Do Potty Training Books Really Work? Here Are The 5 Best Potty Training Books

mommy reading a book to her toddler

So, Mommy…

…your child is starting to converse with you and consistently use the same words over and over…?

Also quickly going from walking to running…?

This may be when you are asking yourself, “Is it time to start potty training them?” 

Here, we want to encourage mixing and matching tactics that best work for you and your child. 

In this article, we’ll keep you up-to-date on all things potty training, including:

  • The signs when your little one is ready for potty training
  • When to start with the potty mission
  • The best potty training books for you and your kid
  • Lots more…

But remember: do not stress

What Should I Look For?

As your child starts taking his/her first steps, you may start to think ahead to “When is the right time to potty train my toddler?”

Potty training is arguably one of the most exciting times and milestones in your child’s infancy. 

First of all, we can collectively acknowledge that it will make your life easier – and that is always a welcome relief! 

That said, 

..many parents may find that even after their first child, tactics that worked for their first child may not work for the other.

Skimming online articles and forums is great..

Getting perspectives and finding out the causes behind your child’s behavior is equally important as the end result. 

It boils down to this: 

There are a lot of options out there for methods and ways of making potty training as easy for you as you want it to be.

Of course, there will also be a lot of variables during this time.

We recommend you start potty training with your baby around 18 to 24 months old. 

Some may not even begin until they are around the 3 or 4-year mark. 

This is something personal to your toddler – and we definitely do not recommend rushing the process.


The main reason we recommend not rushing is the potential for building bad bathroom habits. 

Children can develop habits like chronic holding where they may not go as often as they should (which is around 5 to 6 times a day).

Another reason is the added stress between both the parent and child. 

If other children in daycare or your other parent groups are starting earlier, there is no need to compare.

Every child’s development is different

It may even distract you from signs that your child is telling you they are ready for the next step!

Always remember that you are doing great… Yeah!

Because at the end of this, you will be on your way to getting your baby going to the potty all on their own!

Signs Your Child Is Ready

Besides age, there may be other indicators that your child may be ready to start with the toilet training process. 

This includes the fact that they cannot sit still with a dirty diaper.

If you find them fidgeting or wiggling away from the discomfort of a wet one or even taking off the diaper themselves, they are more than ready! 

A dry diaper between changes is another sign… Woo-Hoo! 

Let’s get rid of dirty diapers..

Your toddler may be ready to move forward with potty training since they are not having accidents. They will have a dry diaper after a nap.

In my own experience…

… another sign that your child is ready is that they are playing pretend as if they are going to the bathroom or exhibiting developmental cues that go along with bathroom behaviors.

For example, if they are using the words ‘poo,’ ‘pee,’ or any filler words, they may be ready to use the bathroom. 

This is a signal that they understand bathroom terms and the overall concept. There are even behaviors and actions that you yourself do unconsciously.

But if a child is demonstrating for the first time, it shows that they are ready. 

This includes (but does not limit to) being mobile and steady. 

They are also vocal about their independence and enthusiastic about doing things on their own such as pulling up their own pants – and following a series of suggestions in order.

Take full advantage of it, Mommy… 

This should be a time to spend bonding with your child and teaching them as well as letting them teach you. 

Our suggestions today are for reading before starting the potty training process. These books help you to make it a stress free potty training mission… 

Our book recommendations are split into two different sections: recommendations for the parents and recommendations for your child to get them to start talking and thinking about the bathroom.

1 – Potty Training in 3 Days

Best Potty Training Book For Parents

Potty Training in 3 Days book
Print Length: 106 pages
Language: English
Publisher: Althea Press
Publication Date: November 15, 2016
Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.3 x 8.2 inches

Bottom Line: This book has very cute illustrations and color graphics. It lays them out very clearly for the reader on ways to approach potty training.


Practical and soundly researched advice

Mixed with personal stories and anecdotes

Direct voice and positive tone throughout

5-step plan laid out

Great introduction and first steps to potty training


Recommended reading all the way through before starting potty training

‘3-day’ plan may need more attention

This potty book by Brandi Brunks is a great mix of personal stories and anecdotes. 

The claims come from thorough research and practical advice. 

