It's potty time - for boys

Potty training boys!

Teaching your little boy to use the potty is a big step in their development. It’s a wonderful feeling when they start to use it properly and it’s amazing how excited they can get the first time they see something in their potty! He will have so much more freedom when he’s out of nappies and he’ll be very proud of his big boy’s pants. Over the years, advice on potty training boys has varied, making it a bit confusing, so we’ve put together some of the latest ideas, tips and advice.

When to start

There isn’t a recommended age to start potty training. The right time is when your little boy looks as if he’s ready and willing. Some toddlers, usually girls, start as young as 18 months. Others may not be prepared to learn bladder and bowel control until after their third birthday.

Research shows that if you start potty training before your child is ready, it can take a lot longer to get it right. So, what are the signs? If you notice any of the following, your toddler may be telling you something:

• He pees a fair amount at one time.
• His poos are well-formed and fairly regular. 
• He’s dry for at least two hours or during naps.
• He dislikes wearing a wet or dirty nappy.


Potty – There are lots of different kinds available, but for boys it’s good to choose one with a splashguard at the front.

Travel potty – To let you continue training wherever you are.

Toddler toilet seat – These fit over your toilet seat to make the gap smaller. Some toddlers prefer to use the toilet from the start, others will move on to it a bit later, but all will need a safe seat.

Toilet step – Helps your toddler use the toilet on his own.

Ready to go!

To help your little boy get used to his new potty it can be fun to let him know it’s special. He could write his name on it or decorate the outside with stickers. You could also get him some bright new pants to make him feel really grown up. 

It’s a good idea to show him what to do, and although boys will usually stand up to do a wee in the end, almost all start off by sitting down. Pick a time when he’s happy, take off his nappy and let him sit on the potty for as long as he wants. Some mums find reading a story can help.

When he first does something in the potty, feel free to show your excitement. He’ll be really pleased with himself and it will encourage him to do it again next time. Some mums like to give a little reward the first few times as an extra incentive!

Accidents will happen…

Be prepared for a few puddles and wet pants. This is all part of the experience and it’s a new learning curve for your little boy. The best way to deal with mishaps is to make light of them with an ‘oops-a-daisy’, and remind him it’s better to do it in the potty. 

Staying dry through the night

There’s no rush to get your toddler out of night time nappies. It’s usually best to wait until he’s got the hang of using the potty during the day. A good sign that he’s ready is when his morning nappies are mostly dry. When the time’s right, pop a rubber sheet on the bed to protect the mattress and let your little boy know that if he has an accident, it doesn’t matter. 

There’s so much more to his amazing development

Saying goodbye to nappies is wonderful. Your little boy has taken a big step! But there are still more great things to come. Our toddler development articles look at the amazing physical development he’ll go through, and can help you understand the importance of those hard-to-get nutrients like vitamin Diron and omega-3. Because his bones and muscles are growing at quite a pace, your little boy needs a special toddler diet to help him receive all of the goodness that he needs every day. While he’s excited about trying new things, it’s a great idea to give him lots of variety at mealtimes. That way you’ll be helping him learn to love all sorts of good food.

If you need some inspiration now and again, we’ve put together some delicious recipes on our website for you to try. And if you need any more tips and advice, take a look at some of the other toddler nutrition articles.


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Join the C&G baby club today

  • Weekly emails with tips and advice for your stage
  • 1-to-1 support from our dedicated Careline team, 8.30am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

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