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On The Throne

If you clicked on the title, hoping for an uplifting story about God’s saving grace, you may be disappointed. Just sayin’.

Today began Day 1 of Potty Training. Or hell on earth, as I affectionately regard it. A day I’ve lived in fear and dread of. Why the urgency? I have to face Jensen’s doctor on Wednesday.

Last month, we went to see this miracle doctor for the first time. When he caught sight of my 5 foot 4, three year old in a diaper, he did not mince words. “He should be potty trained.”


In my head.

In reality, I smiled, and nodded, “Yes indeed, I need to work on that. We can’t wait.”

And I make a mental note to put the kid in pull-ups next visit to at least give the impression that I’m worthy of motherhood.

Jensen has shown no interest in potty training. Except that the toilet is a fascinating place to float toys. And occasionally sniff the seat. Just to see Mommy’s reaction. And the flushing. YES! That would provide hours of entertainment, should Mommy allow it. The bathroom is a veritable cornucopia of unending amusement.

Reason # 231 why I still employ the use of 5 baby gates. (He has acquired the skill of dismantling all of them, but at least it slows him down. Somewhat.)

I presented his big boy underwear to him. He had a wide array of superhero fashions to chose from. He went with Bob the Builder.

Bob lasted about 10 minutes.

Then I tried a new approach. I had a pair of boxers that were a miniature version of those which belong to his favorite superhero, Fiddledaddy. Pay dirt.

I set the timer for 20 minutes, for a visit to the potty. All day long. To the point that I’m still hearing the “DING” in my head, long after the little soldier has trooped off to bed. I also hung a poster on the bathroom door with the promise of A STICKER EVERY TIME YOU GO POOPOO OR PEEPEE.

This intrigued him. He attempted a variety of ways to negotiate the potty. I tell you. Girls are easy. Potty training boys, with all their extra equipment, is not a job for the faint of heart.

For sport, he tried facing the back of the toilet, then side saddle, followed by “the dip”, and then ending with the way I told him 400 times to do it in the first place.

Mommy’s voice ECHOES in the bathroom when she’s excited. That’s so much fun.

By days end, he accumulated 6 stickers. And only had one accident. He did manage to pee on my foot, but that didn’t count because he was on the toilet. Facing the correct direction.

I think he did very well. And I should be congratulated for not consuming any cocktails. Round 2 begins tomorrow. If you moms of boys have any sage advice on potty training (or a fun filled potty story just to make me feel better), please share it with me now. I have a feeling I’ve just boarded a runaway train that I’m powerless to stop.

55 Responses to On The Throne

  • Borrow a (slightly older, potty-trained) Man Figure for a while. Peer influence can work its magic. That, or the boys will just end up having a “sword fight” in the john. Well, whatever works.

    Oh, there’s the standard “cheerios” floating in the water trick for the boy to aim (that particularly small body part) towards.

    Don’t encourage sitting to pee (or vice versa) until standing to pee is well mastered. The whole “getting on the potty and sitting just right and pointing down” always seemed too hard of a task for my boys to begin with.

    Letting him pee outside might work as a reward. Maybe your neighborhood doesn’t allow this. 🙂

    And once that timer sound starts going away, you’ll have a new noise in your head. It’s your voice saying “Point down! Point down!”

  • I’m in the middle of potty training my son right now. His preschool has been doing it for me and he is 100% trained at school. Amazing! However, not so much at home. He loves to do #2 so he can get mm’s. I am not above bribery. Not at all. However, I stepped in a puddle of #1 yesterday. Lovely. My daughter was so easy. This one, not so easy. I can’t wait to read all the comments and get some suggestions.

  • Don’t forget you’re gonan have to teach him how to do the shake at the end. You can hear my 2.5 year old GS say “tap, tap” everytime before he flushes.
    Good times. Good times.

