Boys often take longer to potty train than girls and are usually a lot messier about it, especially if they stand up to wee. In the early weeks, it’s helpful to have plenty of paper towels around to mop up any spills.
As bowel movements and urine often arrive together it is a good idea for your little one to sit down on a potty initially – at least until he can distinguish between what he is going to do.
However, if he insists on standing like daddy, don’t force him to use a potty, instead give him small stool for him to stand on so that he can reach the toilet bowl. Some boys prefer to sit on the toilet at first, so a toilet training seat can be useful.
If your little one chooses to sit, you will need to show him how to push his penis down so that the wee hits the toilet bowl or goes into the potty rather than all over the floor.
A potty with a built-in splash guard will prevent this from happening, but your son may become dependent on the guard rather than learning to keep his penis pointing down.
Even if he starts by sitting down, your little boy will want to stand up to wee when he reaches pre-school age as he’ll probably want to copy his dad or other boys from his playgroup.
If you can, get his Dad to show him how to stand up in front of the toilet and aim into the bowl before beginning to urinate. If there isn’t a male around to copy, your son will still learn, but it may take a little longer.
Make sure that he learns to lift the seat before starting to wee, and show him how to make sure the seat is up securely so there is no risk of injury.
He also needs to learn to shake himself dry afterwards without getting drips all over the floor and his pants.
Peeing on target is a tricky manoeuvre for a small boy to perfect. Getting it right can take a lot of practise and it may be quite a few months before the floor remains completely splash–free.
You can help by dropping small pieces of torn toilet paper into the bowl for him to aim at, or you can buy biodegradable ‘toilet targets’ which turn the aiming process into a game.