Potty training is a stressful phase for moms and dads. Especially if you are potty training boys, it gets even more challenging to train stubborn boys who are strong-willed and refuse to use potty. However, some experts say that boys stay a little longer in diapers than girls. They believe boys are more active, so they just do not want to ditch diapers too soon. Another reason could be since girls share the same gender as moms’ so it is easier for them to relate, which leads to learning to use potty faster.
Typically, during the pre-potty training phase, we have too many concerns, like; How to potty train boys as early as in 3 days? or parents get worried if they are starting to potty train their child so late.
What schedule to follow when you are in the process of potty training?
Most importantly, when is the right time to start training boys?
In this post, I am going to cover all these questions about potty training boys around 3 years of age.
Some moms may have been successful in training their kids around as early as 18 months to 2 years old, regardless of gender. Readiness may vary for every kid so you should not ignore signs to see when your child is ready.
When you are struggling to potty train your boy, these tips would be helpful to successfully toilet train.
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How to successfully Potty Train 3 year old boys
Here are the tips that work best for potty training boys and most of them could work for girls too.
1. Do not stress and do not rush potty training
I understand how expensive the diapering years are for parents, training too early can be more stressful for moms.
You may get stressed out even with the thought of potty training your tot. In most cases, the best age to train boys is 2.5 to 3 years. But every child is different; you cannot apply the same rules in every situation.
Don’t stress, you would not see any 20 years old peeing his pants (only if he doesn’t have a medical condition).
Give your boy some time to be able to understand the concept of pee and poop. I would suggest you wait if you think your child is not ready.
2. Are YOU mentally ready to potty train your child?
Are you mentally and physically ready to potty train? Toilet training your boy is a lot of work. You need to make up your mind about the hard work for at least two weeks. It requires patience, energy, perseverance, and a lot of determination.
ideally, you should wait for training if you are expecting another child – depending on the circumstances and the configuration of your house, especially if you have a bathroom on another level. You do not want to run around with a toddler all the way up and down.
3. Is your child ready to be potty trained?
You have to see if your child is ready. Is he able to understand the concept? Do you see progress with every passing day?
If your child is not showing any signs of readiness then wait for another couple more months and try again later.
From my experience, you will know in a day or two if he is ready or not. If yes, continue, but if your child is not ready, it is better to delay for another couple of weeks.
The most significant sign of your child is not ready, he seems super scared with a toilet seat or flushing sound.
Also, he is scared of sitting on the seat with a fear to fall down. In that case, first, you have to get your child familiar with a toilet seat.
You may notice your child jumps off the couch, bed, or a chair, all of a sudden (where he was sitting) and stay standing for a while, which means it’s a wee time. It also means he now understands the urge to pee.
In addition to that, once you notice, your child is showing one or two signs of being ready for potty training, you should start explaining to him how this process going to work. Try to make up his mind for this whole new adventure for the next couple of months and then start over.
This would help him get hands-on experience with something much awaited. Also, do not forget to motivate him with an exciting reward in the end.
Another most important sign, your child wants to stay clean. If he tells you to change a diaper as soon as he is done with a business, it implies dirty diaper is bothering him now.
Get him these awesome and super helpful potty training books.
4. No big event coming up when you start potty training
Start potty training when you do not have any big thing coming up because you need to have a whole two months of time-frame at least, to have your child learn this peeing and pooping skill.
For instance, if your child is expecting a sibling’s arrival, then it is a good time to wait, or you may want to try attempting, (if he is 3+) there is a chance he would get it depending on his age and understanding level.
“Keep trying” is the key, you never know when it is your lucky day.
Training a toddler takes up so much energy, time, accidents, and patience. Plan ahead to spare a significant amount of time on the training journey.
5. Have your child get familiar with a toilet seat or start directly on big toilet seat
My son was scared of the toilet seat, and I ordered the small toilet seat for him to have him get familiar with the toilet seat thingy.
