How to Potty Train A Boy



Wondering how to potty train a boy? Even though your largely reluctant, borderline belligerent two year old is standing in his potty chair and peeing on your floor today, tomorrow (well in 7 days) he can be potty trained.

That’s right. How to potty train a boy.

Start to finish. Seven. Days.

I’m not saying it wasn’t so hard that I wanted to tie their naked little tails to the potty until they went give up; it was.  Totally.

But it wasn’t impossible and you too can be the proud owner of an, albeit reluctant, borderline belligerent, probably even slightly disgruntled, but pretty much all the way potty trained two (or three, or four?) year old boy if you do exactly as I say.

Added bonus; no one will get hurt.

1.  Buy supplies.  Fancy potty chair…check.  Special, flushable,moist booty wiping towellettes…check.  Super fun reward for “making”…check.  Instructional materials in the form of Elmo potty books and DVDs…check.  One sexy pair of toddler sized drawers to get him in the mood… the only thing that worked for #3.

He honestly didn’t give a care about the potties or the books or even the rewards.  All he cared about was looking like an effing rock star in his big boy chonies (aka Mexican word for under shorts).

2.  Get over nudity.  Because chances are there will be a lot of it.  #3 spent most of his training time running around the house in the buff.  He liked to wear his big baller drawers, but once soiled, off they’d come leaving him to free ball it the rest of the day.  This technique actually made him more aware of the goings on in his junk, so he’d start to go and then grab it to make it stop, giving me ample time to grab him, and run his naked tail to one of the strategically located pee depots (we set up potties in various rooms to keep them within reach at all times).

3.  Bribery.  Some kids respond to the sticker charts and what not.  #1 did, #2 not so much, and #3 not at all.  Unless you count the dang Cheetos…

Your choice on this one, but it could work, particularly at the beginning when you are just trying to coax the little baddie out of his diaper and onto the pot.  A little sit here, see what happens, don’t cry or kick Mommy in the face, and I’ll give you a sucker afterwards (even if you don’t actually produce anything).

4.  Get serious.  Mom, Dad, and every other human creature living in or making frequent trips to your potty party during the designated training period should be briefed on the get-kid-to-the-potty-quick procedures.  At Casa de Dummies, we devote one solid week to the training up of the kid.  We may have to alter our schedule to ensure that we are mostly just at home, but the mild inconvenience is totally worth it.  I haven’t changed crap pants in months, people.  MONTHS!  If that’s not incentive enough to take a week off and stay home then I don’t know what is.  Seriously, dragging it out over months is really not as effective.  The kid loses interest, you get sidetracked, and both of your wind up frustrated.  Potty training is just like every single other parenting issue ever; it’s all about consistency.  You can’t let him crap himself today and then expect him to remember that you don’t want him to crap himself tomorrow.  If you can’t devote time and effort to the battle, I say don’t start it until you can (or until your kid is about to head off to kindergarten, whichever comes first).

5.  It’s all about the preparation.  Every cloth diapering mom will tell you that one of the benefits of putting your kid in them is ease of potty training.  It is true.  But, there is hope for those of you who didn’t: DON’T USE PULL-UPS!  Use undies…

I know, Pull-Ups are convenient and they prevent you from having to follow your kid around with a bottle of carpet cleaner.  I get it.  And, when we had to leave the house, we used them too.  But, I’m telling you, if you want to get on the fast track to potty trained bliss you will go straight from diapers to underwear (the absorbent padded kind are fine) and skip the Pull-Up middle man.  Let me explain why.

  1. Kids get sick of standing in a puddle of urine.  Even the most belligerent ones will figure out that standing in a puddle of urine at the park or the store (fingers crossed this doesn’t happen, but if it does it will be a teaching moment!) sucks, and standing in a puddle of urine at home ain’t all that fun either!
  2. Kids learn what the Pull-Up is for.  #3, evil mastermind that he is, learned this quickly.  He would pee in the Pull-Up every time I put one on him.  It was like his comfort zone because he knew I wouldn’t know that he peed them for a while and he wouldn’t care that he peed them ever.  They know Pull-Ups are for peeing.  Even the ones where they get those nasty micro beads all over their package so they “feel wet” aren’t deterrents to the most reluctant bunch.
  3. They are more expensive than diapers and like 95% less durable and absorbent.  Why would you want to pay more for something if it doesn’t suck less?

There you have it, friends. Best of luck!


