Sitting down to pee
© 2013 Roy Benaroch, MD
Here at the Pediatric Insider, we don’t shy away from controversy. We’ve tackled circumcision, and whether farts really hurt; we’ve trashed just about every formula company, dispelled myths about organic food; and we’ve even suggested that exclusive nursing might not always be the best idea.
But then Stephanie sent in this doozy of a question:
“Should I potty train my son to pee sitting down, or standing up? My husband says boys stand up to pee. I say I don’t want pee all over the bathroom. We decided that we’ll do whatever you say is best.”
It is true that most boys and men pee standing up. I suppose, from an evolutionary perspective, it allowed us men to scan the horizon for prey, while also allowing us to see, in a manly fashion, whether we or our neighbor caveman Ug could pee farther.
Apparently, though, not all contemporary men continue this tradition. Half of Japanese men sit down, and if you believe the comments in that link, many American men take advantage of their pee breaks for a brief sit-down. I conclude that we are indeed a lazy, lazy people.
Let’s look, objectively, at the advantages and disadvantages of the two approaches:
Peeing standing is a time for traditional father-son bonding and Ghost Busters quotes. It also allows an opportunity for crucial aiming practice.
OTOH, it can make an unholy mess of the bathroom.
So, since I’ve been given the task of deciding, I’ve decided this: whoever cleans the bathroom, that’s the person who gets to decide.