Potty Training Boys

The best way to potty train a boy is to wait until he’s ready. It might sound obvious, but if potty training is pushed too soon, it could cause distress and take much longer.

When to start potty training a boy

There isn’t a ‘right’ age to start potty training a boy; those with older siblings might be ready at 18 months, whilst others could be closer to four. Look out for signs he’s ready to potty train, such as an interest in the toilet or pulling his trousers up and down.

On average, it takes boys longer to potty train than girls, so it’s important to be patient and pick a stable time in their life. If he’s just started a new nursery, moved to a new house or has a new brother or sister for example, it may be better to wait until things have stabilised before starting to potty train.

How to potty train a boy

Before beginning to potty train a boy, it’s important you’re equipped with everything you need, including:

  • A potty: This is less daunting than a toilet and easier to use when beginning training. You can also take it out with you.
  • Training pants: A product like Huggies® Pull-Ups® encourages your toddler out of nappies and nappy pants and into underwear. The fun graphics and stretchy sides mean they feel like underwear, whilst protecting him – and you – from any accidents.
  • A stool or step: When he’s ready to use the loo, your Big Kid might not be tall enough to stand over it. A stool or step is also handy for him to reach the sink to wash his hands.
  • Training and reward materials: Try using stickers, books, charts or potty training videos for boys to motivate him, help him to learn and praise his progress.

Teach him the basics

Children learn by imitation, so let him watch an older male they are close to when they use the loo; like his dad or brother. To toilet train a boy, it’s important he understands the difference between how men and women use the toilet. Just remember you will need to help him aim, that bit improves over time!

Take him to the toilet

When starting to potty train your toddler, don’t wait for him to tell you he needs to go to the toilet. Instead, take him to the potty every hour or two and encourage him to go.

Keep an eye out for signs he needs to go, including clutching, wriggling or hopping.

Let him choose his underwear

Huggies® Pull-Ups® training pants for boys are designed specifically for toilet training and encouraging him out of nappies and nappy pants. The product’s Disney© design makes them look like a Big Kid pant and feel fun to wear, as well as feeling like a step forward toward the end goal of wearing real underwear.

Allowing your little boy to choose his own pants can be a great motivator – many will want to keep their favourite characters dry!

If potty training is going well with the help of Huggies® Pull-Ups®, you can start to think about arranging a special shopping trip with your Big Kid especially for him to pick out his own new, real underwear. Explain this is a 'grown up' thing to do in order to help them feel motivated and excited to take the next step. Involving children in choosing their own design enables them and empowers them to move forward.

Dealing with accidents

When your child has an accident during the potty training journey, understanding that this is a crucial part of learning wet from dry, is helpful. Learning through experience is the most beneficial way. You can even show him where the potty is after the accident to reinforce the process and to reassure him. We know it can often be tiring but remember, it is a learning curve and we're here to help.

Potty training tips for boys

Below are some handy tips for potty training your boy and promoting those easier times:

  • Let him decorate his potty: Your Big Kid will take pride in his potty if it’s decorated with stickers of his favourite characters.
  • Buy more than one potty: When you begin toilet training, put a potty in the bathroom but keep another nearby too, in case of emergencies!
  • Put food colouring in the water: Add a splash of blue or red food colouring into the water, he’ll love watching it turn green or orange!
  • Use hoop cereals to improve his aim: When he starts standing to pee, put a few cereal hoops into the bowl and encourage him to try and sink them to improve his aim.
  • Keep a book in the bathroom: Encouraging him to read his favourite book when he needs the toilet is a good way to keep him relaxed and entertained.
  • Keep him occupied: Sometimes actually getting them to stay on the potty can be the biggest challenge. Keeping the child entertained with fun activities can work wonders in helping them to go. Distraction as a technique works particularly well with poo phobia too.
  • Dress him in loose-fitting clothing: When toilet training a boy, try to dress him in loose-fitting clothes he can easily remove. Buttons and zips require time and concentration to undo, so opt for elasticated waistbands where possible.
  • Beware of urine guards: Although these protect your floor from splashes, they can be painful for your boy, which might provoke uncomfortable associations with the potty and deter him from using it.

Keep training consistent

Before beginning potty training, ensure everyone involved in his childcare is on board including childminders, grandparents and those at nursery. This ensures everyone involved remains calm and patient and your boy learns by one, consistent method.

Consistency is also key when potty training at night. It can be confusing to take him out of nappies in the day and put him back in them at night. With Huggies® Pull-Ups® for boys available in both day and night variants, consistency is achieved easily as your boy takes that step forward to becoming a Big Kid.

Further potty training solutions

There is no quick way to potty train but tips, tricks and knowledge from those who have experienced it definitely helps. Whether it’s real-life stories from parents or advice from our potty training experts, we’ve got your back.