The best potty training books

3 authors have picked their favorite books about potty training and why they recommend each book.

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Mind in the Making

By Ellen Galinsky,

Book cover of Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs

There are many opinions and schools of thought on how to best raise and care for young children. The author lays her discussion firmly on the solid foundation of research. Beyond academic skills or ability, Ms. Galinsky identifies seven skills that will lead to the child’s success in the future. Skills such as making connections or critical thinking need to be fostered for a child to do well in school as well as in interactions and endeavors later in life. This book is sometimes used as a text in college classes. And yet, parents will easily find this content accessible with concrete ideas to develop these essential life skills.

Who am I?

My passion has always been caring for and educating young children. I spent over 20 years in the classroom as a child care professional and much of that time was with toddlers. I discovered that the stereotype of the terrible twos was truly misguided. I chose books that will shed new light on why toddlers behave the way that they do. These books will show the reader what an important time this is in a child’s growth and learning. I believe that these books will help convince you that toddlers are not terrible; they are terrific!


I wrote...

365 Toddler Activities That Inspire Creativity: Games, Projects, and Pastimes That Encourage a Child's Learning and Imagination

By Joni Levine,

Book cover of 365 Toddler Activities That Inspire Creativity: Games, Projects, and Pastimes That Encourage a Child's Learning and Imagination

What is my book about?

With 365 Toddler Activities That Inspire Creativity, you can spark your child's creativity and maximize his or her potential every day of the year. Written by an experienced child-care expert, you will find hundreds of entertaining toddler activities, songs, games, and art projects that stimulate cognitive development and encourage inventiveness. You and your toddler will enjoy playtime with age-appropriate activities like: magic sun prints, treasure chest, sprout in a bag rainbow toast, fishing in the tub, all-about-me book, and so many more!

Featuring everything from outdoor activities to rainy-day fun, 365 Toddler Activities That Inspire Creativity provides hours of creative toddler play!

Potty

By Leslie Patricelli,

Book cover of Potty

If you’ve never picked up a Leslie Patricelli book, you are in for a treat! Simple yet endearing, Potty is an adorable depiction of a child needing to go potty and wondering what to do. The storyline and expressive phrases really stick with your child, making it all that much easier for a child to connect a beloved book to something daunting like going potty. Seriously, this is probably the only time you’ll see the words “beloved” and “potty” so close together. 


Who am I?

It doesn’t matter that I’m a former journalist who has also most recently worked at Sesame Workshop (yes, that Elmo!) and Mattel (Fisher-Price, Barbie, Thomas & Friends, etc). When my kiddo shouts, “Mommy! I need a bum bum wipe!” my duty is to get to that doodie ASAP. Ah, parenthood...is there anything more humbling? Someday, my kids might think it’s cool that I wrote for old-school magazines (!) and interviewed celebrities (!!) and lived in NYC for 15 years (!!!). But for now, I’m proud I get to read my silly little children’s book to them any time they ask. Or any book for that matter because books are magic!


I wrote...

The Poopy Pants Dance

By Christie Griffin Authier, Emily Wetterich (illustrator),

Book cover of The Poopy Pants Dance

What is my book about?

Going potty is an evolving journey for children—and it all starts with some wiggles while they’re still in diapers. My board book, The Poopy Pants Dance, is a cheeky read for both parents and their kiddos. It’s about how babies and toddlers often have funny dance-like moves when their diapers are extra dirty. From the hustle to the cha-cha, each scenario features a new dancing baby that will make you and your kiddo giggle. 

The Poopy Pants Dance has both rhyming and repetition, which have been proven to help children develop early literacy skills and make important brain connections. Fair warning, though: Numerous parents have told me their children love parroting “poopy pants dance,” particularly in public.

P Is for Potty!

By Naomi Kleinberg, Christopher Moroney (illustrator),

Book cover of P Is for Potty!

There’s a lot going on in P! is for Potty!—and I like it! In this book, Elmo is having a playdate with his cousin (who is potty training) and there are also lift-the-flaps all over each page. Bonus: Something many people don’t realize is that Sesame Street is run by a non-profit called Sesame Workshop—and the programs and resources they provide for kids and families around the globe are capital I Incredible. So, not to be dramatic about it, but you’re not just making Elmo part of your potty journey if you get this book—you’re basically helping make the world a better place, too.  


Who am I?