  • I taught my 3 year old to sit down (he stands now but back in the day, sitting worked). I did not take my hairy eyeball off him all day long – kept him in underwear, tanked him up with fluids, set the timer as you do for 20 minute intervals and had the sticker chart for each time he squeezed something out. The crowning glory was the coveted Thomas the Tank Engine trains up on the refrigerator – special incentive for a little boy who would be the proud owner of said trains when the sticker chart was filled up and no accidents.

    P.S. Shortly after Miles was trained, my “4” year old nephew lived with us for a month (so don’t feel so bad about the 3 – I certainly didn’t) – he wasn’t trained either. ::gasp:: He got the same training and in 3 days was dry. He did have an accident and I will confess that I took his coveted train away (because he got the exact same treatment as Miles) and he had to earn it back. I was not taking any of this accident guff when I knew they had the pee/poo thing figured out but were too lazy to get to the can. Just sayin’.

  • Having never had girls, I have no comparison.

    Your bathroom will never be the same. If I had my way about it, males would never stand to pee. The whole aiming correctly, and “spatter factor” just make the whole thing gross. Sadly, I’m outnumbered in this area 5 to 1.

    Be prepared to do daily wipe downs of your bathroom. Including walls, and the floor surrounding your toilet.

    And start teaching him to clean early. Because you’ll want to hand that job over mighty quick.

  • Seriously. By some lysol wipes. That’s all I have to say. I have 3 boys, one that’s potty training right now, and it makes me REALLY appreciate how easy my daughter was to train. 🙂 His peeing method of choice today was to pick his nose, and then throw the boogie in the toilet and pee on it, standing up waving his “deebnis” as he calls it, in a figure 8. LOL
    I really wish I was kidding.

  • DeeDee ~ Just let him TAKE IT ALL OFF!! If he’s naked, yes, you may have a few puddles to clean up off the floor at the beginning, but he’ll catch on faster.

    As an aside, I totally and unfortunately have to agree with Christine above. I scour my boys’ bathroom regularly, but it still smells like pee. WHAT is it? Is it soaked into the walls? The tile? The shower curtain? What??! Aaagh!! It’s gross!

    Have fun! 🙂

  • My son was also 3 when he trained and we (read: my husband) encouraged him to stand since he was tall enough. Daddy demonstrated a few times and that was all it took. Well, that and deciding that peeing in his underwear all day long was getting pretty uncomfortable (it took 4 days of staying home). Pooping was a whole different story – it was months later before we could get that done. We used the sticker chart and for every 5 stickers he got a bowling trip (his favorite activity at the time). It was hard for us because my son has food allergies (just like yours) and we couldn’t bribe with candy like we did for my daughter. Bribery – it has to be one of my favorite parenting tools ever!

  • My older son was in daycare when it was time to train him – his provider did most of the work. My husband, a stay-at-home dad, managed to get both of my daughters potty-trained. I was happy to delegate the training of the youngest, Adam, to his father and older brother.

    Our only problem is that Adam prefers to hold it as long as possible. He will dance around the living room with his knees together, a cuter version of that Martin Short character, until the LAST POSSIBLE MINUTE, when he races at top speed toward the bathroom. Naturally by this time one of his siblings is locked in the bathroom taking a shower.

    He starts kindergarden this year. Won’t THAT be fun for everybody.

  • No great words of wisdom here. Sorry.

    I taught J to go “sitting down” to avoid the need to call in HazMat every day to clean up.

    Then, I went to work.

    Daddy was at home during the day, taught him the “boys way” , so miraculously it was all over for me.

    I rewarded daddy with his own set of cleaning supplies as a thank you.

    Only fair, don’t you think?

    (PS- tell Jensen I’ll pay him to get this done, so you’re on your way out here faster…).

  • Outside is for potty training boys. It was so much easier to talk my son into going off the back porch. Then you can move it inside later! Good luck! I hate potty training.

  • I have not much to give you.

