Potty Training Tips for Boys and Girls – Step by Step Guide - Tips On Parenting


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August 15, 2020

Potty Training Tips for Boys and Girls – Step by Step Guide

Lately you may have noticed, you are changing fewer diapers and the diapers remain dry during their nap time. These signs along with few other indicate that your baby is ready to be independent and start the potty training. Potty training requires fair bit of attention from parents. It is when your child leaves diapers behind and moves to potty or toilet.

Potty Training Tips for Boys and Girls – Step by Step Guide

Every child has a different approach towards certain things, so potty training may get tricky and complex for some parents. Don’t worry, we have got your back and compiled the best step by step guide to help you potty train your child.


When to potty train a child?

Most of the time parents are confused and unsure if the child is ready for potty training or toilet training. Not all kids are same and you can't expect them to be ready at the same age as that of others. However, you can keep observing their behavior and look for certain signs and clues that indicates that it's time to start potty training. So, if your little one isn't ready and prepared, then none of these potty training tips will be effective. Usually you will be able to see these signs anywhere from 18 months to 24 months and in some cases more than 2 years.


It might be the correct time to start potty training if your child:

  • Is observing and interested in seeing other family members go to the toilet.
  • Has dry diaper for at least 2 hours.
  • Follows simple instruction like "pass the toy to me".
  • Can pull their diapers and pants up and down.
  • Points and use the words to show interest in using the potty.
  • Start being cranky wearing nappies and feel comfortable in underpants.
  • Can walk and sit for small time period.
  • Use expressions and words to tell you that they want to pee or poo.
  • More regular bowel movements.
  • Lesser and lesser diapers are being changed and used.


It is important to understand that you might not be able to spot all these signs at the same time. Your child might be ready even when not all the signs are presents. So, its your job as parents to keep your eyes open and decide when is the right time to start potty training. When it comes down to boys, they take a bit longer to learn and even show these signs a bit late as compared to little girls. Patient is the key and never rush your child for potty training when not showing signs early. So, these were the basic signs that helps figure out when to potty train a child.


When should you avoid potty training?

There are certain times and situation if you come across should stop the whole potty training idea for some time. Some of those moments are:

  • When you are on a vacation and traveling.
  • When you child is sick.
  • Moving to a new house or apartment.
  • Moving baby from crib to bed.
  • If a new baby is on the way.


What equipment are essential for potty training?

To make potty training smooth and less hectic, you will need to have certain stuff ready before jumping into potty training.


Potty or Toilet

It better to have both the options available for the child rather than just limiting them to toilet for potty training. They may prefer one over other or may like switching them. A potty can be pretty easy to move around, while with toilet you don’t get that sort of flexibility. Also, toilet is bigger than the child themselves and might give them a scary experience during potty training.

In case your kid decides to go with the toilet, you will need a footstool or a step so they can easily get on the toilet sit and rest their feet on it as they are doing their job. Also, you will need a smaller toilet seat that fit inside the toilet seat.


Training Pants and pull-ups

Switching from nappies and diapers to training pants and pull-ups helps prepare your child for potty training. Pull-ups are more useful when you are planning to go out as they have higher absorbing capacity than cloth training pants.



This can be an exciting and big step for both parents and the child.



Tips on preparing your toddler for potty training

Before taking the big step its better to prepare your child for potty training in all the possible ways for best and fast results. Don’t throw away all the diaper bad right away, you may need them if thing take the wrong turn. These tips can make the transformation from diapers to the potty easy and smooth.


Highlight the benefits of using potty: 

You can encourage you child by saying that "wearing underpants is fun, cool and comfy", "You will soon be able to go potty on your own", "You will be able to flush like mommy and daddy". But while trying to pass the positivity don’t cross the lines and tell them that all they been doing so far is childish and it's time to do it like grownups. This may provoke their feeling and you might face resistance.


Bathroom talk and words: 

Communication is important in potty training and feeling ashamed of using certain words in front of your children is totally reasonable. You need to know which word is your child using when they want to pee or poo. Word like pee, wee, poo and I need to go are pretty common ones used by toddlers. Don’t feel embarrassed while using these terms. Also, avoid saying things like 'Your poo smells really bad', 'I can't stand the smell', 'yuck'. Things like these make them uncomfortable during potty when you are around.


Watch and learn: 

This doesn't mean that the toddler has be with you in the bathroom while you are doing your thing. Show them the steps, what to do first, how to sit properly, what can they do while on the potty, how and when to use flush and stuff like that. Feel free and open to answer and clear your kids concerns as they see and observe you and other family members using the toilet.


Dress them properly for potty training success: 

Till now all they wore were diapers and now it's time to get them used to pull-ups and training pants which are much easier to pull up and down as they have no tricky buttons on them. The best thing to do is ask them to pull their pants down as you are changing their diaper and ask them to pull up again after you are done changing the diaper. This will get them into a habit which can be helpful during potty training.