It doesn’t matter that I’m a former journalist who has also most recently worked at Sesame Workshop (yes, that Elmo!) and Mattel (Fisher-Price, Barbie, Thomas & Friends, etc). When my kiddo shouts, “Mommy! I need a bum bum wipe!” my duty is to get to that doodie ASAP. Ah, parenthood...is there anything more humbling? Someday, my kids might think it’s cool that I wrote for old-school magazines (!) and interviewed celebrities (!!) and lived in NYC for 15 years (!!!). But for now, I’m proud I get to read my silly little children’s book to them any time they ask. Or any book for that matter because books are magic!


I wrote...

The Poopy Pants Dance

By Christie Griffin Authier, Emily Wetterich (illustrator),

Book cover of The Poopy Pants Dance

What is my book about?

Going potty is an evolving journey for children—and it all starts with some wiggles while they’re still in diapers. My board book, The Poopy Pants Dance, is a cheeky read for both parents and their kiddos. It’s about how babies and toddlers often have funny dance-like moves when their diapers are extra dirty. From the hustle to the cha-cha, each scenario features a new dancing baby that will make you and your kiddo giggle. 

The Poopy Pants Dance has both rhyming and repetition, which have been proven to help children develop early literacy skills and make important brain connections. Fair warning, though: Numerous parents have told me their children love parroting “poopy pants dance,” particularly in public.

My Thomas Potty Book (Thomas & Friends)

By Random House,

Book cover of My Thomas Potty Book (Thomas & Friends)

I used to write social-first content for the parent audience of Thomas & Friends, which meant I had to find ways to connect with parents on a relatable level while also using Thomas media. This book squarely hits that mark, and “train moms” will undoubtedly appreciate a little help from Thomas when it’s time to start potty training. In this book, kids are asked to make decisions like which color undies they would like, and they will love the 30 reward stickers that are included. Thanks to this book, “Peep! Peep!” can lead to “Poop! Poop!” 


Who am I?

It doesn’t matter that I’m a former journalist who has also most recently worked at Sesame Workshop (yes, that Elmo!) and Mattel (Fisher-Price, Barbie, Thomas & Friends, etc). When my kiddo shouts, “Mommy! I need a bum bum wipe!” my duty is to get to that doodie ASAP. Ah, parenthood...is there anything more humbling? Someday, my kids might think it’s cool that I wrote for old-school magazines (!) and interviewed celebrities (!!) and lived in NYC for 15 years (!!!). But for now, I’m proud I get to read my silly little children’s book to them any time they ask. Or any book for that matter because books are magic!


I wrote...

The Poopy Pants Dance

By Christie Griffin Authier, Emily Wetterich (illustrator),

Book cover of The Poopy Pants Dance

What is my book about?

Going potty is an evolving journey for children—and it all starts with some wiggles while they’re still in diapers. My board book, The Poopy Pants Dance, is a cheeky read for both parents and their kiddos. It’s about how babies and toddlers often have funny dance-like moves when their diapers are extra dirty. From the hustle to the cha-cha, each scenario features a new dancing baby that will make you and your kiddo giggle. 

The Poopy Pants Dance has both rhyming and repetition, which have been proven to help children develop early literacy skills and make important brain connections. Fair warning, though: Numerous parents have told me their children love parroting “poopy pants dance,” particularly in public.

The Poop Song

By Eric Litwin, Claudia Boldt (illustrator),

Book cover of The Poop Song

The Poop Song is a picture book with downloadable music. Eric Litwin is the master of preschool story structure (think Pete the Cat, I Love My White Shoes, also a musical book). After Eric married his lovely wife, a pediatric gastroenterologist, she convinced him of the need for a good poop song. So there you go. Super, playful illustrations by Claudia Boldt.


Who am I?

I never wrote anything longer than a 5-minute song before I was forty-five years old! My life has been spent on the road as a performing songwriter, dancing and playing, and (after our own twins were born) teaching kids to do the same. But one night I woke up from a dream I couldn’t wrangle into song length, and by the end of the day, I had written four chapters of The Locke Box. I naturally wrote songs as I wrote the book. I got curious about who else was doing that. So here’s a short list…


I wrote...

The Locke Box

By Jennifer Daniels,

Book cover of The Locke Box

What is my book about?

Family is where you find it when a bizarre car crash leaves two strangers to care for an orphaned baby, a pregnant cat, and the key to a mystery that hits close to home. Sensual but clean, suspenseful but cozy, funny, and endearing. For your next best love story, open The Locke Box. The corresponding music album, Songs from The Locke Box, fleshes out the story in musical snapshots from the character's point of view and is available at my website.

