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Knowing how a little boy pees did not come naturally to me.

Long before I had a son, I had to bring a young boy to the bathroom and I must say, I was so confused, he just decided to hold it. Smart thinking lad.

And then I had my own little boy. And I started to understand that you have different options… a toddler boy can pee sitting down but he has to push his pen*s towards the bowl or he can pee standing up but then he needs a step stool and some target practice.

And at this point, I was about to award myself a master’s degree with honors in boy potty training when the subject of wiping came up.

My husband told me that boys don’t wipe, boys “shake.”

“What? Shake like as in shake and bake?” I said.

“Yes, but just the shake part,” he explained.

Okay. I’ve never thought much about what a boy or man does after he pees. I am a girl. Girls must wipe. If they don’t, they quickly get a urinary tract infection (UTI). Sometimes they get UTI’s anyway. Being a girl can suck.

But guys? Who the hell knew what they were doing exactly. I figured they were getting the pee off somehow but didn’t know if they were shaking and baking, using magical powers, toilet paper or whatever.

A whole lot of shaking apparently.

Except the shaking technique wasn’t working very well with my 2 1/2 year old son. Because every toddler (or at least every single one I’ve ever met) hates a drop of anything on his or her clothes. So Chase would pee, shake and then 97 1/2% of the time, he would get a drop of pee on his underwear which did not fly with him. He would have to immediately change or sob about the situation and the whole thing was getting ridiculous and time consuming.

So now, and please don’t tell my husband, Chase shakes and then I pat his pen*s dry. Or he does it himself. Either way.

I’m sure this is just a phase and everyone is happy.

Except then I texted a few friends to see if they ever had to do this with their toddler sons and they were all like… “no.”

God, I hope I’m not the first mother to do this. That would be awkward.

But as one friend put it, “Be happy that hygiene is important to him!”

I like her spin.

mama bird notes:

In other news, I wrote a piece for Lifetime defending Kim Kardashian. I know. I could hardly believe it myself. Click here to read.

Have you LIKED The Mama Bird Diaries on Facebook? If you become a Facebook fan, I’ll try really hard to never write another post about pee and wiping.Β  I promise.Β  CLICK HERE.

22 Responses to toddler boys and peeing: this is where things get complicated

  • cateia says:

    Loved this article.
    Funny to read and helpful at the same time.

    Thank you,
    Momma of a 3yr old that calls his pen*s a butt. Boy do I have a waays to go.

  • Nicole says:

    The first and only little boy I’ve accompanied to the bathroom did this and I wondered whether ALL parents taught boys to wipe or whether it was just his parents. And I’ve been wondering this for the last 18 years. So thank you for putting that question to rest.

  • Malea says:

    Both my twin boys were silly about that too so I always let them get one square of TP to wipe, plus it made cleaning a lot easier for me. Now that they’re 5, it’s a whole other story with toilet cleaning-they get lazy!
    BTW I love your blogs, and congrats on your 5th πŸ™‚

  • Carrie says:

    My 2 1/2yo son does not do the whole standing thing well because he has gotten the bottom of his shirt wet and like Chase FLIP OUT!!!! A drop of pee any where on his clothes would sebd him spiraling out of control. So I sit him backwards on the toilet . That gives him more balance and more open bowl area without having to push anything down. And no you are not alone. Then I hand him one square of toilet paper, he does a quick pat, he has easy reach to do a big boy flush, then it’s hand washing and he’s off. So no you are not alone and I primise not to tell your husband if you don’t tell mine πŸ˜‰

  • Melissa says:

    My 8 year old still uses a square to wipe!
    When he was younger, I used to stash spare underwear in our downstairs bathroom. If he was wet, didn’t have to take the time run all the way upstairs to change him!

  • Sandrine says:

    I totally used to do the wipe thing with the boys. Now they are on their own so they
    do what they want but I wish they kept doing the wipe…that shake thing doesn’t see the most efficient to me!

