Potty training a toddler is hard work for any parent… but everyone warned me that potty training a high-energy, independent, spirited boy would be harder than giving CPR to a goldfish. Boys are wonderful, but they can also be incredibly stubborn, hard to get to focus and completely unphased by sitting in a dirty diaper all the live long day (or is that just my kid?).
As a parent, you hear all kinds of recommendations and instructions on how you could best achieve this. For some, outfitting the space with the best bathroom wall panels is key to encouraging your children to head to the bathroom for potty training. If the space looks nice, surely they’ll want to occupy it? For others, simple repetition is ideal, including holding back your frustration should your learning little one have an accident or two.
However, at 3-years-old, my wild child is now fully potty trained and rocking it like a superstar. Once he was ready (and waiting until he was truly ready was the key for him), it only took about a week for everything to sink in so we could completely kick the nappies to the curb. Here are a few of our favorite potty training essentials for boys.
Potty training essentials for boys
Potty Superhero ($7): Get your child ready for potty training in the days leading up to the first day with this adorable book. Little boys will love it, which will help prepare them for using the potty and wearing big boy underwear.
Zoocchini Boxer Briefs ($26 for 3-pack): Speaking of underwear, the first thing we did on day one of potty training was surprise my son with lots of new big boy undies. We wanted him to be excited about wearing his underwear instead of diapers. I’ve heard some parents swap their child’s normal-size diapers with newborn diapers on the first day of potty training to show the child that he’s now a big boy and too big for diapers, which is a pretty clever trick! My son requested boxers like daddy’s, so these Zoocchini boxer briefs were perfect!
Kitchen Timer ($5): The first few days of potty training, we set a kitchen time for 30-minutes and made my son sit on the potty and try to go every single time the timer went off. The next day, we bumped up the time to 45-minutes in between efforts and then stretched it to an hour on day three. It lead to a few very long days, but he got it and after a few weeks, we didn’t even need to ask him if he needed to go anymore.
BABYBJORN Toilet Trainer ($24): When kids first start using the potty, sometimes they don’t know if they have to go no. 1, no. 2 or both. I’d recommend starting with a seat that goes directly over your toilet and let your child sit there and do their business (no cleaning poo out of a little potty later!). This seat can easily be put on and taken off by your child when he has to go, is comfortable for little ones and prevents splashes and messes.
Bumbo Step Stool ($12): Designed with kids in mind, this step stool makes it easy for kids to get up on the potty and up to the sink to wash their hands.
Gummy worms and stickers: Do not underestimate the motivational power of sweets and stickers! We did both a sweet treat and a sticker chart for the first week of potty training. He got a small treat (three Skittles) every single time he tried to go the potty as encouragement. He got a larger treat (six Skittles) for going no. 1 and an even larger treat (three gummy worms) for going no. 2. Every successful potty trip would also get him a sticker on a sheet of paper we taped on the wall.
WeePot Urinal ($20): I’ve heard that when potty training, children will mimic the parent/adult that they see using the restroom the most. If your little boy is as “daddy-obsessed” as mine, he’s going to want to pee standing up, just like Dad. The WeePot Urinal is the perfect way for little guys to feel grown-up and it’s user-friendly for parents. The urinal attaches directly to the wall with a suction cup (sticker provided for those who don’t have tiled bathroom walls), so there’s no need to drill or nail anything permanently to the wall. The sleek collection bin hooks right on and can easily be lifted off for emptying and cleaning.
Kandoo Flushable Wipes ($15 for six containers): Pre-moistened, flushable, small (about the size of two squares of toilet paper) and easy to use. Teaches your child to clean themselves after going potty and does a good job. Enough said.