If you have boys, then cleaning wee off the toilet seat (and probably around the floor) is inevitable. Even the biggest boys (ahem, husbands) sometimes have a hard time with their aim.
But that doesn’t mean you need to accept urine-stained bathroom tiles forever. Here’s how you can teach boys to pee standing up and hit the target (most of the time).
Toilet training is tricky business. Kids have to not only learn how to use the toilet, but also how to tell that they actually have to use the toilet, which can often be difficult when they are in the middle of playing and not thinking about their bladders.
Add learning how to successfully hit the toilet bowl to the mix and it’s no wonder they have trouble.
So what’s a mum to do? Here are eight smart ways to teach boys to pee standing up:
1. Try sitting first
There’s two reasons for this. First of all, a little boy’s penis often points directly out while peeing and there isn’t enough room to hold the penis. This isn’t always the case, of course, but it might be a good idea to start him sitting down until he gets a good grasp on holding his willy while going.
The other reason is because you have to sit to poop. Often little boys will urinate during a poo and thus weeing sitting down is going to be part of your potty training lessons, no matter how he chooses to pee.
2. Touch his legs to the bowl
Although this might not work for every child, one way to help him with his aim is to position him close to the bowl. Teach him to place his knees so they are touching the outside of the bowl which should give him a better chance of hitting the target.
3. Show him how to hold it
Initially you may want to hold your child’s penis to show him how it works and how holding it can help with aim. Then let him try himself.
4. Leave the distractions outside the bathroom
When potty training, we often set our kiddies on the loo with an arrangements of activities to keep them occupied while they get used to the sensation of peeing in a bowl, not their nappies.
But having too many distractions while peeing standing up can mean he loses focus, moves his body and squirts wee all over the walls. When he’s going, stay quiet and let him focus until he’s finished. Then you can clap, shout and do the happy potty dance.
5. Make sure he washes!
Peeing standing up isn’t just about successfully hitting the target. It’s also about washing up after. So don’t forget the all important lessons in using toilet paper, hand washing and putting the toilet seat down.
You might want to make a picture chart to hang on the wall above the toilet to help him remember.
6. If you miss, you wipe
Another important lesson – if he happens to miss, then teach him to wipe away the accident. Leave some baby wipes in the washroom so he can get in the habit of cleaning his urine trail.
Baby wipes tend to work better than toilet paper because they are individually sized. Often a toddler will try to pull off one piece of toilet paper, only to end up with the entire roll wrapped around his body.
7. Set up a potty outside
For mums who aren’t quite ready to brave the bathroom just yet, then take the potty outside. Let him practice peeing into the potty while standing on the grass. That way, if he misses, only the grass gets watered. Not your bathroom walls.
8. Try target practice
Ready. Aim. Pee! One of the best ways to improve his aim is to set up targets.
Not really keen on making wee targets? That’s cool. Another mum has done it for us. Wee Targets are plastic targets that you stick to the inside rim of the toilet. The targets have heat sensitive black ink spots on them so when they are hit with wee, the ink spot disappears to reveal a cute picture. The targets go back to black once the toilet is flushed, ready for next time. Or just toss a ping pong ball in the loo and let him aim for that.
Your son probably isn’t going to master the fine art of peeing standing up in one day. It may take time and plenty of practice to teach boys to pee standing up. Be patient, be positive and be prepared to remind him (yet again) to wash his hands and put the toilet seat down.
Looking for more tips on toilet training? Check out these 20 potty training tips to put your nappy days behind you.