  • Elissa says:

    My son also likes to wipe that last drop off…same age as yours…although he does it himself. Doesn’t like mom touching the boy parts… I think he got the idea from seeing his big sister in the bathroom. But hey, like your friend said, glad the hygiene is important! Although making him wash his hands after is another story.

  • Laura says:

    Thank you for this. I’ve never wiped my 4 y.o. son after a pee, but i did think the shake idea still left that last pesky drop most of the time and isn’t that annoying? and unsanitary? so I’m glad to know that other (females) have the same misgivings as I about potty training our sons! I’ll go into training my 20 month old a more informed mama!

  • Mel says:

    Frankly I’ve always thought the shake is disgusting. Why are men content to leave a drop of urine on there? Let them wipe, I say!

  • Kerri says:

    At that age my boys sat ( unless outside, we live in a forest ). They used a piece of toilet paper to pat dry. So did any kids I babysat or did day-care for for or fostered. Mind you once they were older it was their choice to wipe or not. There were at least 6 females in the house that did not like sitting on boy pee dribble. So, I think that was an incentive. Any dribbles were expected to be wiped off the toilet seat, which could mean a trip back to the bathroom so the said female didn’t have to deal with it. I think they figured out it was just easier to wipe themselves in the first place!

  • Jen says:

    We just got done potty training my 3.5 yo son. I totally make him use a square of TP because listen, I barely trust my full grown husband not to get pee everywhere, I’m not trusting a toddler to reliably use the “shake” method.

  • Due to being a single mother for so many years, my kid STILL pees sitting down (he’s 12!) Not when he’s with his buddies though. Then again I guess I just assume he doesn’t pee sitting down since I don’t spy on him in the bathroom at school. Oh dear. I think I better stop while I’m really far behind.

    Great post! Cheers!

  • beachgirl says:

    DH says no wiping but he is not here during the day so my son shakes and wipes…it just seems more efficient to me…he would be in there all day if he was shaking and hoping he got it all…there is always one more drop…so we shake ( keeps daddy happy) and we wipe ( keeps mommy happy) , wash our hands and off we go. A mom with boys gave me a tip for when we have to (yeuch!!) use a public bathroom…my son stands on my shoes so it gives him some height so his bits and pieces are not getting anywhere near the toilet…oh the joys of boys and their bits and bobs πŸ™‚

  • ~Michelle~ says:

    Honestly, if given a choice…my DH will wipe, it just goes faster because he has to be dry before he pulls his pants back up.

  • Nicole says:

    Well, mine used to wipe on the bath towels hanging next to the toilet. Not the most hygienic so I nipped that in the bud (ok, I just went into denial and now they close the door). One of mine could care less if he was walking around in wet undies, so we have a different problem.

  • Marta says:

    I always taught Ben to sit. It seems less messy, plus I’m sitting and its perfectly comfortable to me. Now, that he’s older my husband took an interest and taught him standing and shaking. At that point I wiped my hands of the situation, I did the initial potty training after all!

  • Angi says:

    All men should wipe. End of story. I taught my 6yo to do it and I’m teaching my 3yo the same. I’ve been trying to teach my husband for nearly 11 years! Three cheers for hygiene!

  • Lauren says:

    This post has caused a significant about of giggles and discussion in our house! My current problem is getting my 4yo son to actually lift the toilet seat all the way. He is at the perfect height to lift the seat about 6in, lean in and pee. I don’t think there is any shaking because there isn’t any touching. He also could have soaking wet undies and not care. Boys are gross πŸ™‚

  • Lena says:

    I hate to be the voice of dissent here, but we’re talking about a single. drop. of. urine. Underwear is washable, and most people have enough to allow for a fresh pair every day. Let’s say your child pees 6 times a day. We’re obsessing over 6 drops of urine? And ladies- do you all wear panty liners every single day? How dry are your nether regions?

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kelcey kintner