this goes for both boys and girls, hygiene is extremely important. Teaching your boy to wash his hands after going to the toilet is essential. Teach him correct hand washing techniques and to use soap every time from the very beginning, so it will always be ingrained in him to wash his hands properly.
We’ve also written an article on toilet training tips for girls. Have a look through our Toilet Training Hub for more info, free printable charts, and access to the forum to share your stories and questions of other mums.