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Potty training 101: 10 favorite potty books for kids

potty time
potty time
amcdawes Flickr

Potty books help children explore and create their own potty experience. Some books are serious while some are silly. Some involve animals; some involve boys or girls or both. Some give an outlet for negativity and potty resistance while others are positive and encouraging. Every book isn't for every child - just as every cookbook isn't right for every cook. Here are 10 Favorite Potty Books that highlight different aspects of the potty experience:

  1. Everyone Poops by Tara Gomi: Everyone Poops is a personal favorite because it's more toddler biology/science than potty training agenda. Toddlers love reading along "everyone POOPS" while building confidence and excitement for newly acquired potty skills.
  2. A Potty for Me by Karen Katz: Karen Katz creates a familiar style of lift-the-flap book that gives toddlers a sense of control and independence when potty expectations feel tiresome and a little overwhelming. The book moves from resistance to success with happy, page-turning surprises.
  3. Potty by Leslie Patricelli: This simple board book with familiar illustrations engages children in the essential potty question: where should I go a diaper or in a potty? What better way to give control back to your toddler as they revisit their options while learning new potty skills.
  4. No Potty! Yes, Potty or Go, Girl! Go Potty! by Emily Bolam: Boy and girl versions of another stress-relieving potty book! Bolam creates these interactive life-the-flap books with animals sitting on potties and children playing in non-potty ways with their potty chairs. No doubt toddlers need to say "no" many times until they get to the perfect potty "yes"!
  5. You Can Go to the Potty by William Sears, Martha Sears, and Christie Watts Kelly: This book, along with parenting tips, gives the how-to from emptying diapers into the toilet to that "feeling" of pee-pee and "poo-poo" coming to accidents and clean up. Great support for parents looking to find the right words to explain the potty process.
  6. Have You Seen My Potty? By Mij Kelly: Great story and problem solving as Suzy Sue goes looking for who took her potty. Rhymes and laughter abound for children who need a little silliness as they tackle a sometimes stressful and demanding responsibility of finding the potty just in time!
  7. I Have to Go! By Robert Munsch: Preschoolers revisit pottying long after initial potty training - on long car rides, on airplanes, and all those times they don't want to go when asked. Munsch understands kids and family and always offers some humor when things get uncomfortable.
  8. Once Upon a Potty by Alona Frankel: Prudence and Joshua, the little girl and boy in the respective Boy and Girl versions of Once Upon a Potty, have been helping children for decades master their bodies and pottying. They are true classics for their simplicity, honesty and clarity.
  9. What to Expect When You Use the Potty by Heidi Murkof: Murkoff creates the perfect parent-child Q&A book that starts with potty readiness and explores questions that 3 year olds want to know like where does the pee and poop go when you flush. Keep the potty conversations going long after initial potty training because these are engaging and meaningful questions for young children. You might even take a field trip to the water treatment plant!
  10. Underwear! by Mary Elise Monsell and The Underwear Book by Todd Parr: Ultimately, potty training really is about getting to wear UNDERWEAR! Celebrate your child's success with a "underwear party" with an "underwear parade" or these very funny books. Congratulations to saying Good Bye to Diapers and joining that very special club of underwear-ers!
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