    My son was really ready to be trained, but I held him off because my daughter had just been born, and I had heard that if you potty train very soon before a new sibling, then they revert back, and I sooo didn’t want that to happen.

    I had a potty chair that I brought into the living room as the only bathroom was upstairs.

    I set him on that every half an hour for the first day. Praise when he went. No accidents happened. He was so excited to wear big boy underwear. He was completely trained in 3 days.

    When he was tall enough, we plopped Cherrio’s into the toilet and had him drown them. That helped with “aim”.

    Good luck, and get the Vodka out.

  • Oh Dee Dee I feel for you. I have two boys. The oldest was a breeze. The other, Oh mercy! I have two pieces of advise for you. 1) have them sit down facing the back of the potty. Everything still gets in the potty and no mess. 2) Try these things called “Piddlers”. They are flushable shaps that float in the potty. Makes aiming a fun game. I must say once they start to stand your walls and floor will never be the same. Keep some Clorox wipes in the bathroom at all times. Never let them run out. Good luck!

  • Boys are so gross.

    It took forever to potty train my boy. I recall screaming something about “not buying any more diapers!” one day, not my best moment.

    I finally gave up and left the rest of the training to my husband. He had it done over a long weekend. I highly recommend that route! (Bribery helps too!)

  • Y’all, I’m scared to try the whole “aim for the Cheerio” method. Knowing my boy, he’ll go in to rescue it, then dine on it.


  • Oh, the stories I could tell. I potty trained twin boys. And lived to tell about it. Barely. My third boy was much easier. I suggest a Baby Bjorn potty chair. It’s 22 bucks, which is steep, but totally worth it. They were comfortable, it’s got a little blocker for the pee, and it fit in the car easily. When you do teach them to stand up, you put the seat up to the potty and you stand the child on your feet. That’s usually the right height. I found it easier to start them on a potty chair and then teaching them to stand was a treat. A goal to work for.

    I didn’t blog much about potty training the twins because I always dissolved into weeping, but I can tell you that you will probably never have to clean up a room covered with poop. My boys pooped, dumped it out, and ran their trucks and trains through it. Gave skid marks a whole new meaning.

    During potty training, I did write about this little incident: http://www.vitafamiliae.com/?p=253
    Not many moms have had their college diplomas “anointed” by their sons.

  • Get the dad to do it. Just make sure he has better aim than the kid. *grin*

    I agree, though, with the reader who suggested letting him run around nekkid. My boys were self potty trained by 2-ish because I was too lazy to keep them in clothes.

  • well the way I saw my daycare lady when I was little do it was to put a few cheerios in the potty for them to aim at, however my husband thought that was a dumb idea becasue he insisted the boys would get confused and pee in their breakfast cereal lol. But if you put one little square of toilet paper and tell him to aim that worked well for us. another thing that worked well was to add a drop or two of blue food coloring to the potty water and tell him to make magic, when he pees in there it will turn green. 🙂 I know a little unconventional but hey…you do what works. 🙂

  • My two year old is about 90% train right now and I find the best piece of advice is to take cues from the kid. All children are different. We went with the bare bottom method and the pee running down his leg once worked for him to want to use the potty. When he has to go #2 he gets very frustrated so we grab some books and toys and hang out in the bathroom til we get it done. It is definately a full time job with boys though!! Good Luck!

  • We “paid” our boys with jellybeans everytime they went in the potty. 1 jellybean for #1, 2 jellybeans for, well, you know…

    For the first few days, we set the timer every 20 minutes, then moved it to 25 minutes, adding on 5-10 minutes each week until they could go once an hour or so. That’s what worked for us.

    Oh, and when you venture out in public, be prepared to go on a bathroom tour. There’s some sort of facination for small ones to see every bathroom within a 10 mile radius…

    Good luck!

