"Hey experienced moms! I need your words of wisdom.
I am helping a family come up with a plan for potty training their 3 1/2 year old son.
Any tips from experienced moms? Especially from any moms who might have had some challenges with potty training boys. What did you find helpful? What did you find didn't work at all?
This family found it was really easy to potty train his twin sister, but it's been more difficult with him. They're hoping to have him potty trained by the fall, because it's a requirement before starting preschool.
Thanks for your tips!"
I wanted to follow up. Together, the family and I made a plan for potty training the little boy. And it worked!
He is now successfully potty trained, day and night. They are ready for preschool!
Below are details, for anyone that is looking for advice if they have a little boy or girl that is struggling with potty training. Although, I’ll admit we specifically tailored some things to fit the needs of this family, and yours might be a slightly different situation. So as you read it, rather than trying to follow it exactly, I would see what applies to your situation, and what you could change to be a better fit for your child’s motivations, etc.
(Side note: I try not to use names of kids on my Facebook page, so I’ll call this kid Scotty, not his real name, for simplicity below.)
Here was the plan that worked for them:
*We used the book “Potty Training in One Day” as the starting point for the plan, because it’s one they had gotten from a friend. (I haven't read other potty training books, so I'm not specifically recommending this one over others. It just happened to be the one we used.)
*This book suggested making the biggest changes on one day, called the “Big Day”
*It suggested that all family members leave the house for the whole day except Scotty and his mom. However, with this family, his mom was nursing an infant which would make it difficult to have no distractions for her. Instead we had the dad stay home with Scotty and the rest of the family went to a friend’s house. This worked out well because Scotty loved having one-on-one time with his dad! Between potty attempts they could play and make the day really special!
*Before the Big Day get Scotty really excited about it! Tell him how he’s going to be a big boy and learning to use the potty! How exciting!
*Learn Scotty’s motivation. What would be a good reward for each time he uses the potty? The parents had tried treats and stickers before, but they didn’t seem to work. Using one of the suggestions from the book, we decided that the reward would be that he would get to call his mom and grandparents after he used the potty. We realized he was socially motivated and would love the excitement of getting to call someone on the phone!
*On the big day, Scotty and his dad stayed home together. Scotty didn’t wear pants all day, just underwear, so that they could act very quickly when Scotty felt the urge! And when Scotty said he needed to go, they would drop everything right away and go straight to the potty!
*The rest was up to Scotty and his dad. They went through their day and had lots of successful trips on the potty. There were a few accidents that day, but they saw so much more progress than they had in month before of trying on and off. It went so well that they decided to do a second day of just Scotty and his dad. By the end of the two days, Scotty was doing really well!
*Over the next few weeks, Scotty continued to practice. He had a few accidents, but they got less frequent. Now 3 weeks out from the Big Day, he’s potty trained during the day and at night and naps. They are excited that he will be able to go to preschool in the fall, and not have to be delayed for potty training!