Oh Crap! Potty Training

By Jamie Glowacki,

Book cover of Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right

I know, I know  – potty training might seem a long time off, but before your expecting friend knows it, the need to begin potty training will be upon them, and trust me it is not for the faint of heart. What better way to face potty training than to laugh through each chapter of this hilarious, brilliant book? With the six-step process shared in the book, we were easily able to get our daughter ready for daycare in plenty of time. So tell your friend to set it aside and believe me they will thank you later.


Who am I?

I am a mom who always dreamed of becoming a writer, but was too scared to try until I met my baby. The overwhelming urge to express my love for her in what I have always considered the most sacred way, through writing, became too much to contain. I wanted to create a meaningful experience not only for my child, but for all children; one where they could be nestled in their parents’ arms, engaged in the most significant pastime, and where they could understand for the first time how much they were loved from the very beginning.


I wrote...

When You Were in My Belly

By Kara Michelle Liu, Hanji Kim (illustrator),

Book cover of When You Were in My Belly

What is my book about?

When You Were in My Belly shares the story of three families as they prepare for the arrival of their new baby. Through each activity, whether it is deliberating over the namesake or selecting the perfect crib, each family can barely contain their excitement. Somewhere between the sound of the heartbeat at the doctor’s office and each felt movement in the belly, the parents are spellbound and know their lives will never be the same. It is the universal story of parental love, evident from the very beginning.

Daniel's Potty Time

By Alexandra Cassel Schwartz, Jason Fruchter (illustrator),

Book cover of Daniel's Potty Time

Getting your child to go potty before leaving the house will be an ongoing battle long after the potty training days are over. I used to say things like, “If you don’t try to go potty, then I’ll have to take away your unicorn stuffie!” Now I say, “Let’s try to go potty like Daniel Tiger does before he goes anywhere.” The book is based on an episode, complete with sing-songy lyrics—and it just works. Ugga mugga!


Who am I?

It doesn’t matter that I’m a former journalist who has also most recently worked at Sesame Workshop (yes, that Elmo!) and Mattel (Fisher-Price, Barbie, Thomas & Friends, etc). When my kiddo shouts, “Mommy! I need a bum bum wipe!” my duty is to get to that doodie ASAP. Ah, parenthood...is there anything more humbling? Someday, my kids might think it’s cool that I wrote for old-school magazines (!) and interviewed celebrities (!!) and lived in NYC for 15 years (!!!). But for now, I’m proud I get to read my silly little children’s book to them any time they ask. Or any book for that matter because books are magic!


I wrote...

The Poopy Pants Dance

By Christie Griffin Authier, Emily Wetterich (illustrator),

Book cover of The Poopy Pants Dance

What is my book about?

Going potty is an evolving journey for children—and it all starts with some wiggles while they’re still in diapers. My board book, The Poopy Pants Dance, is a cheeky read for both parents and their kiddos. It’s about how babies and toddlers often have funny dance-like moves when their diapers are extra dirty. From the hustle to the cha-cha, each scenario features a new dancing baby that will make you and your kiddo giggle. 

The Poopy Pants Dance has both rhyming and repetition, which have been proven to help children develop early literacy skills and make important brain connections. Fair warning, though: Numerous parents have told me their children love parroting “poopy pants dance,” particularly in public.

Everyone Poops

By Taro Gomi,

Book cover of Everyone Poops

Everyone Poops is the first book to introduce potty training to toddlers, regardless of where they are on the readiness continuum. It is a must-have in the library of every 18-24 month old. Watch children’s eyes as you read it and you will immediately know something valuable about their potty curiosity! Most importantly, it is the best example of a potty training book that does not push a potty training agenda. Everyone Poops is a biology book, no hidden messages encouraging children to give up diapers before they are ready. 

But, Everyone Poops introduces very important vocabulary. And, yes, it’s fun to say “poop” a hundred times a day while you’re learning something new about how your body works. And, Everyone Poops also reminds children that one day they will choose where to poop – some animals poop in the water. (Note to readers: good place to insert jokes about…


Who am I?

I love supporting families through the challenges of potty training because I love deciphering the developmental puzzle of potty skill building – the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social pieces all coming together at the perfect time. As a “family time” teacher for over three decades, I know the stories and the setbacks. I want to be the voice for children learning to manage their bodies, their choices and their world. With a Masters and Specialist degree in Early Childhood, I have also conducted national webinars for Early Childhood teachers on collaborating with families on in-school potty training. I hope these books add some fun and sanity to your potty training experience!


I wrote...

