Toilet training can be a tricky time for parents and kids. Some days will be harder than others, but making the process fun and rewarding will help you and your little boy to succeed.

For parents, toilet training their first boy can seem like a particularly daunting task. Do you start him standing or sitting? When should you expect results? How important is a male role model? When looking for the answers it’s important to remember that every child progresses through toilet training at a different pace.

When to start toilet training boys

The best time to start training your baby boy is when he is ready.

Typically between the ages of two and four is a good time to give it a try. There’s no need to worry if he doesn’t start until he’s a bit older, it’s not a race.

A good sign that your little man is ready is when he starts indicating to you that his nappy is full. These actions show that he is making a connection between filling his nappy and the need for a fresh one. Tap into his new thought processes and start linking them to using a potty. He may even be able to let you know ahead of time.

When you think it’s time for your son to try using a potty, consider whether he has any other challenges going on in his life. Are you moving house? Is he changing childcare centres? Does he have a new sibling? Introducing toilet training at a time where your little boy is trying to process other big changes might be too much for him. Waiting until he feels more settled might be a gentler approach.

Toilet training boys step-by-step

Once you’ve made your decision, here are some key toilet training steps you can take to help kick things off smoothly:

1. Start with a potty

When you start toilet training with your son it’s a good idea to start with a potty. Children’s potties are easy for little ones to hop on and off and they are conveniently portable. “Big toilets” can also seem a bit daunting at first. Eliminating nerves is key for encouraging children to adopt new habits.

2. Show him how it’s done

Once you have introduced your son to his new potty it’s time to get him using it (the transition will be even smoother, if your son chose his own potty).

Toddlers learn a lot by imitating people around them. Watching you or your partner on the toilet is a great way for him to see how it’s done.It’s ok for boys to start using the potty sitting down. This is especially common when dad or other male role model can’t be around when toilet training is in session.

3. Be patient

Toilet training is a big change for little boys. Accidents happen and it’s important to try and stay positive throughout the process. If your son is snubbing his potty, try not to push him. He will come around when he is ready.

4. Experiment with helpful products

Huggies Pull-Ups are designed to help toddlers learn the most important parts of toilet training. They can help your son recognise when he is wet and when he needs to go to the toilet.

Tips for encouraging boys to use the toilet

Here are some ways to help make toilet training a fun experience for your boy:

  • Use a sticker reward system. Boys are traditionally more competitive than girls. Create a chart with milestones that your son can reach the more times he uses his potty.
  • Open communication. When you experience setbacks during toilet training remember to be positive and clear with your advice. Boys respond best to direct instructions.
  • Superhero undies. Investing in a pair or two of undies that feature your son’s favourite superhero or cartoon character can help. He might be more inclined to keep his hero clean and remember to use the potty when he needs.