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  1. 1

    Melissa says

    Ugh, I’ve been avoiding this subject like the plague! Mostly b/c hubby works away from home & is gone 6weeks at a time leaving me to handle this solo (live every other bloody parenting thing). I will do as you suggest and devote an entire week to getting this kid trained. Wish me luck!

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  2. 10

    Megan says

    Both my son and daughter pee on the potty. My daughter is trying to make it when she has to do #2 but my son waits until I put his night time diaper on. He has gotten so sneaky lately that he has been stealing them and putting them on himself. He’s going to be 4 next month and he could give a shit (pun intended)less if he’s sitting in poop. UGH!!!!!!

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    • 11

      Jenny says

      My son is almost 3 1/2 and has no desire at all to use the potty. He could sit in a soggy crappy diaper all day! I already decided to try underwear next weekend since we will be home and go for it! He doesn’t like his pants wet from jumping in a puddle, so hopefully this works! I am glad I read this! We’ve tried everything to playing videos on the potty, to M&M’s, to money…NOTHING!

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  3. 13

    lesbomom says

    I thought I recognized that little handsome dude on the SM FB page. :) Hey there!!!! I am definitely a lover of the cloth diapers as Munchkin was in them and then potty trained relatively easily (THANKYOUBABYJESUS!!), but this sounds like a GREAT guide for the others out there….take the week off and GET ‘ER (or “IM) DONE!!!

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  4. 17

    Falon says

    I completely agree with this!!! 2 of my boys potty trained this way and it was so easy and so quick! And cleaning up a few pee spots on the carpet is cake compared to potty training for months!

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  5. 18

    Autumn says

    I trained my littlest one when he turned four. He would have nothing to do with it till then. I took all the diapers away and i put underwear and a plastic cloth diaper cover over it(to “catch” the majority of it.) Took him a week and he has had no accident since. Good Luck moms.

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  6. 19

    Brad @ Mr. Write Away says

    The wife and I are about to embark on the potty training adventure… Your advice is better than locking them in the bathroom until they make it happen. Of course we would never do that. We just heard it works. We wouldn’t do that though. Nope.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  7. 20

    Deb says

    This is wonderful advice, I would like to try it, but if I have to spend an entire week, 24hrs, 7 days..with my overly dramatic, bullheaded, loud, crazy, into EVERYTHING, did I say crazy….2.5 yr. old daughter I just might jump off that bridge I keep looking for! lol

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  8. 21

    jodi says

    My daughter turned the in august. We have the pee on the potty thing down solid. She even toilets herself. She has never pooped on the potty though. She will hold it, sometimes I think for days, and sneak off and go in her pants when the opportunity arises. She’s number four for me.

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    • 22

      Misty says

      Potty training my 4 girls was so very easy. My 7 year old however, refused to poop in the potty! She was absolutely TERRIFIED!! How did we get her to start? MONEY!! Waved it in her face and told her if she went poop in the potty she could have it and buy whatever she wanted. Worked like a charm! Good luck honey!

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  9. 23

    Misty says

    I have 5 children. That’s right, I’m medicated now. The youngest of the minions are 3 year old twins. One boy and one girl. Guess which one is fully potty trained and which one isn’t. That’s right, the baby man, the only winkie in the house besides daddy. I am totally convinced that I will be sending him to college in Depends!! We have tried EVERYTHING!! Put him in the big boy undies. Yep, puddles. He doesn’t care. He will walk around all day in those things no giving a hoot that he just sat on my sofa and left a huge wet spot!! Gotta poop son? Nope mom thanks, but I took care of that in the laundry room and don’t care that I’m walking around with a big ‘ole lump in my drawers! ARRGGGHH!! SOOOO, now that I have read this, I have new ideas. We will see what happens in 7 days! Thanks so much!!

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    • 24

      cortney says

      haha sounds EXACTLY like my son. wet underwear does not bother him one bit! so frustrating one day he was playing and i asked him if he wanted to go potty he said no and i felt his underwear and they were soaked, so it was time for find the pee puddle game haha.

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  10. 25

    JCR says

    These “I trained my kids in a week” things are really frustrating, because it doesn’t work for everyone. It really does depend on the kid. Our daughter had been accident-free at night and naptimes for quite some time, so we knew she was physically ready, but boy, we just couldn’t figure out how to make her care.

