Two years ago my husband, two-year-old son, and I were Virginia transplants living in Fort Wayne, Indiana. My husband taught theater at a small university, I taught second grade at an adorable Catholic school, and our son, James, enjoyed walking around our neighborhood and collecting sticks. We abruptly found out that funding had been slashed for the theater program and my husband was out of a job. After the shock subsided, I said, “At least now we can move back to Virginia!”
We prepared to move: moving van booked, new teaching jobs miraculously secured, and I found a spot for our son at a nursery school about two minutes from our new house. Previously, I called at least ten other schools. All were either extremely expensive (were the children finger painting on gold plated easels?) or James would be number 20 on a waiting list after we paid a nonrefundable $50 registration fee.
A week before we moved, I read some of the fine print on our new nursery school’s website. In horror and disbelief, I read, “We accept POTTY TRAINED two year olds.” WTF? I didn’t know any potty trained two year olds. I pictured us arriving at the new school, diapers in tow, and being told we would need to take our diaper-wearing son elsewhere. Unfortunately, there seemed to be no where else to take him.
So, without much choice, as our house was packed up and we prepared to move halfway across the country, I potty trained my 27-month-old son. Friends and neighbors came over to say their good-byes and asked why our small son was running around like a wee nudist. He would raise his little hand, palm up, and say, “We are just doing the potty training.” I turned to many books during this time and found them both helpful and reassuring.
I present to you a poopload of potty training books!
Children’s and Board Books
Use these books to introduce your child to the potty, undies, and where to put the poop.
Goldilocks and the just right potty by Leigh Hodgkinson
Goldilocks is a little girl who grows tired of wearing “soggy diapers” and decides it is time for “big-girl underwear!” Throughout the book, Goldilocks looks for undies and a potty that are “just right!” She also shows young readers that accidents happen, but, eventually you will be able to go “just right!” Such a cute and colorful book!
Potty by Leslie Patricelli
This one was the favorite at our house! This diaper-clad baby thinks about where his cat and dog go potty. He then asks, “Should I go in my potty? I could try.” This one shows those in the midst of potty training that they can do it! Sometimes, they just have to try! If you like this one, check out Toot, also by Leslie Patricelli.
Peep and Egg I’m not using the Potty by laura gehl
This is a great one for reluctant or stubborn potty trainers. One morning, Peep informs Egg that it is time to start using the potty. Egg adamantly states, “I’m not using the potty!” Peep unsuccessfully tries to entice Egg to sit on the potty and offers to let him throw toilet paper in, flush the potty, and even make toilet paper tutu’s. Nothing works for this obstinate chick! Finally, Egg reads a story while sitting on the potty and gleefully announces, “I did it! I used the potty!”
Once upon a potty by alana frankel
This book was written in 1975 by Alana Frankel for her son to explain to him how to use the potty. It explains in detail pooping, peeing, diapers, potties, and is almost like a Potty Training for Dummies for toddlers. It also comes in a boy version and a girl version, if you find that necessary.
bloop bloop goes the poop by Temara Moore
A lot of children understand how to pee in the potty. Some get very freaked out about pooping in the potty and need some reassurance. This simple book explains what to do when it is time to poo. It gives the directions that when your tummy starts to rumble, head to the potty and soon “bloop bloop goes the poop!”
everyone poops by taro gomi
I could not create a list of potty training books and leave this one off. Everyone poops and everyone loves this book! Taro Gomi reminds us through basic text and pictures that everyone from whales to ducks to people poop. This is a great “reward” book for your little bookworm when he or she masters pooping in the potty!
How-to potty training books
You got this! You can teach your tiny human how to poop and pee and rid yourself of diapers forever! Find the method that works for you and go for it!
Oh crap! potty training by Jamie glowacki
This book is the one that I used to successfully potty train my two year old while we moved to a different state. What is Jamie Glowacki’s secret? The parents! The parents are the teachers and the ones who decide when it is time to start the process. Timing, consistency, and following Glowacki’s three block program are key to achievement from the “Pied Piper of Poop.” She also reminds parents that you might go a bit “cuckoo” during this process. It is okay! You will be back to normal soon enough.
Potty Train Your Child in Just one Day by Teri Crane
Is your child three years old? Does he or she love, love, love parties? Are you a busy parent approaching the preschool potty training deadline? Then you might want to check this one out and throw your child a one day potty party! Teri Crane wrote this book to help parents turn poop into woop woop! Through modeling, dramatic play, and reward charts children work through the act of using in the potty in one day. Crane includes lots of advice and potty party themes.
The no-cry potty training solution by Elizabeth Pantley
Elizabeth Pantley begins her book by reassuring parents that potty training can be “natural, easy, and peaceful.” The book informs us that potty training takes three to twelve months and most children are daytime independent by age four. Pantley does not proscribe a specific plan, but instead offers parents a “menu of potty training ideas.” She also includes a “quick guide” at the beginning of the book for reference. I seriously felt calmer while reading this book.
early-start potty training by Linda sonna
Linda Sonna begins her book with a history of potty training. Basically and interestingly, child-directed potty training and potty training after the age of two is a very new and western concept encouraged by the invention of disposable diapers. Sonna provides detailed instructions on how to become your child’s “potty teacher.” She teaches parents how to use verbal and non-verbal elimination communication, read children for signs of having to go, and how to anticipate potty needs. Chapters are divided by the age of the child and offer tips for each stage.
How eskimos keep their babies warm and other adventures in parenting by Mei-ling hopgood
Check this book out if you enjoyed Bringing Up Bebe or Achtung Baby. Mei-Ling Hopgood is an American mom living in Buenos Aires who studied parents around the globe and wrote about such topics as strollers, bedtimes, healthy eating, and potty training. Her chapter on potty training looks at the cultural and economic reasons that many Chinese parents excel at potty training their children before the age of two. This is a great book for all parents who are looking for a different views on a myriad of aspects of raising little humans.
After reading through this list, I want to leave you with this from Oh Crap! Potty Training, “Let it go! I know this all probably seems overwhelming. Don’t worry…You and your child will find your groove.”