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Potty Training a Boy, The Real Story

This article was written for mama’s with a toddler boy as their oldest child. If you have a girl, feel free to read this article if you want, but know you will probably finish this article and thank your lucky stars that you have a girl. At least when it comes to potty training…


I would like to take this opportunity, to put out there the potty training warnings that I didn’t see before I skipped with rainbows and unicorns into “the potty training weekend” with my two year old son, Ajax. While I’m not claiming to be the most well-read on potty training, I did throw down a few Google sessions, Pinterest stalkings, and made several attempts to crack open those potty-training library books before embarking on trying to potty train my son. Here are the top five things I read, several times over.

  • There are signs from your toddler that help you know they’re ready to be potty trained.
  • You can potty train your child in THREE days!!
  • Let your child be naked as you are teaching them how to use the potty.
  • Make sure to have juice and salty foods on hand so they need to go to the bathroom more often.
  • Have “big boy/girl” underwear to help motivate your child.

I felt prepared and motivated when I woke up one beautiful Saturday morning and, with my husband, excitedly announced to Ajax “WE’RE GOING TO USE THE POTTY TODAY!! YAY!!” And then I quickly figured out that all of those article and pins and books were talking about GIRLS when they referenced potty training.

The signs about whether your toddler is ready? Yup, all there. Someone just forgot to write down that boys, while they are smart enough to know “I have to poop, go to the potty,” that they just don’t care. Poop in their pants, no probs. Oh, they peed all over their shirt. Eeehh, whateves. Frankly, I should of seen this one coming because I’m not even sure my husband is fully potty trained…. just kidding!

Potty Train in THREE days? Again, GIRLS. I mean, my mom said I was potty trained in a day. I’m not sure how I missed this part, but an article I read about potty training a boy in three days, she mentions at the end that FOR THREE MONTHS AFTER, to let him be naked in the house to help him not just potty in his clothes. Um, who in their right mind wants to tail a child all day, every day for three months?!

Now I don’t think the advice to feed your child juice and salty foods really makes a difference whether we’re talking boys or girls.  But let me tell you what that advice did for my little guy. Take the just don’t care attitude and we’re gonna learn this in three days so we’re not leaving the house and add too it DIARRHEA from all the juice he was drinking that he doesn’t normally drink. That was a super helpful tip…

So now I have one tiny toddler, running around the house, naked, holding his bottom with his hands because he is nervous that he is going to sneeze, and “poopies” will come out. IF he feels like it, he will make his way to the potty. But I shouldn’t really expect that because whatever he is doing is seriously, way more interesting. It was three days of that. Oh, and while he loved his Thomas the Train and Star Wars undies, there wasn’t a tear shed about pooping or peeing in them (for the few times we went out of the house during our three day confinement). Well, I cried.

Currently, my son is wearing a diaper, and his new favorite shirt.

So my advice to you mamas with boys…diapers. Diapers until they’re like, ten. And don’t be fooled by that “mama! I need a diaper; I pooped” signs and occasional excitement over the new potty that sits in the bathroom. Don’t even fall for the “I have to go potty.” I guarantee it’s just because he wants a chocolate chip that he gets after he goes in the potty.  All the other fifteen times he needs to go, you’ll just be cleaning up poop and pee from the floor. So here’s my potty training warning: wait until they can train themselves.

Author’s Note : This article is meant to be sarcastic, in nature, although entirely true of my experience. Every child is different and while I’m sure your toddler boy picked up on potty training right away and poops his golden nuggets into the pot on que, I happen to think you are the exception, not the rule. Also, I’m very unwilling to potty train for weeks on end. I’m fine with diapers…for like, ever.

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10 Responses to Potty Training a Boy, The Real Story

  1. Kate March 1, 2016 at 11:32 am #

    Loved it, Abi. You are brave to attempt potty training pregnant. Love Ajax’s shirt.

  2. Revekah March 5, 2016 at 7:14 am #

    Haha I love this! I have a 2 1/2 yr boy old who I just knew was ready to potty train! I got treats, books and big boy underwear. He actually peed in the potty for about half a day and then said – “nah I want a diaper again” and just flat out reused the underwear and potty.

    I’ve heard of self-led weaning….can self-led potty training be a thing we start?

