All About Boys: What the Experts Say About Potty Training Boys

toddler boy on a potty

by Dr. Heather Wittenberg

Yes, it’s true: Girls tend to complete potty training about three months earlier than boys. Little girls, on average, tend to be a bit more advanced in physical and language development — skills that help move the potty learning process forward. But does that mean your little boy is destined to take longer to train than your little girl? Not by a long shot. 


What really matters is your child’s unique development and personality. Some boys may take longer on their potty learning journey. But many girls — especially Bears, Turtles and Squirrels — will take longer than boys the same age. Matching your approach to your child’s personality is the best way to work together to make the process successful.

Teach boys to use the potty sitting down. Standing up and aiming into that toilet is a skill that can come later. Dads, take one for the team and help your little guy make potty progress by showing him how to pee sitting down — unless you’re willing to mop up the bathroom a few times a day, that is! Junior takes his cues from you, and eventually you can show him how the Big Guys do it. 

Boys tend to take a few months longer than girls, but this is only on average. Many boys master their skills early and quickly, just as many girls may take longer and struggle more. Your child’s gender isn’t as much a factor as his or her readiness and personality.

Want more potty-training tips and ideas for Tackling Toddlerhood Together? We've got them here.

Dr. Heather Wittenberg is a licensed psychologist with a PsyD degree whose specialty is in the development of babies, toddlers, preschoolers and parents. Dr. Heather uses social media to help the public understand the complex, but important, world of child development. She is a writer and producer at BabyShrink, and her company, BabyShrink LLC, also consults with universities and corporations to reach families with young children via social and traditional media. She lives in Hawaii with her husband and four young children.

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