Potty training can be a nightmare for both parent and child so anything that can improve this tricky process easier is a hit with us.
From revamped classics to lift-the-flap books, sticker books and even ones that cheer them on in the process. These books should keep your little one entertained and sitting long enough to take care of business.
Best potty training books:
This children's book takes a no-nonsense approach to bodily functions and encourages children to be unashamed about potty training. The book explains that all living poo - some poo on land, some poo in water, some poo in a toilet and some poo in a potty.
Winner of the Junior Design Awards Best Baby Book (0-2 years), The Big Steps series is designed to help little ones cope with everyday experiences. In No More Nappies, meet Millie and Mo - follow the ups and downs of their potty-training journey brought to life with fun flaps and mechanisms. Each page has helpful potty-training tips that are endorsed by leading Early Years Consultant, Dr Amanda Gummer.
3) Princess Polly Potty and Pirate Pete Potty by Andrea Pinnington
Princess Polly and Pirate Pete Potty are entertaining picture books that help parents struggling with potty training for toddlers aged 18+ months. Easily follow along with the fun pictures, showing little ones that even pirates and princesses have anxiety about using a potty. When your little one uses the potty correctly, they can press the 'cheer' button as a fun, noisy reward!
4) Pirate Pete and Princess Polly's Potty Sticker Book by Ladybird
Pirate Pete and Princess Polly the best-selling, potty-training phenomenon come to life with an interactive sticker activity book. Follow them on her potty training adventure and join in by adding stickers to the story. With over 70 bright stickers, Princess Polly's Potty sticker activity book is perfect for helping little ones feel confident and motivated about using the potty.
Follow the antics of 27 very different animals from air, land, and sea as they all go to the potty in this beautifully imaginative rhyming ABC book. This great book teaches your child not only about potty training but helps them learn the alphabet at the same time.
These classic books on a timeless subject have been reinvented for a new generation. In 1975, Alona Frankel wrote and illustrated her first book, especially for her son Michael, on how to use the potty. These books for your little boy or girl have sold more than four million copies worldwide and help parents everywhere deal successfully with an often difficult challenge for the whole family.
When you've got to go, you've got to go! But where? There comes a point in every toddler's life when the question must be raised – should I go in my potty? With pitch-perfect humour and pacing, this book follows one baby's thoughts and hilarious actions as they learn to use the potty for the first time.
Join Bing on a toilet training adventure in this interactive sound book – perfect for encouraging young children to use the toilet with confidence. It can be scary at first, but with a little practice, your little one will be catching the Toilet Train in no time. They will love pressing the sound button and joining in the fun.
This engaging and sweet, funny lift-the-flap book shows children that all creatures have a place to poop: tigers in the jungle, kangaroos in the outback, and monkeys in the rainforest. With this playful book, your child will see that they have a place to poop, too.
Join in with Lulu's toilet adventures as she learns how to use potties and proper loos. Lulu is given a special present by Mummy - her very own potty. After receiving a potty as a present from her Mum Lulu is sitting on her potty everywhere - in the kitchen, in her bedroom, in the playroom, even in the garden!
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Now read: Best potty training games to play with your toddler
1) What’s wee?
Make a drink for you both – it helps if it’s cold. Explain that when he drinks, the liquid goes down a tube into his stomach. If the drink is cold, he’ll be able to feel this.
Then explain that any liquid his body doesn’t need comes out of his willy, and this journey through his body can take a little while.
Finish your drinks and challenge him to a race. Whose drink will come out first? Keep asking, ‘Is your drink ready to come out?’
At this stage, it doesn’t matter if he just wants to win the game, and says it has after two minutes – you’re helping him be aware of his body and how it feels when a wee is coming.
When he does wee (you’ll soon recognise the blank expression on his face when it happens), help him to identify the feeling by saying, ‘Is that your drink coming out? Are you having a wee?’
