I had always heard the horror stories of potty training with boys, so I was feeling very hesitant when it came time to potty train Cameron, our second child. He was, however, showing all of the signs of being ready to potty train… interest in the toilet, hiding and squatting when pooping in his diaper, pulling at his diaper when it was wet, and sleeping dry most nights. So shortly after his second birthday, I dove headfirst into my Three Day Potty Training Bootcamp.
Really, Cam was easier to potty train than Claire. He had less accidents, and he HATED being wet. There are, however, a few things I wish I had known….
Start him sitting, not standing. You will teach him to stand and pee when he’s taller and has better aim. Right now, since he’s learning how to pee and poop, he needs to sit.
Take off his shoes, his pants, and his undies every time he goes potty. This is mostly as he’s learning and getting the hang of things. It’s easier to aim and everything else without the distraction of the clothes. It’s also better to ensure that all of those items are still dry and safe from the toddler with poor aim.
Help him learn to aim down. This was the biggest surprise to me–I’d sit him on the toilet, and he’d pee… on the wall. Most moms teach their boys to use their finger to point it down. I have been having him lean forward. Not only does that naturally fix the issue of direction, it also seems to help him poop. Also, a potty seat with a splash guard is pretty handy.
Do NOT stand in front of him while he’s peeing, especially in that first couple of weeks. Also, don’t put his clothes in the floor in front of the toilet. Why? See the above point. Have you ever been to a public restroom and found a stall in which the floor was completely soaked? It was likely a toddler boy learning to pee. Your life is about to get a lot grosser for a little while. Don’t worry; it gets better.
Stay positive when–not if–he aims poorly. He’s still sitting on the toilet and peeing. Be careful not to punish him with a freak out moment… that could very well create an aversion to the toilet.
Potty training is not forever. It may feel like it… and that first year is tough, because every set back feels like such a failure. Hang in there, Mom. He’ll get it!