  • I agree with getting Dad to help. My son, whose now 11, has ALWAYS wanted to do and be just like his daddy. So, during the potty training phase, he went with daddy to the bathroom every chance he had. That really helped. I also agree with the no clothes option. I did that with my son and daughter. It’s a little messy for a while but when they felt it, REALLY felt it, they didn’t like it.

    Wishing you the best! I would not recommend starting during the pms week…just a recommendation…

  • I see by reading everyone elses comments that I really had it easy. My son decided, about a month before his 2nd birthday, that he was a big boy and was going to pee like daddy and he did. It took about a week and he never had an accident after that.

  • For the love of Sam don’t let the kid have a target!!! Because when they are in fireman mode everything needs to be hosed down. Just saying…

    Sit and pee or you will be cleaning every day for all eternity. I now have to check the toilet after every use because some people just don’t care if mom is mopping up pee. It’s not like I have anything better to do.

    That whole have Dad show them – he almost ended up peeing on their heads cuz I had twins stand and watch Dad only they both leaned in. I still have no idea why they decided to get a closer look. And hubby is still bitter about that one – maybe in another decade he’ll let it go.

    We did the hero underware – when I confronted Thing2 why did he poop his pants he said Batman did it. Sigh

    Bribery works. I checked their underwear every 5 minutes and if they were dry they got an M&M. After an hour I stretched it to 10 then 15. I did this for about a week stretching the time I checked them and they got it. It was running errands and night time that was the hard part.

    Their little brother – nothing worked. He wanted no part until he turned 3. He decided he was a big boy and that’s what they do and the rest was history.

    Bottom line – use whatever will work and run with it!! Hang in there! Just think of all the blogfodder you will glean. 🙂

  • I have 8 kids. 4 of each. I don’t think one is easier than the other, it’s their desire. Son #3 was using a big boy potty so we bought him, his very own potty. He took one look at that & informed me “No way!” & would not use it. The day after his second birthday he came up & told me he had to pee, sent him to Daddy & the rest was history. Now child #7. Oh boy, she did not want to potty in a potty chair. So we bought one of those insert that you put on the seat. She got it stuck on her head, down around her little ears that stick out. The older kids were howling & telling me to get the video camera because they just knew we were going to be $10,000 richer. I was screaming at them to knock it off & to help me get their little sister unstuck. I couldn’t imagine having to run her to the ER with a toilet seat stuck on her head. She wouldn’t go near a toilet without having a complete meltdown for 2 years. She turned 4 & I was tired of changing her bottom. We got out the old potty chair, put it in the family room, put a dress on her with big girl Dora panties & gave her a cookie each time she made it. It took two days of this, moving the potty chair closer & closer to the bathroom door with each usage. She was dry at night & during the day from then on. Child #8 is almost adopted, waiting for some court things to happen & he was abused when he was 2 because he didn’t get himself up in the middle of the night to have a bowel movement. He ended up being thrown against a wall, breaking his arm plus a multitude of other horrible things. He’s been here for 2 years & he still has accidents. But part of that is to see how far he can trust us that we won’t hurt him.
    Good Luck!

  • My son would flat out tel me he had no interest in going potty. I bought special underwear. I tried sending him in with his dad. I tried bribes. I told him he would get a cookie for a poopoo. This kid just said, “No, I’m not ready yet.” At my sons 3 year visit my doctor told me to stop trying to train. He would be ready when he was ready. (Great!) Somewhere around 4 1/2 (after I had given up all hope) I was working on homeschool with my DD and I heard the unmistakeable sounds from the bathroom. It took me a moment to realize my husband was not home. I had not said a word about it for a couple of months. He just decided on his own.

    About two weeks later he came up to me and said he was ready for his cookie. I looked at him blankly. He motioned toward the bathroom and his prize. Immediately I realized his meant and that I had never tought him to wipe on his own. Oops!

    That was it. He never had an accident after that point.

