Saturday 8 March 2014

The Sunday Parenting Party - Teaching boys to pee standing up

Teaching a boy to pee standing up is pretty straightforward, especially as gravity is on their side, but some mums don't feel 'qualified' to help their sons progress from sitting on the potty or toilet to standing at it. I can understand why. It's not something that is generally discussed and just because we gave birth to a boy doesn't mean we automatically know how all their bits work.

So I thought I'd share what I have learnt from the last two years of my son's standing up wee wees, to help those who may be apprehensive. As I see it there are three main issues with peeing standing up:
  • mess
  • clothes
  • foreskin

Many mums think that if their son learns to pee standing up it will be a world of mess and they will spend a lot of time cleaning up the floor and toilet seat. In my experience, while this is true to some extent, little boys also struggle with sitting down to pee because their penis doesn't always point down into the pan. Often they will end up peeing out of the loo and all over their trousers if they fail to tuck it down. To reduce mess teach your son to do the following:

  • lift the toilet seat
  • stand as close to the bowl as possible
  • stand on a stool or tiptoes so his willy is right over the edge of the bowl
  • look in the same direction while peeing - most of the wee mess in our house comes from Goblin getting distracted and looking around while peeing. Rather than just turning his head he turns his entire body and the wee follows.

Men don't generally use toilet paper. Its not available in urinals so most men will use the 'shake' option. If you really can't cope with this idea you can teach your son to dab with toilet paper after peeing but you are setting them up for a life of having to pee in cubicles where the loo paper is. Alternatively you can teach them how to shake the drips off without splashing all over themselves and the floor.

Inevitably from time to time your son will drip on the floor or forget to lift the toilet seat and pee all over it. When this happens don't get mad, just teach them how to clean it up with a tissue and then wash their hands. That way your bathroom won't constantly smell of wee.

Some boys underwear has a little Y front or flap to allow the penis to be pulled out so a boy can pee without pulling their clothes down. In my experience this path leads to disaster. Get your boy to pull their trousers and underwear down to pee, preferably so it is below the lip of the bowl, that way the lip of the bowl protects their clothes from drips.

If your son is uncircumcised (which is most boys in the UK) then the foreskin is probably the biggest issue with peeing standing up. Foreskins can cause pee to go in all sorts of directions. It will often be folded over causing the child to pee back on themselves, or it will be squished in the middle so that the pee goes in two directions, neither of which is into the bowl. You can teach your son to brush their foreskin back slightly before starting to pee. This should separate the skin allowing the wee to go in the right direction.

Peeing outdoors can be an issue. The main way that boys protect their clothes from wee is using the toilet bowl as a shield. When that is not available the chances of wee on clothes rises. I have found two methods that help to avoid this. The first is the knee in the back. Once your son has their trousers down you hold his shoulders from behind, this steadies him and ensures he pees in one direction, then you gently push your knee into his lower back. This moves his hips forward and elevates the ark of the wee so it is less likely to drip on his clothes. But remember the foreskin is a pain and before the wee has built up pressure for the main stream if will flow in a much lower ark. If the foreskin is pointing down the chances are you will get wee wee trousers, so remind your son to brush the foreskin back first.
Option number two is to stick your finger under your sons willy and help to elevate it so he pees in the right direction. I did this when my son was very young.

There is no reason not to get your son standing as soon as they have mastered peeing in a big toilet. I wouldn't advise doing it while they are using a potty because you don't get that bowl protection and potties are a smaller target. But the sooner they master standing up the easier outdoor wees become, which is great in the early stages post- potty training when you are out and about and get caught short.

Taming the Goblin

Welcome to The Sunday Parenting Party, hosted by Play ActivitiesCrayon Freckles,Taming the GoblinPrickly Mom, and The Tao of Poop. The SPP is place for readers to find ideas on nurturing, educating, and caring for children, as well as honest posts about the stresses of being a parent or caregiver. Links to reviews and giveaways are welcome as long as they are relevant to the topic. All parenting philosophies are welcome with one exception: please do not link to posts promoting physical discipline, as this is something we would feel uncomfortable having on our blogs. (P.S. By linking up you agree that your post and photos are Pinterest, Sulia, G+ and FB friendly. We will be showcasing ideas on The Sunday Parenting Party Pinterest board.) 


  1. I used to tell my boy to pee in the bathtub (before filling up for a bath) and he thought that was hilarious! Thanks for the linkup!

  2. When my twins were born, I was totally stressed about potty training. We taught them to pee sitting down first, then slowly transitioned into standing up. I love the way you covered EVERYTHING!

    I know some men I work with that would benefit from reading this post. :)

  3. Great choice of picture for this post! Potty training is one aspect of parenting that I'm really not looking forward to, still it has to be done.


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