The Potty Training Answer Book: Practical Answers to the Top 200 Questions Parents Ask

By Karen Deerwester,

Book cover of The Potty Training Answer Book: Practical Answers to the Top 200 Questions Parents Ask

What is my book about?

One-size potty training cannot fit every child and every situation because children come in all different sizes – different temperaments with different learning styles in a variety of different settings with different needs. The Potty Training Answer Book helps parents and caregivers customize potty learning strategies for success, with understanding and respect. And, most of all, without drama and power struggles!

This book is your guide to understand the developmental readiness factors as well as the developmental challenges that coincide with potty training like fear, resistance, and potty accidents. Parents and caregivers can then customize their “Positive Potty Plan” for each child’s individual needs. Every child wants to learn to be in charge of their own body. Success is inevitable when potty training is about the “child”, not the “potty”!

The Whole-Brain Child

By Daniel J. Siegel, Tina Payne Bryson,

Book cover of The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind

This book changed my entire mindset when it came to bringing up my own child. Having been someone who was brought up in a very traditional (aka militarily strict!) manner, I didn’t really know any other way to be in my own life as a dad, but I always felt deep down that having a ‘just do as I say’ approach to parenting is so one dimensional and not reflective of true bonding. 

This book is fantastic at giving the insights into how a child thinks, the signals to watch out for, and also making you see things from a child’s point of view into having a much calmer and more open approach to parenting. I couldn’t recommend it more. 


Who am I?

I’m the founder of DaddiLife—the leading online platform that focusses on modern day dads, who are becoming more equalised in their day to day parenting. We’ve covered a range of different areas from early stage post partum and mental health for dads, through to new research projects on dads at work and young fathers. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt over my time as a father myself is that there’s no such thing as perfect parenting, but there are lots of insights that can challenge our fatherly approaches for the better, both at home and at work.


I wrote...

You’re Going to Be a Dad!

By DaddiLife Books,

Book cover of You’re Going to Be a Dad!

What is my book about?

This book is my proudest achievement of DaddiLife so far, and was undertaken after finding that so many pregnancy books for dads still treat us as a secondary parent, and don’t go much further than ‘just don’t forget to put the beers away.’ This book is designed to be the ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’ for a modern generation of dads. 50 new dads and dads-to-be were interviewed as part of the book and it provides a whole community of dad’s experiences that goes deep into the challenges, joys, milestones, and events that dads will experience (e.g. early day nerves, preparing for labor, postpartum challenges, and more), as well as shining a light on what’s happening for partner and baby from pregnancy through to the first full year. 

Potty Patrol (Paw Patrol)

By Random House, Nate Lovett (illustrator),

Book cover of Potty Patrol (Paw Patrol)

Chances are your kiddo is either totally obsessed with Paw Patrol or just hasn’t ever seen it. There doesn’t seem to be an in-between. So, never mind that this book has kid characters who say things like, “We like our diapers just fine.” Instead, just let the plucky crew of puppies hypnotize your kid into going to the bathroom. The puppies are on a mission to help kids view potty as an exciting adventure, from overcoming fears to making bubbles from the hand soap. It’s...pawsome!


Who am I?

It doesn’t matter that I’m a former journalist who has also most recently worked at Sesame Workshop (yes, that Elmo!) and Mattel (Fisher-Price, Barbie, Thomas & Friends, etc). When my kiddo shouts, “Mommy! I need a bum bum wipe!” my duty is to get to that doodie ASAP. Ah, parenthood...is there anything more humbling? Someday, my kids might think it’s cool that I wrote for old-school magazines (!) and interviewed celebrities (!!) and lived in NYC for 15 years (!!!). But for now, I’m proud I get to read my silly little children’s book to them any time they ask. Or any book for that matter because books are magic!


I wrote...

The Poopy Pants Dance

By Christie Griffin Authier, Emily Wetterich (illustrator),

Book cover of The Poopy Pants Dance

What is my book about?

Going potty is an evolving journey for children—and it all starts with some wiggles while they’re still in diapers. My board book, The Poopy Pants Dance, is a cheeky read for both parents and their kiddos. It’s about how babies and toddlers often have funny dance-like moves when their diapers are extra dirty. From the hustle to the cha-cha, each scenario features a new dancing baby that will make you and your kiddo giggle. 

The Poopy Pants Dance has both rhyming and repetition, which have been proven to help children develop early literacy skills and make important brain connections. Fair warning, though: Numerous parents have told me their children love parroting “poopy pants dance,” particularly in public.

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