Potty training is no fun, but it doesn’t have to be the biggest challenge in toddlerhood either. All these books are made to help kids and parents make this transition as smoothly as possible. Having taught children who were actively potty training and potty training my son last year, I can tell you this advice. Never push, never punish and never shame. So if your child isn’t open to these books, leave them hanging around and chill, they will be. No one ever goes to college in Buzz Lightyear pull ups!
It Hurts When I Poop!: A Story for Children Who Are Scared to Use the Potty by Howard J. Bennet was a life saver for us. Many kids start holing their poop after one painful one, and that happened here and we went from no issues to fussing, fighting the potty and finally he admitted he was scared it will hurt. Of course holding it made that worse but try to explain that to a frightened toddler. This book was amazing. The story is long, I skipped some text with my son , but read it all for myself since it’s packed with awesome information for parents too! The book explains digestion, why it hurts and how to make it better on a kids level as well as in more detail for parents. I can’t recommend this more for parents who’s children have hit this very common but very distressing problem.
The Potty Book for Girls by Alyssa Satin Capucilli is a favorite of my son. He loved this book, and when I got it back out of the library to write this post he immediately wanted me to read it. The text rhymes, the pictures are sweet and honest . I think what my son loves so much is that it shows the challenges, she wets herself, she pees on the floor and her parents are encouraging and positive. There is also a companion book The Potty Book – For Boys which interestingly my son had no interest in reading.
A Potty for Me!: A Lift-the-Flap Instruction Manual by Karen Katz is a great introduction to potty training. If your toddler is showing interest but neither you nor they are ready to go head first into underwear yet this lift-the-flap book is a great way to play with the idea and concepts of using a potty.
Have You Seen My Potty? Mij Kelly is such a cute book. A little girl on a farm has lost her potty and goes looking for it , asking all the animals if they have seen it. They don’t know what a potty is but have discovered this awesome poo pot that is keeping their farm so much cleaner since figuring out how to use it. My son laughed hysterically through the funny rhyming text and so did I . Making the potty a fun thing is really beneficial and this book does just that!
Even Firefighters Go to the Potty: A Potty Training Lift-the-Flap Story by Wendy and Naomi Wax is another favorite of my son but I wasn’t as impressed. It’s hard my son loved it and since he loves Firefighters, Policemen etc.. knowing they use the potty too was great motivation for him. My concern was that there were very few women in this book. I think it’s important to show women being astronauts , police officers, and construction workers. The text was funny, the flaps were fun to reveal but I am on the fence, even though my son loved it.
We all go through them as parents our kids won’t give up a pacifier, won’t go to sleep, won’t do something that until we were parents wasn’t even on our radar! These books are all about those “issues” .
Edwardo the Horriblest Boy in the Whole Wide Worldby John Burningham is a must read for anyone who is in a position of authority among children, it is a poignant look at what happens when you scold and belittle a child and then what the outcome is when you praise. I have always had a extra special place in my heart for students who act out it’s rarely not for a reason and this book will help remind anyone how children need understanding more than harsh words and punishment especially when they are being horrible.
Jake’s Best Thumb by Ilene Cooper is a pretty realistic look at a preschooler who is happily sucking his thumb despite the adults in his life warning him about bad teeth, thumb sucking not being for big boys and asking his gently when he thinks he will be ready to stop. What I love about this book is that Jake’s reactions are spot on. I like how sometimes he doesn’t even know he is sucking his thumb, how he denies he is a bog boy ( compared to his big sister) when it’s suggested he is too big to suck his thumb now and the shame he feels when he starts kindergarten and is teased for doing it. School is a turning point, teasing hurts but it’s not just the realistic reaction of a bully that forces Jake to suck only at night. It’s the realization that lots of kids need something at night, even as he discovers the class bully.
Oh No, Gotta Go #2! by Susan Middleton Elya was an instant hit with my 3 year old. He relates perfectly to the little girl who is off to the park with her parents to have a picnic and ride her trike when all of a sudden she feels it… she needs to poop! Whether you are in the middle of potty training or at the stage where times like these still occur your child will probably love this book. My son needs little help in the potty these days but absolutely gets that paniced look when he knows he needs to go but isn’t sure where or if there is a potty. Parents will giggle at the her parent’s reaction of grabbing her off her trike, running, throwing keys to each other and their panic. Also this book is bilingual, with Spanish words threaded into a mostly English text. Don’t worry if you don’t read Spanish there is a quick pronunciation guide at the start of the book.
Owen This book warms my heart. Owen is attached to his fuzzy blanket but some people think Owen is too big for a blanket and it’s time to grow up. Owen goes everywhere and needs his blanket still, but his parents are getting pressure from a nosy neighbor to take it away. I think this is an amazing book about parenting. I know that as a mom who is still nursing her 2 year old that I have been told many times the same things that Owen’s parent’s are told “He can’t be a baby forever, can’t you just say no etc…” like Owen’s parent’s I know what my child is ready for and don’t give into nosy neighbors but instead do the best thing for my child. No matter what your child’s lovey is, whether it’s a plush animal, blanket, pacifier or you – you’ll relate to this book. Oh and kids love it too, my son often asks for this one before bed.
Mama Always Comes Home by Karma Wilson was a last minute grab at the library that I am so thankful I saw. It starts off with animal mother’s leaving their babies, for all different reasons . A bird gathering food, a dog greeting his master and more. The animal mothers leave, but they also always return to their babies. Then it switches to a child and mother. She reassures the child that she will be back and we watch her leave, and return . I loved this book because my son isn’t the best when I leave him, he related to this book immediately and was repeating ” Mama always comes home!” half way through.
Jake Stays Awake by Michael Wright made both my husband and I laugh hysterically my son liked it too, but we loved it. It’s about a little boy who can’t sleep without his parents and they don’t like sleeping with feet in their faces. Can you relate? We can which is why we found this book so funny. What I liked was that Jake wasn’t disciplined for wanting to sleep with his parents, and they tried and tired all different places to sleep, they were just being honest that it wasn’t working anymore! My son loved the page that they were all sleeping in garbage cans and I loved that Jake looked to be about 12 , it gives me hope that my son may sleep alone by puberty.