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How To Potty Train A Stubborn Boy

April 8, 2019
Potty Training Boys. How to potty train a Boy Who is Stubborn. #Pottytraining #stubborntoddler #throughmamaseyes

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Potty Training is one of the most hardest phases of motherhood but the MOST satisfying when you successfully finish it!

I am a mom to 3 kids (5, 3, 18 months) and I have potty trained my two eldest children. The first experience, with my son, was really hard but it was still much easier than my second.

Although it was emotionally & physically draining, it was very rewarding to see my son overcome his fears of using the restroom in public and to see him grow into a little boy.

Even if I found the calls of, “MAMA, I’M DONNNNNNNNNEEE” when he needed help to clean himself to be annoying. But, at almost six years old, we are finallypast that!

This post will take you through the process and method I used to potty train my son successfully in less than a week!

Check out my 7 Potty Training Tips for my second potty training experience with my stubborn little toddler.

Potty Training Boys. How to potty train a Boy Who is Stubborn. #Pottytraining #stubborntoddler #throughmamaseyes

{This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure at the end of the post.}

Starting Potty Training

My son was 2 months shy of turning 3 years when I decided to give myself a week to potty train him using the “Oh Crap Potty Training” Method by Jamie Glowacki which I learned about through a Positive Parenting Solutions training I had invested in. My son had just started some weekly preschool prep classes at My Gym and I felt it was time.

We planned to not go out for at least 3 days which sounded like the end of the world at the time, but it was really useful and for a good reason. 

What you are going to need for Potty Training

Click here for a detailed post on the products you need for Potty Training. But in summary here are the products you will need:

  1. Travel Potty
  2. Potty Seat
  3. Toys/activities to keep busy
  4. Salty snacks and lots of liquid (Water & Juice)
  5. An Ipad or TV (if you are ok with screen time and I will explain why)
  6. Potty Watch
  7. A Potty Training Reward Chart 
  8. Carpet Protector if you have no space with floors/tiles
  9. Underwear
  10. Cleaning supplies

Potty Training Boys. How to potty train a Boy Who is Stubborn. #Pottytraining #stubborntoddler #throughmamaseyes


Potty Training Day 1:

When my son woke up, I told him he was going to be a big boy and make pee-pee and poo-poo in the potty. I took off his pull-up and put him on the potty first thing.

We had a carpet, so we camped out in the kitchen, with toys, a portable potty and whatever he needed for the day. 

It was awkward for him and all he did was fart and laugh and say to me “Mama, it’s not working”.

I took off his pants but left his shirt on and told him when he felt like he had to go to tell me and I would take him to the potty.

He didn’t like that he wouldn’t have any pants on but going commando is the best method so that they feel the urge to go somewhere to release.

My first mistake was waiting for my son to tell me he had the urge to use the potty. I assumed that because we were going commando he would just do that naturally, I mean who wouldn’t right?

With each accident, he got more and more disappointed. After the 2/3 accidents, he successfully did a poop & pee in the small portable potty. He was super proud of himself and my “good job” praises and treats (snacks/treats) were very motivated for him.

He still had accidents and would run to me to tell me after he finished pee’ing all over the patio/floor. But he tried.

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By 4 pm on Day 1, Ayyoub was cranky since he missed a nap. By early evening, this resulted in a massive meltdown.

He was refusing to stay without a pull-up. Due to the state he was in, my husband suggested we give in and let him rest. It had been a long and difficult day for all of us mentally. So, I gave in and surprisingly he slept all the way till the next morning.

That ended a half day of training on Day 1. I learnt a few things from potty training Day 1:

  1. Needed to give more encouragement and not be frustrated
  2. Give him more reminders by using a potty watch or potty timer on the iPad
  3. Understand that this was a HUGE change for him. So meltdowns, tears are expected and more patience on my part was needed.
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Potty Training Day 2:

We started the day the same way. We took off  the pull-up first thing in the morning. Again, I mentally prepared him to use the potty. This time I also used the help of Daniel Tiger.

A little bit of background in case you don’t know, Daniel the Tiger is one of the best kids cartoons ever and Ayyoub’s favorite at the moment. There is a famous potty episode with a song that seems to have helped many moms when training.

The training method I was following suggested that I prompt regularly. I installed a potty timer app on my iPad to remind me to take him to the potty. The timer was set to go off every 20 minutes.

However now they have a potty training watch that you can use and put on your son to help remind them that they need to go. It will give them feeling of control of the situation and also make them feel like “a big boy”.

At first, it was difficult because he did not like being interrupted during play time. Also, there were many times he would not go for 10-15 minutes after the alarm, making the time in between going potty as long as 40 minutes.

Still, I remained consistent because I wanted him to learn that he needed to go potty often.

I also used a reward system with him. I marked on a chalkboard when he went and said, “well done”. Some of his rewards included candy, snacks and stickers. On this day, I allowed him to wear pants as a reward. This was a good opportunity to see if he could hold off on going potty.

Though he started off quite resistant, he did improve as the day went on.

He still had a few accidents, 2 of them being in pants, so I went back to no pants because I realized he wasn’t ready!

Throughout the day, I allowed him to watch Daniel Tigers Neighborhood Potty Episode a few times and also Elmo’s Potty Episode to keep showing him how his favorite cartoon characters went potty. We also kept singing the ever so famous Daniel potty song which REALLY helped.

By the end of the day,  he was asking me to take him potty.

Successful Day? Yes! I went to sleep pretty pleased with myself…

Potty Training Day 3:

I was a little naïve in thinking that the day would be even better than Day 2. It ended up being challenging, but in a different way. He was getting pretty rough with his sister and fighting with her more than usual.

