At the Stratford School, when it comes to helping parents who are eager to have a successful potty training experience for their child, at the top of our list of recommendations is to create a fun space in the bathroom so they can motivate their kids to sit longer and be more excited to return to their potty chair. To take advantage of opportune moments like potty-training as a way to instill a love of reading in your child, we suggest keeping a stack of their favorite potty-training books in the bathroom. Reading to them often during long waits will teach them to be patient and learn at the same time! The books on this list address a lot of the common issues with potty training toddlers in age-appropriate ways and understanding what is developmentally appropriate helps parents and caregivers find the method of teaching that will ultimately work for each child.

Below are some of the most popular and highly recommended potty-training books for parents. These are intended to provide you with guidance and solace as you begin the journey to potty training with your child. 

Potty by Leslie Patricelli

An adorable and simple book that takes us through the thought process in one toddler’s decision to use the potty. “Should I go in my potty?” The toddler starts out by not being interested in the potty chair but then sees that kitty and doggy don’t use diapers. As the potty is being used, the reader sees that patience is important! Once the toddler is successful, there is a family celebration. “I did it!”  Parents will know that it is not that easy, but they will enjoy the humor that accompanies this heaping helping of positive reinforcement.

Once Upon a Potty (Boy or Girl Editions) by Alona Frankel

We like the Play-A-Sound editions of these boy and girl based reads! With an edition for each child, this book relates directly to them, making the potty-training process relatable and easy to understand. This book discusses body parts in children’s terms as well as explains what is going to happen in the bathroom. It encourages and even takes into consideration that mistakes can occur. But, when they are ready, the potty will be there. There are also cute dolls to go along with each book. The dolls come with their own small potty, so the child and the doll can potty train together. The cute illustrations in this book and fun buttons to push on each page keep our young ones reading this one over and over again.

Potty Superhero (Boy or Girl Editions) by Mabel Forsyth

Every little superhero needs to use the potty—he or she just needs to know where to go! Help your own little superhero explore the idea of using a potty as he makes the potty training journey toward wearing big boy or girl pants. This book has fun illustrations and offers a positive approach for parents and caregivers.

Even Princesses Poop and Even Pirates Poop by Thomas Nelson

These two books are charming, witty stories of a little princess and pirate who are learning how to use the potty. At first, Princess Phoebe and Pirate Pete don’t understand what potties are for so they use them in unusual ways! There is a flap to lift on every page and a reward chart to track every little success, the stories will make children laugh and help them learn how to use their potties!

Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi

Another great bathroom book! Toddlers love it, and parents keep it near to read while going potty. It shows by demonstrating with various animals that, as the title says, everyone poops. It teaches children that they are not alone, and they do not need to be afraid. We would recommend this for children even before it is time to potty train, as it eases both parent and child into the idea of moving in that general direction.

Big Girl Panties (and Big Boy Underpantsby Fran Manuschin

A festive celebration of a young girl’s transition to underwear. “Bye-bye, diapers! I wear panties!  Happy panties! Snappy panties! Panties! Panties! Hip hooray! Panties for every single day,” says the heroine, who sings through the pages modeling undergarments with colorful prints and patterns. Midway through the book, she claims her “big girl” status and playfully scolds a baby and a toy crocodile for even considering wearing panties. On the last page, she calls the panty-wearing reader “a big girl, too!” A fun and cheery book that your child will want to read over and over again.

Best of luck as you navigate the adventures of potty training! And if you feel like you would like to connect with parents and learn something too, Stratford School is currently offering free workshops at our San Jose, West Los Angeles, Altadena, and Los Angeles Melrose campuses this month.