    I guess my doctor was right. He recognized (what we already knew) that we have a strong willed child. Unless they want to be trained, you are beating your head against the wall. You can try to make conditions favorable and encourage them to go, but this is one area that the child has complete control. People that do not have a child like this can’t relate. Potty training my DD was EASY! Thank goodness that I am a SAHM.
    Good Luck.

  • 4 boys later, the best trick I found was to train them in the summer with knit shorts, elastic waist band, but no underwear to navigate, and let them potty against a tree. By fall, they’ve got it down pat.

    It only works if you’ve got a largish yard, plenty of tree cover, and no sensitive neighbors.

  • My soon to be four year old was three before I even contemplated potty training him. I was terrified. And then I knew I had to do something because the in-laws were going to be watching the kids while The Calm One and I were gone for a week. I secretly hoped they’d finish the job for me. Bad daughter-in-law.

    The week before their arrival I did the set the timer thing and the reward thing as others have mentioned. I didn’t have much luck. Neither did The Calm One when I enlisted his aid.

    When Papaw came to visit, all it took for him was to tell Whirling Dervish that he’d “get him” if he didn’t put his peepee and poopoo in the potty. Honestly, I was mortified, but it worked, so I didn’t complain — out loud.

  • Fiddledeedee,

    I’m delurking even though I will be of no help to you with potty training a boy. I have a two year old son (my oldest) and I am dreading the entire thing myself. I keep thinking that maybe he will just rip his diaper off one day and pee in the potty like daddy because he tries to mimic everything else daddy does.

    It’s not going to be that easy, is it?

    Really, size 6 is the biggest size diaper? We’re in 5’s now. I’m writing a letter to the Kimberly-Clark, Proctor and Gamble people right now. We need bigger diapers.

  • Must de-lurk for a discussion on potty training…

    If I had one piece of advice for potty training boys, it would be to wait until they are ready and interested in it. Otherwise it’s an uphill battle all the way. My oldest took an entire year to potty train (I’m still recovering), and my second only took a month. We have used a reward system in the past to make this more interesting. A sticker for every trip to the potty, and 20 stickers earns a small reward. After using the pull-ups, we realized that they feel just like diapers, so they get peed in just like diapers. My boys had fewer accidents when they were wearing real undies because they knew they weren’t supposed to go in them.

    Now if I could just get my youngest to pee in the POTTY, and not on the FLOOR, or, you know, the TRASH CAN, my bathroom would not reek of urine and maybe I wouldn’t have to bleach the floor every day.

  • I also have a strong willed boy – who knew exactly what going to the potty meant and when it should happen but had no interest. We had tried the m&m’s, timing, pleading and other bribes, but the kicker for him was that he wanted a big boy bike – so the bike was hanging in the garage – and for all of June and July we talked about how he was going to be a big boy in August when he turned three and then he would be done with diapers and go poop and peepee in the potty. (you know the everyday, several times a day ongoing conversations) and he got to the point when he would bring it up and talk about how he was going to be BIG in August (but you can set any time limit you want) And when August came, we had one accident the first day while wearing the big boy undies, but seeing and feeling the mess was enough, and we didn’t have any accidents after that.

  • It sounds like you’re doing just fine 🙂

    Ihave trained 2 boys and will be working on the third in a few months. I agree that sitting backward is the best way to get the pee in the toilet with a boy. Mine weren’t tall enough to stand until after they had been trained for a while. Oh, and I wouldn’t dare give them something to aim at. Next thing I would hear is ‘what else can we pee on???”

    My second son would sit on the potty for hours and nothing would happen. We read stories, sang songs… nothing worked. Then one day I realized that the problem was modesty. All I had to do was leave the room and he would “go”. He didn’t want my praise or encouragement, he just wanted to be left alone.

  • I am *not* looking forward to potty training again. It’s been more than six years since I potty-trained my first and the trauma is still vivid in my mind. Logan just turned 2 and the pediatrician asked (at his 2-yr. visit) if I thought we were ready for potty-training. HA! Not even close, buddy.