He would sit there but would not do ANYTHING.
If you have a tall toilet seat, you can use this potty training seat with a step ladder. This way your child could get to the seat easily making toilet training easier and faster – without any messy cleanups.
6. Do not use training pants the whole day except nights
Put on a diaper at night in the beginning and see if it is wet or dry when he wakes up in the morning. Take it off, like first thing in the morning, and do not put it on till the night.
You can have him wear easy-to-pull-off shorts during the daytime until he learns it. If you want you can skip underwear or briefs for the whole potty training phase.
Tip: If you are starting around 2.5 to 3 years of age do not start with anything that makes him feel dry even after having a pee or poop accident.
Another super helpful tip: If your child poops in a training pull-up diaper, Just tear or cut the diaper from the sides to avoid mess all over your child’s legs.
7. Start during a favorable Weather
You may want to choose the summer season to potty train over the winter season. During the winter season, you cannot have your child stay bare legs, or wear shorts all day long.
How to start toilet training schedule for boys
8. Time bathroom trips at regular intervals in the beginning
When you start with the process, take your child to the toilet every 15 minutes, and gradually increase the time. Have him sit and encourage him to pee. He may have a hard time understanding and not to be doing it for the first time but keep trying. Eventually, he will get it.
Be prepared to spend countless hours in the bathroom waiting for a pee. Remember, learning a whole new skill takes time.
If your child successfully pee in the toilet then bring him again in another 15 minutes and so on.
If he doesn’t wee for the first time, you should try taking him to the potty or toilet after 5 minutes again and then set a timer.
Gradually increase the time to 20 to 30 minutes and then an hour during the first few days of potty training.
Stay consistent with this and keep doing this method for 4 to 5 days in the beginning. Once you are confident that he understood this concept, stretch the pee time to 2 hours.
Mind you, you may have to remind your child to go pee every time and take him along for the next couple of months.
Sometimes you stop reminding and think he would tell you, in that case, accidents are very likely.
Always teach him to sit first and then have him learn how to pee while standing. If you would not teach him to sit and pee, there is less chance of him pooping in the toilet. Also, make sure he points his penis down while sitting on the toilet seat.
Learning to poop may take time and sometimes it is a hit or miss. Always encourage your boy to sit when using the toilet.
Should I completely take off training pants for potty training my child?
When a child wears pull-up training pants, he may not be able to understand if he pees his pants or having an accident. Training underwear that is leak-proof enough to hold his pee inside and should not be giving them a dry feel. If he pees his pants, he should know that he had an accident. That way your child will understand better and sooner.
Having said that, ditching the diapers altogether is the fastest way to successful potty training.
9. When to remove night time diapers once you start potty training
When you think your child has got pee and poop concept pretty well, and he is waking up with dry diapers, you may want to remove it altogether.
You may want to take him to pee in the middle of the night once he learns how to pee while standing. Also, take him to go pee, first thing in the morning.
Learning this skill takes time but kids understand this eventually.
10. Protect your bed and sofas to prevent mess
For nighttime, use waterproof mattress pads for kids to protect your bed from accidents. However, you should take your child to the toilet for a wee in the middle of the night to avoid accidents.
If you are co-sleeping, you need a waterproof mattress pad for your bed too.
Protect your sofas with waterproof sofa covers.
11. Monitoring facial expressions and staying on top of his bowel schedule
You really have to be on top of your toddler’s pee schedule. You have to remind every half an hour to two hours. Gradually increase the time interval depending on how your toddler is responding to this new thing.
You have to keep an eye on your child’s facial expressions to understand when and what action is required.
12. Not going back to diapers once you start toilet training
Once your child is diaper-free for a couple of weeks and doing well, do not go back to diapers for your own convenience, like in travel or change of place. Unless you do not have access to any bathroom or public restrooms.