Brunks runs a parenting consulting agency and is a potty training expert. Not only is she a practitioner, but she also holds a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education.

You see…

… the book lays out a 5-step plan and is great for parents who like and appreciate structure and regime. 

But do kids really get potty trained in just a few days?

Well, readers of this book have said the ‘3-day’ timeframe works but requires a bit of time to dedicate to the process. 

Yet, the results are consistent. 

It works really well in getting kids to start going number 1 in the bathroom.

Brunks, unlike other authors in our list, encourages potty training rewards, like treats. 

Keep in mind, though, 

…this book makes some assumptions about the age of the child.. 

It recommends your child – whether he/she is about 2 years old or is able to communicate with you – to tell you when to go.

2 – The First-Time Parent’s Guide to Potty Training

Best 3 Day Potty Training Book 

The First-Time Parent’s Guide to Potty Training book
Print Length: 176 pages
Language: English
Publisher: Zeitgeist
Publication Date: July 28, 2020
Dimensions: 5.52 x 0.49 x 8.24 inches

Bottom Line: This book is for parents who appreciate a relational approach to potty training


The advice given is more respectful of a child’s autonomy

Matter of fact tone of writing


Large text

Recommended reading all the way through before starting potty training

Some claim her advice is too broad, or something you could find online with less insight

This parenting book is by Jazmin McCoy, a mother of two and clinical psychologist. 

This potty training book is aimed at first-time parents and also claims to have your child confident and using the toilet in 3 days. 

She recaps a lot more abstract concepts.Things such as signs to look for to know if your child is ready for potty training. 

In this three day potty training book she debunks some possible misconceptions people may have. 

For example, she debunks whether boys are more difficult to potty train than girls. She also discusses other forms of potty training resistance.

On the other hand…

… some may find that the way she writes is too general. 

This may be because she focuses on the techniques more than the reward system. The design of this book is more text-heavy and is 176 pages long.

The bolder, bigger font can be confusing to a parent. 

It is hard to determine whether this is a children’s book or instructional for an adult.

3 – Oh Crap! Potty Training

Best Toilet Training Book For Toddler

Oh Crap! Potty Training book
Print Length: 288 pages
Language: English
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: June 16, 2015
Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches

Bottom Line: This book targets the relationship between parent and child. 


The advices given are very clear and effective

Provides a framework to work within

Gives troubleshooting suggestions for a tailored potty training approach

For parents that ultimately need regime, but want some wiggle room to work around



Style of writing may seem rigid in approach

Long read comparatively with 288 pages

This ‘Oh Crap’ parenting book is by Jamie Glowacki. She is a mother, social worker, and potty training expert. 

This potty training book was published in 2015. It is a bit older than the other two potty training books we recommended.

In that way, the writing and style of the book are sarcastic. 

The text itself may not appeal to parents as much as it is pretty cut and dry, and there are fewer illustrations. It is especially text-heavy, with 288 pages.

Simply put…

… we would say this book, in terms of approach, is somewhere between logical steps and general tips. 

There is less focus here on potty training rewards than others on our list. It gives you a framework to try different approaches within.

As if that’s not enough…

… it addresses issues, troubleshooting your approach to potty training. 

That’s being said,

..some may find the text a bit dry and hard to read. Others have found it too rigid in its approach. 

They are straightforward in dealing with certain benchmarks.

If you are looking for a book that gets straight to the point, this is a great option.

4 – A Potty for Me!

Best Kids Potty Training Book

A Potty for Me! book
Print Length: 26 pages
Language: English
Publisher: Little Simon
Publication Date: January 1, 2005
Dimensions: 7.25 x 0.6 x 7.75 inches

Bottom Line: For first-time parents, this is definitely a good introductory read both for you and your baby. 


Gender-neutral illustrations

Focuses on positive affirmation

Written by an established author-illustrator of baby books

Lift the flap book


May require multiple reads to get the child interested

This book is by Karen Katz. An author-illustrator of many baby books like “Babies On The Bus” and “Where Is Baby’s Belly Button?” 

If your child enjoys her books, they will surely enjoy this one as well. 

The best part..?