  • Hilarious! I’m right there with you. I totally don’t understand the toys-in-the-toilet thing, and now I have to keep board books in the bathroom?!

    Have any of yours flushed an unflushable item down the toilet yet?

    Anyway, my son is a little younger than yours, but we’ve tried every position in the last week: sitting forward with and without child’s seat, sitting backward, standing on a stool, even standing on the toilet seat! So far, the least amount of cleaning is sitting forward on the Baby Bjorn seat. (The pee-blocker cannot be removed and thrown in the toilet like those on the cheaper seats.

    Good luck, and thanks to all your readers for the tips. I’m going to buy some food coloring!

  • Oh, how I giggled WITH you when I read this post… I too am trying to train our almost 3 yr old little boy, and it ain’t easy! My daughter practically did it herself, but my son is an entire different story!

  • The boy’s were so hard to potty train! They were both over 3 before they were really ready, ready not interested they were absolutely fine with peeing and pooping all over themselves. My daughter was potty trained before she was 2. I don’t have any tips, just have fun keep smiling and maybe have a cocktail…

  • Just wanted to stress the cheerios in the toilet idea!…It worked for both my boys! Good Luck!!

  • Well – I have a trick that helped me, I have twins, boy and girl, and yes girls are easier, but now about a year or so into this potty trained world “Baby Girl” has accidents, but “Little Hoss” never does! Anyway – back to my trick. It may be kind of weird, but “Daddy Hoss” is a big hunter and of course, “Little Hoss” wants to be just like “Daddy Hoss” so – I drew a picture of a nice sized buck in the bottom of their training potty and told him to squirt the deer! Worked for us anyway. Sitting down at first and then standing up, either way was fun for him. Hope it helps 🙂

  • It sounds like you (and the boy) had a pretty awesome first day. I bet Jensen has serious “potty power” (as my son calls it) in no time at all! Yippee!

  • For my son, he was night dry before he was daytime dry. We worked on potty training, and got the peeing down pretty quick. The pooping thing carried on for a good long while, till we were in Sears and they had a display of 7″ basketballs. Yep, that was the key–one week, no mess in his pants, the basketball and all accoutrements were his. He did it. That was all it took. When my daughter started taking off her clothes including diaper by herself, I figured it was time. I promised her the toy store. Find a toy he really really wants, and tell him when his pants stay clean for a week, it’s his. I believe in bribery.

  • Ahhh, I feel your pain. You want amusing stories??? Dear DeeDee, you must read the last two May entries at:


    You have no idea what you’re in store for. FUN FUN FUN!!!

    I am a mom of 4 boys and I hope I’ve seen it all!

  • Oh, what fun! Not. I potty trained my six year old when he was 2 years 3 months. We started with the sit down method and when he was tall enough, he went the big boy way. I never even thought about teaching him standing up.

    I now have the challenge of teaching my second son. I don’t think he’s really ready. I agree with everyone, each child is different!

  • Yes we too are in the very early stages of potty training and I have to it is one of my least favorite things to do. I have no words of wisdom, actually looking for a few myself, but I do wish you the best of luck.

  • CHERRIOS and Fruit LOOPS!! Throw ONE or TWO into the toilet and have him to play the game… SINK them with his pee…

    On another note… get the whole family involved. Let everyone PRAISE him… even at attempts. Especially older siblings! It may even be a good idea to let an older sibling take him potty and reward him with a sticker…

    Also, X number of stickers should result in something… 10 minutes of play time with mom, a cartoon, a dollar to spend at a dollar store… etc. Also… once you start big boy undies, don’t go back to diapers, pullups, etc.. for day time use. Pull ups for sleeping..that’s IT!!!

    Be patient.. it will come. I’ll be thinking about you during this time.


