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5 Books to Help with Potty Training


Three pivotal events mark the development of a toddler: the first word, the first step, and potty training. Generally, a child doesn’t need too much effort from the parents to achieve the first two. Going from diaper to underwear, however, is another matter. Everyone has heard horror stories about potty training, and they are enough to scare a first-time parent to death. Take heart, new parents; there is help out there. In addition to all your friends and family that have already gone through this eventful era, there are videos and books galore for those seeking more guidance.

From the many books offered, some rise to the top of the list of being the most helpful. Based on research, ratings, and recommendations, here is a list of five of the best:

1. Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki: The book’s subtitle “Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right” promotes confidence in the book’s use. The author offers a six-step training program that includes three days of intensive training. It advocates training continuing into the night by waking the sleeping child. The author also provides a series of videos on YouTube to back up the training program.

This book comes recommended by “Parent Magazine,” Modern Parents, Messy Kids website and Project Potty Training. Some experts in the area, however, have doubts about the night-time aspect of the training. Working parents may have difficulty setting aside three days for the intensive part of the training.

2. Potty Training in Three Days by Brandi Bucks. The book’s author, who assures parents it is possible, is a former nanny and consultant on potty training. (There really is such a thing). The fact is, however, some kids may take a couple more days than others. Reviews of the book are mixed, but generally positive. It provides step-by-step, easy to follow plans and many tips for staying calm and focused. Some users feel there is not enough information for training to poop and nighttime training. This book comes recommended by Baby Center website and Heavy.com in their top ten list.

3. Stress-Free Potty Training: A Common Sense Guide to Finding the Right Approach for Your Child by Sara Au and Peer L. Stravinoha. If “Three Days” doesn’t work for you, this may be the way to go. The authors offer a different approach to training based on your child’s personality, which is determined through a quick quiz at the beginning. The authors make it clear that each child and his parents differ emotionally to potty training and that needs to be the primary focus. For this reason, some parents may find the psychological basis of the book less helpful than a step-by-step plan. Alternatively, this book may be used in addition to other how-to books for better understanding and insight into what is going on with your child in particular.

4. Not all potty training books are for the adults. Potty by Leslie Patricelli gets kudos from everyone. Amazon rates it as their number one best seller of all books on potty training. Parent Magazine likes it as well as the previously cited websites. This book tells the story of learning to potty from the child’s point of view. When read aloud, both parents and kids get a kick out of the descriptions offered by the humorous details in the book. It is a great way to lighten the stressful times for both sides of the bathroom.

5. Uh Oh! Gotta Go! Potty Tales from Toddlers by Bob McGrath. There’s an old saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff. (It’s all small stuff.).” That’s the theme of this funny book by McGrath. In this read-aloud book, he uses 27 different stories and delightful illustrations to entertain both parents and child as they cope with the ups and downs of potty training. There are no how-to or sage advice; just the positive assurance that both parties will eventually succeed in the end without dying in the process.

Maybe the best thing about any book you may choose to read is finding that you and your child are not alone. Others have been there, done that and eventually accomplished their goal. If you think you are going crazy–join the club, but remember there is plenty of help out there. Don’t be afraid to use it!