Does it really take longer to potty train boys than girls?
Yes, although no one, including expert T. Berry Brazelton, seems to know why. In her book Toilet Learning, Alison Mack says the difference may be partially due to the fact that moms are usually the primary potty-trainers in a family. Boys without a male role model to imitate in the bathroom may take a little longer to get the idea, while girls have the advantage of observing someone with the same equipment.
Even if Dad is equally involved, boys sometimes need more time than girls, possibly because it's a two-step process for them. First they learn to pee and poop sitting down, then they have to master part of the act while standing up.
If your son takes longer to train than the girls in his daycare, don't sweat it. Just be sure to watch for readiness signs and go from there.
Should my son pee standing up from the start?
Since bowel movements and urine tend to come out all at the same time, it makes sense to have your 2-year-old sit for both. This way, he learns that both pee and poop belong in the potty. Plus, the thrill of learning to aim and spray won't distract him from concentrating on mastering the basics.
When buying a potty chair for your son, look for one without a urine guard (or one you can remove). While such a shield might protect your bathroom linoleum from a few stray drops, it also can bump into and scrape your son's penis, causing him to associate going to the bathroom with pain.
How do I teach my son to pee standing up?
Once your child has mastered going to the bathroom sitting down, he can advance to trying the standing position. Having a readily available male role model is key. Arrange for your son to follow Dad, an uncle, or family friend to the bathroom to watch him in the act. When your son seems to understand how to do it, let him give it a go, perhaps into his own potty chair while standing next to the big toilet.
If he seems reluctant, try floating a few Cheerios or other small, flushable objects (some companies sell products just for this purpose) in the toilet bowl for target practice. Be prepared to do some cleanup around the toilet since it may take him some time to master the skill (practice makes perfect).