  • To those who have the problem of the bathroom still smelling like pee – I found that it seeps under the toilet and you can’t get it out. I discovered that (once you can get it clean under there – usually by removing the toilet), that if I caulked around the base of the toilet, then it can’t seep under there anymore. I haven’t had the smell issue anymore. And now that my son is 14 – it is his job to clean it up. I told him that if he can’t aim properly, it’s his job to clean it up.

    My son was a nightmare to train. He was 4 years old before he was completely trained – so don’t feel so bad. I actually told him that he wasn’t going to get to turn 4 if he still pooped in his pants, because 4 year olds used the toilet. I know, horrible, but I was desperate! I’ve also learned since then that my son doesn’t do ANYTHING until he is good and ready. And then it is like a switch was flicked on, and voila – he’s doing it!

    Thankfully, as I dreaded training my daughter after all that, she was a complete breeze. I was amazed at how quickly and easily she was trained.

    Hope it goes quickly and smoothly for you!

  • I knew my oldest was ready to potty train when he walked up and handed me his poop. And it was NOT in a diaper. Yeah.
    From there I stripped him down and in 3 days he was potty trained. Naked potty training is the way to go. I did that with my middle child too. And he was 18 mos old. Now with my daughter, I have quite a while before we start on that road, but I am curious as to how it will go.

  • My youngest just turned four a few weeks ago, and he was BARELY potty trained before his birthday…but we finally made it. I am so thankful that I never have to do that again! But still…when he poops, he forgets that he needs to get back up to pee, so he just pees on the floor in front of him. Or he misses the toilet completely, and I hear him report cheerfully from the bathroom that he just peed “on the wall, and the floor, and a little on the sink!” I am thinking that we need to work just a little bit on aim. LOL

    Sometimes, I wish I had boys first so that I could appreciate how easy it was to potty train girls. :o)

  • Our first two children were boys and our first was almost 4 by the time he finished training (was peeing in the potty for a long while before learning to poop). We feel he took so long because he didn’t feel the pee as much in the pull-ups and when he pooped we just ripped it off and tossed it. With the second, we tried training underwear and rubber pants in the day and cloth diapers (Bum Genius) during the night with an extra liner. He was fully trained just before he turned three and that was only six months after the first trained. We used the baby bjorn potty chair because it is easy to just lift out and dump and the piece in the front was built in, it is low to the floor and easy for them to get on and off. When they wanted to start using the big potty, we used the baby bjorn toilet trainer because it still had that safety piece keep the pee in the potty. It adjusts to the toilet seat so it doesn’t slide around like others we tried (that scared the kids because they felt they were gonna fall in the potty). Just so you know, we tried LOTS of different potties and seats, like seven. That is what worked for us, along with a sticker chart and Thomas train big bribe items for when they were all trained. I love your blog and have read it for some time and not commented. I just couldn’t stand to not to comment this time around.

  • I am nearing the time to begin potty training my first (and only) child…a 2 1/2 year old boy. I read every single comment and can’t tell if I’m more ready or less ready to begin. ha! I like the “let them pee outside” and “have dad do it” suggestions the best.

  • As a mom of 5 boys I just wanna say, that Dr ought to jump in a lake. I probably would have said, “I’ll train him when I’m good and ready.” But then I probably wouldn’t have been asked back.
    So, the training, sitting is good for starting, but he’ll wanna stand soon, if he’s tall enough. Sounds like you’re off to a good start. But, be aware that some will just have lots of accidents.

  • Oh my, do I have stories I could tell about potty training boys. I suppose it would be too much to leave in the comment box. However, I will leave you with this….if you should have a waste basket next to your toilet, don’t be alarmed should your son decide it would be way, way cool to pee there instead of the toilet. I am still trying to figure that one out. All I got from the guilty party was a mischievous look and a shrug. Perhaps, it will remain a boyhood mystery 🙂

  • i didn’t really have to think about doing anything either. the boys did most of it on their own. most people wrote about what I did )no pants outside but put him in a long shirt, cheereo is the poddy, watching my husband go whenever it was convienient) but I do want to add, I would NEVER get a little toilet seat becuase I wouldn’t want to clean it. why should I clean two toilets? and if he’s too short to make it in the normal toilet, I had my boys stand on my feet to make it. it made them the perfect height.

