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    Potty Training: Boys Vs. Girls
    Laura Jana, MD posted:
    I am a big believer that little boys and little girls should be offered the same, non-gender specific opportunities when it comes to everything -- from what toys they are allowed to play with, to what they're encouraged to be when they grow up. With that said, I do believe that there are fundamental differences between boys and girls in their methods of play, communication, and yes, in how they potty train.

    Now, you may think I'm referring to the idea that boy's potty train later than girls. And boys do on average seem to potty train a little later than girls. But that doesn't mean that every boy is predisposed to potty train later than every girl. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it may simply be that toddlers and preschool boys' tendency to be more physically active delays training, somewhat. This makes sense to me. You have to admit that a child's chances of achieving potty training success decrease considerably if he happens to be running around the room more often than patiently sitting still.

    I don't find it particularly helpful to focus on whether boys in general are more or less likely to win the potty training race over girls. It's not a race, and we know full well that every child is different. Both girls and boys will rise to the challenge in their own way and on their own schedule. My own three children make for perfect examples. Sure, boys may potty train later, on average. But it was my daughter who defiantly postponed any willful use of the potty until the age of three. Both her younger brothers completely mastered the skill before their second birthdays.

    To me, boys versus girls simply comes down to anatomy. Standing up versus sitting down just isn't a conversation I often have with the parents of little girls. Yet, for boys, I find it's an important consideration, to increase the odds of having pee end up in the potty, rather than on the walls. I have found that it is irresistibly tempting for little boys to aim their efforts at targets other than the toilet when standing up. I recommend having boys learn to use the potty sitting down. This has the added benefit of requiring boys to hopefully sit on the toilet long enough to deposit poop and pee in the potty.

    So there's my two cents. Now it's your turn. What has been your experience with potty training? What boy- or girl-specific potty training tips do you have to share?
    eastcoastbeachgirl responded:
    It seems to me that potty training is kid specific, they are all different and do their own thing in their own time. I never stressed over potty training to much, my mother always said, "don't worry he/she won't go to kindergarten in diapers", ie, they will get it when they get it. Since she had been through it 7 times, I figured she knew what she was talking about.

    I took what I call the lazy approach to potty training. I didn't even atempt to train until each child could dress and undress themselves with ease. I just didn't see the point of having to do all the work for them, therefore, the age range of potty training varied in our home, anywhere from 2 to 4 1/2, the hardest part for me was accepting that when they trained wasn't my choice, it was theirs.

    The advantage I found with this approach is potty training was accomplished in a very short period of time for each child, atleast for the day time, nights were a different storey. My son still has trouble, being a very heavy sleeper.

    When training, I did teach all my children to go sitting down, it just seemed the natural thing to do as little boys do seem to like to decorate the walls/floor and so forth.

    I recently caught my son (now 7) attempting to pee into the toilet from about 6 ft away!! Needless to say, that didn't work very well. When I asked him why, he told me he was busy! There is a bathroom off of our playroom, he would just open the door and would pee from there! Go figure.
    An_222107 responded:
    My wife and I have begun potty training with our son, who is 2 yrs. 5 months. We have heard that any training efforts will be futile, until he is ready to be trained, and we accept that theory. My recent training (which SEEMS to "work", and I THINK is not adversely affecting him negatively, to the process) has been to remove his diaper (which he's urinated in, from overnight sleep) 1st thing in the morning, and leave him bare, below the waist. He doesn't oppose my method, and seems to feel comfortable with it. I keep his portable potty seat well within the area that he is in. When he feels the urge, he goes potty in his seat, only indicating the fact, asking for his reward of 5 animal crackers. Is my training method okay? Is it proven to be helpful/counter productive? Suggestions or comments?
    An_222108 responded:
    The potty training method that we are currently using, has our son (2yrs 5months) with nothing worn, below the waist. My wife is concerned with him touching his penis to excess. I am okay with it, think it's natural exploration/familiarity. Feedback/comments?
    Boyzmomee replied to An_222108's response:
    Well boys genitalia are outies so if there is nothing below the waist I would expect more notice!

    With my youngest (at age 3) I told him he was a big boy and was now going to wear big boy underwear. He was to use the toilet. I prompted him to go hourly at first. If he had any accidents he would need to clean up himself. All it took was one bowel movement in his pants and the clean up afterward to decide to use the toilet from thereafter. There was no negativity. I responded in a matter of fact way. "It looks like you didn't want to use the toilet today so you'll need to clean up."

    For fun (with both boys) I would toss brightly colored fruit loops in the toilet and tell them to "sink them" as they urinated standing up. They loved it.

    Now, they are 21 and almost 14 and no longer need fruit loops.
    KathleenFogarty responded:
    This article is old, but I still hope to get help. My twin boys are 4 yrs, 2 months old (born 4 lbs & 3.5 lbs at 7 months). They still won't potty train. I've been trying for over 1 year, on and off, and have been more "aggressive" about it for the past 2 months. One of the boys has peed 2x and pooped 1x in the potty this past month. The other: nothing. I've tried various bribes, rewards, incentives - call them what you want. I just finished putting up balloons and streamers in the bathroom to make it a cheery, happy "party potty". I don't know what else to do. They pee on the floor, hold it for hours and then pee out of their diapers in their beds. They resist gong into the bathroom.

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