On the bright side, Ayyoub was progressing VERY well with training. The only difficulty we had was not wanting to take off his pull-up after napping. This was a bit of a power struggle but it is not at all uncommon for potty training children to be confused by this.

They don’t understand why you are putting the pull-up on and then insisting that they have to take it off. Which is understandable but it has to be done to avoid huge potty accidents during naps.

After dinner, I took away the portable potty from the kitchen and told him he was going to the bathroom. He was intimidated by that, but I did my best to make him feel comfortable by giving him his potty books to read and even allowed him to watch a little bit of Daniel so that he could stay on and finish his poop. It went well and he went to bed very pleased with himself!

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Potty Training Boys. How to potty train a Boy Who is Stubborn. #Pottytraining #stubborntoddler #throughmamaseyes

Potty Training Day 4:

He had his two-hour class Preschool Prep class that morning. Even though he was doing so well at home, I knew it wouldn’t be the same with strangers, so I decided to put the pull-up on him to avoid any accidents in class that would affect his fun and learning.

His pull-up was not full when I picked him up which was great! I had ordered him some underwear, which arrived while he was napping. His underwear arrived whilst he was napping. When he woke up,  I told him he could start wearing underwear for big boys which made him so excited because of the dinosaur print.

Very shortly after wearing the underwear, he started having accidents again. He was pretty proud of himself for pooping in his underwear. He came and told me “mama I did it”.

I had to just hold my frustration back and remind him that poo-poo and pee-pee ONLY in the potty.

It felt like he was regressing, so I quickly went back to reference the training and checked out some articles. It was a relief to find out that this was completely normal.

Prompting and reminding was part of the training and could be needed for weeks. Not initiating on his own after 3 days was NOT a failure!

Asking him, “do you need to go potty” would result in an automatic “no”, so I needed to use phrases like “I can see you need to use the potty, let’s go to the bathroom”.

After the first few days of potty training, I learned that I had to give him room to learn on his own that if he didn’t go when he had the urge, he would have an accident and accidents have a consequence in the form of a mess.

You can read more about this process and the stages of this method of potty training here ->

Potty Training Day 5:

By Day 5 I stopped using the timer and Ayyoub was successfully prompting us when he needed to go potty!

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While the first 5 days accounted for the hardest part of the training, it took about 2 weeks for him to comfortably use public bathrooms.

By Day 5 he stopped having accidents in the house. Over the next few months he probably had upto 10 accidents in the day time mostly when napping in the car or if we were out for the day which was pretty impressive.

Potty training takeaways:

  1. Plan to stay home for the first 3 days.
  2. Have your child go commando.
  3. Use rewards and a lot of positive reinforcement.
  4. Set a timer, prompt and remind often.
  5. Use a pull-up for napping and night time initially so that you can focus on day time training first.
  6. Let your child learn the natural consequence of accidents and ignoring the urge to go potty.
  7. Remember, it takes time!

Tips for going out during potty training (and beyond):

  1. Make sure to keep prompting when you see that dance. Little ones are easily distracted!
  2. When they say they really need to go, you GO! You want to avoid accidents, as it is disappointing for them and a huge mess for you.
  3. If they have a fear of public toilets; cover the flush with a tissue paper so that it doesn’t automatically go off. Use the foldable potty seat if it makes them more comfortable. For boys push them back in the middle or towards the end of the toilet seat to allow for no spraying everywhere.
  4. Always carry spare underwear and clothing. You will need this especially the first few weeks.
  5. Use a liner on the car seat and stroller in case of any accidents especially while they nap.
  6. Carry your portable potty with you in the car. This came in use SEVERAL times for me outside Babies R us, Costco, the malls! I am so glad I got it.

Good luck with your potty training journey and please share your own experience in the comments below!

Potty Training Boys. How to potty train a Boy Who is Stubborn. #Pottytraining #stubborntoddler #throughmamaseyes


Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may get a commission if you use it to make a purchase. However, it costs you nothing and I only ever recommend products I use and love myself.

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  • Reply
    December 12, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    This is interesting and I may need it in a few months. My son just turned 2. Is it too early to train him?

    • Reply
      December 13, 2016 at 8:58 am

      Definitely not to early. They say 18 months is a good age or whenever you see them start going through a phase where they hide in a corner to poop. My son started that really early probably 2ish and I didn’t really address it but waited too long. He was more communicative around 3 but I wish I kinda did it sooner 🙂 Would have saved months of diaper costs lol

  • Reply
    Zehera. Owais
    December 13, 2016 at 2:52 am

    Hats off sister! You potty-trained your toddler in 5 days! I know some sisters who take 5 months and create a smelly havoc in the house 🙁 .

  • Reply
    Fazeela Ibrahim
    December 13, 2016 at 3:54 am

    Is that so hard?! Uh no. Baby is 7 months. I guess I still have time

    • Reply
      December 13, 2016 at 8:58 am

      It can be very hard. For those moms who have kids who are WILLING then its much easier 🙂

  • Reply
    Yousra Naeem
    December 13, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Great post for all the mothers out there.
    I will save this in my mind & apply it when i’ll become a mommy.hahaha

  • Reply
    December 13, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Love this post, will so come in handy when im potty training. I dread to think how it will go for me!

  • Reply
    December 14, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Ahhh potty training – I am not looking forward to having to do it all over again with Nusaybah – girls had better be easier!

  • Reply
    December 15, 2016 at 4:12 am

    My baby goes to the potty in the morning for poop. I didnot train her as such. She just started telling a particular word for it and I place her in the potty. Still pee and poop rest of the time is not yet trained but I am in no hurry to train lol (i love seeing the cloth diapers on her. 😀 )

  • Reply
    December 15, 2016 at 7:45 am

    Props to you sista!! My daughter is 18 months and I am dreading the potty training phase!!

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