  • I did a combination of many of the things posted here. Our three youngest boys were trained quickly by either going potty with daddy or their big brother. I started sending them every 20 minutes and they got a tootsie roll if they went or if they tried to go and were dry. Then each day I would add five minutes. After they got pottying down in the toliet, I would only give them tootsie rolls if they went #2 in the toliet.

    We also did the cotton shorts with no underpants underneath or just their Elmo underwear. They all sleep with a stuffed Elmo, so they didn’t like the thought of pottying on Elmo, even if he was on their underpants. We also tried the bare bottom method – didn’t work for us…two of them left a pile on the floor (one right up against the cream colored loveseat) and went on playing. Our youngest are 3 and 2 now. They are working on staying dry at night or naptime, so we’re almost done with diapers and pull ups!

    I caution against teaching little boys to potty outside regardless of how much tree cover, privacy or the kind of neighbors you have. Some boys do not comprehend that they can not potty outside wherever they are. One of our nephews ran to the fireplace inside a pavillion at the park and peed in it. There were people watching! 🙁 Honestly, I dread mentioning this, but it is the honest to goodness truth. Some young boys have been arrested and put on the sex offender list for going potty in public.

  • For me, my daughter was way more trouble to potty train than my boys. Our approach to potty training was fairly straightforward. We taught the boys to stand to pee from the very beginning (Daddy showed them how) and we put them in underwear on day one and never looked back (I cleaned up a few accidents, but for the most part, they knew they weren’t getting back in a diaper and since they didn’t like the way it felt to wear poopy pants around, they tried not to go in the undies). We made sure we constantly asked them if they needed to go and sometimes, even when they said no, we’d take them anyway. It became a power struggle at times, but I would always be consistent and never waver or compromise. They knew that Mommy will always win and Daddy is always on Mommy’s side, so the stubbornness was not acceptable. For us, it was an issue of obedience – once they got the hang of going to the potty and once we knew they knew how everything worked. I understand accidents, but once they’d been going to the potty for a while, they didn’t really have that many. Also, with regard to nighttime potty training, I gave them nothing to drink for an hour or so before bed, made sure they went before they went to bed, and I set my alarm for every couple of hours at night to get them up and take them to the potty. Yes, I was exhausted (afternoon naptime was awesome), but after a while, they’d get themselves up and I haven’t had to even think about diapers in two years now (thank goodness… they’re expensive!). My youngest turned four last week, and I don’t even have to wipe little hineys any more. The boys know how to wipe the seat if they drip and they know better than to be lazy with the aim because Mommy does not enjoy cleaning pee off the bathroom floor (one of our bathrooms is carpeted, but I don’t let them use that one any more, now that we’ve put tile in their bathroom).

    I guess my basic strategy was consistency and stubbornness on my part. My kids are pretty strong-willed themselves, so it wasn’t easy.

  • this made me laugh aloud AND read aloud to Jeff. I’m sure Jensen will be potty trained by next week. He seems like a smart kid. (dismantling baby gates? I don’t think I can even do that!)

  • I haven’t read all the previous comments, but thought I’d throw my advice in the hat anyway. I’ve successfully potty trained not one, not two but three young men! I only train them sitting down and at first I poke “it” down for them. I think it’s too much to ask to have them stand for one job and sit for the other job so we just sit for all jobs. Eventually summer rolls around and Daddy can help them with the standing thing as they water the trees together. 🙂

    And on the topic of summer, I also started a couple of mine in the buff. Some kids are just sensitive enough that the feel of it on their legs gives them the idea! 🙂