If your child is old enough to understand the concept, bringing back diapers would confuse him even more. However, this does not mean that you keep him diaper-free in extreme cases when he should not be. Be your own judge and decide what you think is your child’s best interest.
Instead of using diapers, you can use these lightly padded training pants.
13. Ditch diapers altogether
As a general rule, If you are starting potty training when your child is above 3 years old, I would advise you to ditch diapers altogether except for the nights.
However, once your child gets trained, involve him in ditching the diapers altogether. Have him donate it to someone, a friend’s younger child, and do not forget to celebrate this big achievement with him.
Since diapers give kids a dry and clean feel all the time, a couple of accidents are helpful to understand the concept of being wet.
14. If he is not getting it, be patient, and try again after a few weeks
When your child is in the process of learning this new skill, be considerate, patient, and do not get upset even if it ends up with an accident.
It takes time to learn a new skill of peeing and pooping. Learning to hold on to pee and poop takes a lot of time and understanding. Once your child gets this, you are almost successful. 🙂
Training your toddler boy in a fun way, you should install boys urinals in the bathroom.
15. What to do when you are going outside – Explore different bathrooms
I would recommend that you should start going to places like malls, restaurants when you are in the potty training phase. Clearly, when you notice progress in going diaper-free. This will help him understand toilet training and how to use public bathrooms in a better way.
When boys are on this potty training journey, they might want to see toilets everywhere they go, not to pee just for fun. If your child says, “I need to go pee,” take him. Otherwise, you should distract him with something else – only if you know, he has no urgency ( used the bathroom before leaving).
16. Liquid intake more or less
Should I be giving less liquid to my child during the potty training phase?
Well, this whole potty training thing varies as per your child’s liquid intake. If your child drinks plenty of water, expect more frequent bathroom trips and more chances of a wet bed at night.
You can control moderate liquids intake (more or less) during this potty training phase.
17. Pooping in the toilet could be challenging
Some boys may take more time to start pooping in the toilet. They just want to have a diaper on for poop. No matter what, they would not want to use the potty.
In that case, you may want to wait for your child to feel ready to poop in the big potty.
Even if that seems impossible, just give your child some time, and he would get it sooner than later. Moreover, you have to encourage him first to sit down and then pee. Chances are he may not be able to resist a bowel movement any longer.
What to do if my child poops in his pants instead of a toilet?
Some stubborn boys happen to poop in their pants instead of a potty. In that case, use training underwear all the time, so you should not end up cleaning poop explosions everywhere. It might take a little longer for your child to understand pooping in a toilet. Hang in there, they will get it eventually.
Kids love water, you can use a hand-held bidet or a watering can to clean their bottom instead of wiping it with toilet paper. Trust me, this will be so exciting and they would be willing to use the toilet more often.
18. Lots of appreciation or Reward system
Appreciate your child extravagantly when he pees or poops for the first time and every proceeding episode. This will help him feel encouraged and create a willingness to learn faster.
- You can offer him candy, or a toy as a reward.
- Create more excitement with some fun shorts.
- Celebrate his success with balloons.
Potty training Regression
Potty training regression gets real when your child may get back to diapers after being fully trained and have frequent accidents during the day. There are a number of factors that lead to potty training regression.
- Change of place – you may have moved on to a new place lately.
- 2. New sibling- your child feels he is getting less attention due to a new baby in the family.
- 3. Guests around- if there are some guests in your house and somehow your child feels strange about it.
- 4. Traveling – Sometimes due to traveling, potty training does not seem to be working the way it used to.
- 5. School: Starting school and dealing with a new environment could be one of the reasons for this potty training regression.
If your child goes to school or is expected to start school any time soon, you must be aware of the signs of anxiety, which is known to be a common behavior among preschool-aged kids. Here is what you need to know about frequent urination after being fully potty trained.
Are you struggling with bed transition for your kids? Check out these 19 tips to make the transition easy from co-sleeping to a toddler bed.
Comment and share your tips for potty training that worked for you.