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Potty Training: Getting Boys & Girls to Go

Chin up, mommy: though it may seem unlikely right now, your toddler will learn to go potty in the potty. It does take some tots longer than others to master the skill, but they all eventually do — we promise!

Tips for Boys and Girls

  • Practice patience.
    The more low-key and relaxed you are, the better for everyone.
  • Pick your pot.
    You have two choices: a low-to-the-ground potty chair or an insert that fits on the big toilet seat. (If you go this route, you’ll also need a step stool.) If possible, give both options a test-drive to see what your toddler prefers.
  • Stock up on supplies.
    Make sure to have liquid soap (for washing little hands), disinfecting wipes for floors and fixtures, rewards (such as stickers or dollar-store trinkets) and Pull-Ups Products (such as Big Kid Flushable Wipes and Pull-Ups Training Pants).
  • Storytime.
    Buy or borrow DVDs and books about potty training to share with your toddler. Most are available in both boy and girl versions. What to Expect When You Go to the Potty is a great choice!
  • Cheer!
    Be sure to lavish your little one with praise and positive reinforcement at every turn.

Just for Boys

Going potty is a bit more complicated for boys than it is for girls. Little boys need to master sitting and standing, after all. Here’s where a male role-model comes in handy!

  • Start with sitting.
    Start off by having your little guy sit for both pooping and peeing. Once he’s really got the hang of things, he can stand “just like Daddy.”
  • Help him hit the target.
    Show your son how to aim. If he’s sitting, he’ll need to point his penis down into the toilet to make sure the pee goes where it needs to go. When he starts to stand, help him hit the target by floating O-shaped cereal, bits of toilet paper or drops of food coloring in the toilet bowl and challenging him to go for a bull’s-eye.
  • Reinforce good manners.
    It’s never too early to teach your tot potty etiquette. If he’s standing to pee, show him how to raise the seat (all the way, so it won’t fall on him midstream) and then lower it again when he’s finished. Don’t forget to flush and wash those hands!

Just for Girls

  • Wipe front to back.
    This is the only piece of girl-specific advice you need. If this is too tricky for now, you can have her pat dry instead.

Good luck — and go with the flow!

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