Once you’ve played this game a few times, he’ll soon start to identify the feeling for himself and tell you. Keep playing, and he’ll start to identify the feeling of needing a wee too.
Has your child ever had a good look at his poo? Seeing that brown thing in his potty can come as a shock.
2) What’s poo?
When you’re eating, explain that the food goes down into his stomach, where his body takes out the useful bits it needs. Then all the bits it doesn’t need come out of his bottom as poo.
Because a toddler doesn’t chew his food as well as an older child or adult, undigested food often passes through his body unscathed. This is especially true of hard-to-digest foods, such as sweetcorn, raisins and blueberries.
Eat some sweetcorn (or whatever your child likes) together and suggest that you see how long it takes for the food to come out as poo.
Help your child tune into his body signals by asking him later, ‘Where do you think the sweetcorn is now? Is it ready to be a poo?’
Talk about how your body feels when you need a poo. At first, he’ll identify the feeling of having a poo. If you keep playing the game, he’ll soon identify the feeling of needing a poo.
When you change his nappy, show him his poo once you’ve cleaned him up. Is this the sweetcorn poo?
Answer whatever questions he has as truthfully as you can. You can also teach him some basic hygiene rules concerning poo, such as not touching it. Show him where the poo goes next too by tipping it down the loo and encouraging him to say, ‘Bye-bye, poo.’
Once your child has worked out what it feels like to need a wee or a poo, this game teaches him the skill of getting to the loo in time.
So, if you’re not already sorting nappies out in the bathroom, move your changing station there. Let him know that you’ll all be weeing and pooing in the bathroom from now on – but still with his nappy on.
This game also gets him used to the idea of interrupting his play to go to the loo, which is a major stumbling block for a lot of children during potty-training.
You’ll need to set the challenge. So, whenever you need a wee, tell him, ‘I need a wee! We have to run to the bathroom!’
And make it fun! If he enjoys the game, then he’ll want you to run to the bathroom when he needs a wee too.
Giggle and let him win. When you get there, let him wee or poo in his nappy as usual – don’t put pressure on him by even mentioning the potty. Keep playing the game and having a wee or poo in the bathroom will be normal.
Toddlers can find being on a potty uncomfortable. After sitting on the soft cushion of a nappy, a potty feels hard and cold. This game gets them used to being on the potty and makes it fun.
4) Sing the potty song
Build a ‘potty song’ into your bedtime routine, at a time when he is naturally without a nappy. So, encourage him to sit on the potty while you both sing, and do the actions to, ‘Head, shoulders, knees and toes’.
Start with just the first verse, but gradually get him sitting on the potty for longer by adding another verse, and so on. A good time to play is when you’re running the bath, as the noise of the water may encourage him to wee. If he does, praise him!
Leave a bottle of bubble mixture in the bathroom and hand the wand to your child the next time he’s sitting on the potty, whether he’s got his nappy on or not.
5) Blow bubbles
Blowing out through pursed lips will make him push down the muscles in his abdomen, which will give him a similar feeling to when he’s doing a poo.
It’s a handy game to establish before you start potty-training, as toddlers who are anxious during the process tend to hold their poos in. And this little trick will help him to relax his muscles and let go of that number two.
On a big piece of paper, make a chart with every family member’s name on it, even the dog’s! When someone goes to the loo, get your toddler to put a sticker on the chart.
6) Make a family chart
It’s a great way for him to see that everyone needs to wee and poo. And it won’t be long before he wants his name on the chart too. Explain that will happen when he's wearing pants like everybody else.
Pulling pants up and down can be tricky, but you can make practising it fun.
7) Captain Underpants
First of all, you’ll need some pants – ideally a couple of sizes too big, so they’re easy to get on and off. Lay a few pairs around the living room, then ask your child to put on a pair over his nappy – don’t worry if he can’t pull them all the way up. Play some music and tell him every time it stops, he has to put on a pair of pants on top of the ones he already has on. At the end of the game, count how many he managed as you help him take them off, one by one.