    • Abi T
      Abi T March 9, 2016 at 2:26 pm #

      LOVE the idea of self-led potty training=) haha!

      • Kristin S
        Kristin S March 9, 2016 at 3:29 pm #

        ok, again. lol. I’ve got a 12 year old. Misses more than he hits. Lysol wipes in every bathroom that the kid might use. It ain’t pretty, and it’s a long time before they get much better. I think about the time that what a girl thinks matters…

  3. Kathryn March 5, 2016 at 10:04 pm #

    Preach! My son is 2 1/2. He loves the chocolate and the ipad he gets to watch so much that he wouldn’t get up. First lesson learned. We are in the use the potty when we feel like it phase. And by that I mean, when I feel like bribing him with chocolate. Also, no one mentions that boys learn in phases. When are they supposed to switch to aiming?!? Loved the post. Best of luck to you and all the boy mamas out there.

    • Abi T
      Abi T March 9, 2016 at 2:27 pm #

      oh man.. I haven’t even though about aiming… heaven help!!! =)

  4. Sarah March 9, 2016 at 2:33 pm #

    This is so right on! My daughter was potty trained with minimal effort at 18 months. We attempted with my son at the same age and he did great all weekend until he fell in the potty at school and that was the end of that. Fast forward a year and a half later and it finally clicked right at 3! I was told by SO MANY boy mom’s I knew that their boys just weren’t interested until they were closer to 3 and it wasn’t worth the battle. We made several half hearted attempts in between but I finally gave in and decided they must know what they are talking about. Around the time of his 3rd bday we started trying again, but this time we had BIG bribery in play! He was going to a waterpark and so excited about it! I showed him pictures on my phone everyday before he went into school and it worked. We did do some naked time at home at night for about a week but my advice is not to stress it! Boys tend to do a lot of things maturity wise later than girls. And don’t listen to that mom who tries to make you feel bad bc your sweet little studmuffin hasn’t mastered the art of peeing in the toilet yet. My answer to that is to enjoy that much more time without pee all over your walls, floors and anything else they decide to aim for! Boys are so disgusting!!! ;P

  5. Kristin S
    Kristin S March 9, 2016 at 3:26 pm #

    LOL, I LOVED this!!! But maybe that’s because we are in the throes of potty training over here….
    I waited until my guy was 3. Okay, he’ll be 4 at the end of the month. And while lots of people have given me grief for ‘letting it go so long’, it hasn’t been too bad.
    If you don’t count the fact that I have a naked boy running around my house all day. And we can’t go out. But, seriously, who doesn’t love being a hermit with a naked rambunctious boy in the house? Three months? Okay, one down two to go. Please someone save me…
    Yeah, I hate potty training. I vote for self-led potty training. I would totally support making that a thing!!!!

  6. Emily March 10, 2016 at 12:36 pm #

    LAUGHED SO HARD. This is for reals! I love the shirt! I have 3 boys. Oldest two are twins and one twin potty trained at 3 because he woke up one day and said he wanted to. Next one potty trained at 3.5 because he had finally had enough of not sleeping in the big boy bed his twin got when he started going potty. My youngest is now 2.5 and doesn’t care at all and I’m going to let it ride with this one too. Totally anti potty training because I don’t pick battles I can’t win and they hold all the marbles with this one!

  7. Nicole March 10, 2016 at 12:50 pm #

    HALLEJUAH!!!!! Kamden turned 2 in December and honestly has zero interest sitting on his potty chair or the insert on the big toilet seat. Aye ai ai. I think we might have shot ourselves in the foot because we got the big toilet seat insert first and he sat on it for a nano-second and complained it hurt his butt and legs. Then he was afraid of the potty chair hurting too. Husband and I refuse to push him but we kindly ask if he wants to sit on the potty and every once in a while he’ll nod his head or say yes and we’ll put him on the seat and read books. We’re not a fan of bribery or offering treats either, but I’m not opposed to a sticker chart or something like they have at his pre-school. We’ll see …… regardless, I am comforted and encouraged by reading the prior comments about toddler boys ready to potty train closer to age 3. And, for the record, I bought two big boxes of diapers at Sam’s today. Only 7.5 more years until Kamden is 10. GO US!!!!!!

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