I owe my sanity as a mother to a book I stumbled across at the library. Last spring, I had a few minutes to spare so I decided to take my toddler to the library. It’s sad to say, but because I spend so much of my time working at the library, I don’t bring my kids back as often as I should. I decided to just let her explore. She loved it!
After a little while of wandering I decided to find a book about potty training because it is something we had been trying to work on for months and months but with no success. Honestly, I was at the point that I knew I did not have the patience or time to dedicate to getting her potty trained. It was easier to just leave her in a diaper. She had no desire whatsoever to go to the bathroom on the potty.
We read through several books and she was mildly interested and then I picked up IT HURTS WHEN I POOP! by Howard J. Bennett. Little did I know that this book would be life changing for us. She was totally engrossed by it. Apparently she related to the little boy who didn’t want to go potty because it hurt when he pooped. He would hold everything inside until he got a stomach ache. This book helped her make sense of the feelings she had and to put words to something she couldn’t express. She studied the pictures and asked me to read it to her over and over. She especially loved the simple drawing of how food goes into our mouth and then through our stomach and intestines and finally ends up in the potty.
I’m telling you, she was mesmerized! In the next couple days she totally potty trained herself. I didn’t have to encourage her to get on the potty and she would say she was just like the little boy in the book. I kept waiting for her to go back to needing diapers, but she never had an accident from that point on. I realize that all of the problems in life can’t be solved by a picture book and that not all potty training will go this smoothly, but for my daughter and me, this book did the trick. It was such a neat process to watch her connect to a book.
There is a special spot in the Children’s Picture Book section with all of the picture books that talk about toilet training. Just ask a librarian and we can show you where it is. The library has other great books about potty training that we can recommend if you are in that stage of life. If you are ready to start potty training, don’t get discouraged, you can do it!
ONCE UPON A POTTY
by Alona Frankel
This book has been around for a long time and is considered a classic picture book on potty training. It goes through the basics of potty training but some people don’t like that it doesn’t use real names for things. There is a version for boys and a version for girls and also a DVD with the same title.
by Leslie Patricelli
This is a fun, humorous picture book about potty training.
TIME TO PEE
by Mo Willems
Mo Willems is the beloved author of the Knuffle Bunny, Pigeon, and Piggie &Gerald books. In this cute picture book, sign-carrying mice give encouragement and instructions for how to use the toilet.
ON BECOMING POTTYWISE FOR TODDLERS: A DEVELOPMENTAL READINESS APPROACH TO POTTY TRAINING
by Gary Ezzo
This short book has easy to follow steps to help your child learn to use the potty. It also follows the 1-3 day training process.
TOILET TRAINING IN LESS THAN A DAY
by Nathan H. Azrin
This classic has been around for a long time. I glanced through it several times, but never had time to dedicate to sitting down and reading the whole thing. I have offered this book to may patrons over the years. This process works, but sometimes takes a little bit longer than a day.