Healthy and nutritious diet: 

One thing that will bring down your potty training plans is constipation which can happen when the child isn’t getting proper amount of fiber and not drinking enough water. Also, hygienic food will keep them away from diarrhea.


Explain the gap between potty and diapers: 

Change the diaper, take and dump it in the potty or toilet and show them what is the right place for the dirty diapers. Soon your little ones will realize the difference. You can also show them how flushing cleans everything afterwards. This certainly will help the child understand the use and benefit of potty.


Pick the perfect potty:

Every child will have a different preference and its up to you to buy potty accordingly. Kids are likely to move left, right and sometimes even jump to check and adjust themselves. So, buy one that has a stable base and that doesn’t tip over with little movements. If the potty has a footrest attached to it, they can press against it during the bowel movements. You never know how much time will they take when using potty for the first time, so it's important to buy one that is as comfortable as possible.



Potty training tips to get started

Potty training can be hell of a roller-coaster ride for parents. So, it is recommended to start potty training when things in the family are likely to remain the same and nothing new is coming up soon that will turn everything upside-down. You have already done all the preparation and now its time to start the potty training.


Switch to pull-ups

Accidents can happen anywhere and potty training is no different place. In the beginning, things might not go the way you expected, so use pull-ups that can soak just like diapers in case of accidents, which later can be disposed. You don’t necessarily need to pull them down and it can mess everything up, better rip the pull-ups and throw it away.


Keep them motivated

Even when they can't do it, praise them for at least trying. As days pass by and your child gets involved more and comfortable using the potty, gradually lower the praises and rewards. Promise to give small incentives if they follow the routine which will keep them excited. Don’t get frustrated and angry on them if they miss the toilet and do it in their pull-ups or underpants.


Get on a potty schedule

Reschedule the daily routine that you and your child have been following till now and add potty training to it. Best practice is to encourage them to use the potty or toilet before and after bed and 45 minutes to an hour after drinking juice or any fluids. Let them use the potty only for few minutes couple of times a day. After couple of days, your child will understand that potty is a routine thing and when to rush to the potty.


Don't punish for mistakes

They are little ones and barely know the difference between and wrong. As parents, it's our responsibility to help them make right decision and show them how to fix it when they have done something wrong. Undoubtedly, potty training is a frustrating journey for any parent, but if can hold and swallow your anger and urge to punish your toddler when they act stupid during potty training, at least it will be a happy journey for the kids and certainly will save you lot of time and arguments with your partner. Putting pressure and screaming won't help them learn any faster.


Don’t flush right away

If you and your child have preferred toilet for potty training, don’t flush right away. The sound of the flushing can be scary for some if they haven’t heard it before or seen someone from the family use it. Introduce them to flushing slowly, once they have got hang of going to potty. Use the flushing sound as a prop or sound effect for a fun game you and you child can play at the end.


Give boys a little extra time

Although, potty training is almost the same for boys and girls, the only part where it differs a little is number 1 and number 2. Boys might get confused and usually take a bit longer compared to girls. At first, it’s a good practice to teach boys to pee by sitting on the potty or toilet and later when they get used to it, teach him to pee while standing.


Keep it clean and hygienic

You can't expect them to wipe their bottom themselves from the very first day of potty training. Teach them how its done and tell them if they can wipe on their own, you will put a penny in their piggy bank the next day. Explain boys how important it is to shake his penis well after peeing, so no drops fall on their underpants or pull-ups. Always remind your toddler of washing their hands after using toilet. Boys when peeing may not have the best target, so ask them to aim or they could prefer doing the thing sitting on the potty or toilet.


Don’t expect miracles on the first day

There are so many factors that will determine how quickly your child will be able to learn and master in potty training. Determination and patience are the key to get results within couple of days. Don’t put too much pressure on the kids and if things are not going as plan, maybe its time to pause potty training for a little.


Give a book for time pass

Potty training can be boring for kids, as there is nothing else to do. You can bring a book when they are on the potty or toilet and read it to them or maybe let them look at their favorite picture book. Don’t give phones, this will just distract them totally of the potty training, making the process even harder.


So far, we have answered question like:

How to potty train a baby?

When to potty train a baby?

Potty training tips for boys and girls.


But the biggest question still remains, how long does potty training take?

If you are lucky and doing every thing right, you can see progress within a week. But, if we have to give a factual time range, it can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months. This can change from children to children and maybe go up or down. Your child's ability to learn new things, following the schedule, enough time dedicated by the parents in the beginning are some of the factors that will determine how ling will it exactly take to complete the potty training.



There are going to be lot of bumps on this path, so better be prepared for the challenges. The key to the whole potty training process is determining the time and that moment when your toddler shows signs of readiness for potty training. The vision of ditching the diapers and never have to use it may feel exciting but will surely need some work to get to that point. Never lose hope, today or tomorrow your kid will definitely master potty training.