    We did pretty much this same thing during 10 days of of back-to-back snowstorms when my daughter was two and a half, and although she jumped into the whole thing enthusiastically at first, with the big-girl panties and the naked time and the stickers, it took another three or four months before she was even “mostly trained”.
    And it was another year before she was completely trained, with no regular accidents–and even then she’d occasionally lose focus and backslide for a week or two at a time, in particular if the school routine changed and the built-in bathroom breaks were different, or there was a substitute and she was shy about asking to go, or if she was using a strange bathroom that smelled different or something.

    For a long time, though, she just couldn’t break her focus when she was in the middle of something. And if you asked her if she needed to go, the answer was ALWAYS “no”, even if there was pee running down her leg at the time! (The #1 lesson I learned: tell, don’t ask. For the first few months, it should be “it’s time to try”, not “Do you need to go?” Even at age 5 1/2, I do this before bed and before leaving the house, because if I ask, we’re inevitably scrambling for a potty as soon as we get out of the neighborhood.)

    She did get the hang of things pretty quickly, but the novelty of the rewards and the praise wore off after a while. At 2 1/2, she just didn’t get the delayed-gratification thing, and she was more focused on playing than on whatever reward she’d get if she went potty. We tried setting timers to remind her to take a break and try, which worked for a while–especially since she could set them and turn them off herself–but we couldn’t keep that up forever.

    We had our first wave of success by making it “her responsibility”. Once she got the hang of things, we told her we could see that she was a big girl now, and it was her responsibility to take care of her body. If she had an accident, she had to clean it up, rinse and hang up her clothes, etc. (with our discreet help, of course). Not as a punishment–there was no humiliation or punitive sense about it–but as a natural consequence. (And we certainly didn’t do this until we were sure that she had the physical ability to know when she needed to go and to hold it until she got there.)
    And since an accident meant that whatever she was playing with was too exciting for her to remember to go potty, the legos or dollhouse or whatever had to be put away for the rest of the day. Again, not as a punishment, but as a natural consequence.
    We then subtly reminded her by periodically making a big deal about how we weren’t going to be reminding her any more–especially when we could see the wiggle start up! This really worked better than anything, once she’d gotten the hang of the physical part.

    Once we realized that being accident-free wasn’t as important to her as continuing what she was doing, we also started promising to watch her toys, or letting her bring a doll or figurine to set on the sink so that she felt like she was still playing–anything to allow her to go without feeling like she was taking some huge break from what she was doing. It worked better to make less of a big deal that to have the big hoopla every time.

    But I think it’s important for parents to realize that the potty-training “boot camp” approach doesn’t work for every kid. Once the promised week passes and the child is still having accidents regularly, it’s so easy to get frustrated with them, which doesn’t help the process at all.
    The best tools are an abundant supply of patience and an acknowledgement of who your kid is and what’s important to them (in my daughter’s case, independence and the ability to keep playing when she was focused on something).

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    • 26

      dumb mom says

      Totally true. This won’t work for every child. The best thing I did was wait until my boys were ready. They began at different ages because each of them was different. But, consistency is an important part of every parenting method and that’s what was really important for us. Once we got them to the point that we knew they were developmentally ready for the journey. I didn’t PLAN to get them potty trained in 7 days, it just worked out that at the end of the week, they all were.

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  11. 27

    Erika says

    Yup, definitely some really good pointers. Skip the Pull-ups (except at night unless you love changing sheets constantly). If your kid is resisting, back off for a month or two! Getting into a potty power struggle sucks – they start going on the floor whenever they’re peeved about something and you get frustrated from cleaning it up. Bare bums definitely speed up the process when they can see what’s going on. Also, even once they get the hang of it, they’ll probably still need reminders about going for a long while after before they’re in tune enough with their bodies to get themselves there in time every time.

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  12. 28

    Leah says

    This is how I trained both my kids. I was told by someone that if your child is ready he/she can be trained in a week and it is true. Everything you said is exactly what you should do. The boy, however, was a little more difficult than the girl. He sometimes preferred to whip his underwear down and pee in a corner (why he did this, I don’t know), but he still had the right idea. At least, in that commercial we see, the boy pooped in the bathtub, not a corner of the house.

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  13. 29

    Angela says

    She’s right!!!! I used the 3 day potty method with both of my kids (#1 23 mos and #2 2 1/2). no pull ups and very important – tell your kid to throw the diapers in the trash on the first morning. They see them go in and know they’re gone forever. I do cheat and use a pull up at night. But #2 wakes up to pee nearly 100% of the time. I’m too lazy & scared to take that final step. But soon!

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