It is a positively-affirming book about a child who is going through potty training..

Many parents appreciated that the book was gender-neutral – and the rhyme scheme helps encourage your child’s verbal skills.

Best of all…

… the book has large text and short sentences. This makes it age-appropriate for your child as they are getting started. 

The flaps in this book also help ground the concept of lifting a seat up with flaps to lift throughout. 

Truly, this will take some time for your child to get used to.

We recommend going over the book a few times or even trying multiple potty training books over a period of time to get them used to the idea of potty training.

5 – P is for Potty! (Sesame Street) (Lift-the-Flap)

Best Personalized Potty Training Book

P is for Potty! (Sesame Street) (Lift-the-Flap) book
Print Length: 12 pages
Language: English
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: July 22, 2014
Dimensions: 8 x 0.29 x 9 inches

Bottom Line: Sesame Street books are great. Not only are children drawn to the characters, but it is also a cultural institution.


Sesame Street characters are favorites of babies

Teachable moments throughout the book

Well illustrated

Well designed flipbook


May not be age-appropriate because of longer sentences

Small text

Your child and you can bond over Elmo’s journey teaching Alfie to ‘lift the flap.’

We love that the book is also a flipbook.

It helps reinforce action and consequence. The design of the book is very smart in this way. 

That’s said.. 

.. some may find that the text of the book and how small the flaps are may not be age-appropriate for a 2 or 3-year-old in that way. 

The sentences are longer, and the text is smaller. The flaps may also be too small for the mobile abilities of your child.

This is a great way to inadvertently teach your child about going to the bathroom.


Q1: How to do potty training for toddlers?

Few steps must be taken before you start training your little one to use the potty. Here are they:

– Think about a step by step plan
– Decide on specific words
– Get the proper equipment, like a new potty just for him.
– Use timer
– Get him there!
– Show proper hygiene practice
– Get rid of the diaper!

Q2: When should start potty training for toddlers

This is a very personal question and it all depends on yours and your baby’s readiness. Consider the child’s personality and age. However, you should look for some signs that your kid shows that indicates his willingness to learn. 

Q3: What tips do experts recommend when potty training?

The most important thing that most experts recommend when starting training your kid to use the toilet is to keep calm and be patient. Here are some more tips:

– Give rewards
– Use positive reinforcement
– Try to make the process fun as much as possible
– Don’t force your kid to do it
– Talk about it with your kid
– Read potty training books before and while training your kid
– Stick to a specific routine
– Use nice language when introducing new things related to the potty time.
– Something like “big kids”, “big boy pants”, “big girl underwear”, big girl panties”, big boy underpants”, or “potty superhero”

Q4: Do books help with potty training?

Yes! Potty books encourage kids and help you both to start a conversation, teach him the basic things that he needs to know, and also get him excited about this new mission. The colorful illustrations also help in making it a fun thing to do.

But again, it depends on the kids’ ages, as every kid is different!

Conclusion: Best Potty Training Books

We introduced the 5 best potty training books here, and we hope that they have been helpful in potty training your child. 

Indeed, we all need help every now and then. 

When it comes to potty training, the emphasis is finding what works best for you.

Again, raising a child is hard enough.

As you are getting started with potty training, we introduce several books that lay out the situation. 

…they also provide helpful tips!

Not only that, though; these books also instill confidence in you and your child.

You are learning something together, which can prove to be extremely difficult. You will be learning about how to communicate best with your child and how to build a better relationship in the process. 

No one knows your kid more than you, Mommy.. 

While reading these books, communication starts early with your child. It also provides consistent reinforcement on the idea of using the bathroom.

It is also a teaching moment for you as a parent in learning how to tell that your child is ready for potty training. 

There are tell-tale signs most experts may generally agree on. Ultimately, at this point in time, you and your child know best.

You are able to determine when they are ready for pull-ups and on the way to becoming self-sufficient.


it’s time to look at our top 3 picks out of these best 6 potty training books..

  • The Editor’s choice goes to: Potty Training in 3 Days
  • The Best Value choice goes to: P is for Potty! (Sesame Street) (Lift-the-Flap)
  • The Top Pick choice goes to: Oh Crap! Potty Training