Toilet training at any age has its ups and downs, but books can help! Below discover the best potty training books for toddlers from the montessori perspective all about just learning to use the toilet and for those who have been potty trained and/or are afraid to poop!
I'll also cover what I DISLIKE and which popular potty training books are worth skipping. The video below shows every single page of the toilet training books reviewed so you can pause it and make the best choice for your family! And be sure to check out my Montessori Potty Training Guide To Toilet Learning too!
- Lovevery Potty Books ★★★★★
- Let's Go to the Potty!: A Potty Training Book for Toddlers ★★★★★
- Once Upon a Potty — Boy/ Girl ★★★★
- What's A Potty For? Very First Questions + Answers ★★★★
- A Potty for Me! ★★★★
- Where’s The Poop? ★★★★
- It Hurts When I Poop! A Story for Children Who Are Scared to Use the Potty ★★★★
- Dash's Belly Ache: A book for children who can't or won't poop ★★★
- Super Poop and Whizz Kid: Potty Power! ★
- The Potty Book: For Boys/Girls ★★★
- Potty ★★
- Potty Superhero: Get Ready For Big Boy Pants! Children's Potty Training Board Book ★★
- Big Girls Use the Potty! ★★
- Do books help with potty training?
- How do you start potty training books?
- What are the best montessori potty training books?
- What are the best potty training books for boys?
Key factors I kept in mind while reviewing:
- Does this feature real images or cartoons?
- Does this show poop and pee or just sitting on the toilet?
- Does this focus on bribes/rewards or emotional manipulation (e.g. Mom is so proud when I pee on the potty!)
- Is this educational on how the body works?
- Does this use proper language or “playful terms” to talk about body parts and functions
Lovevery Potty Books ★★★★★
Lovevery recently launched book bundles as an add on to their montessori inspired toy play kits. In the Realist Play Kit you can now add on their ‘Ready to Go: Pee’ and “‘Ready to Go: Poop’ Board Books.
And I have to admit, these are the best potty training books I've ever come across.
From using real people, including actually showing real poop and pee, to the montessori aligned language and explaining HOW poop is made, they didn't miss a beat.
There's no over emphasis on praise, rewards, emotional manipulation, etc. that you find in many toilet learning books.
Let's Go to the Potty!: A Potty Training Book for Toddlers ★★★★★
Let's Go To The Potty is probably my favorite book next to Lovevery's. They do a great job touching on each aspect of toilet learning.
I particularly love how they talk about listening to the body which teaches the child the physical signs they may experience before relieving themselves from the tummy ruble to the squat and squirm. From there, I like how it's realistic with the urgency to “hurry hurry” to the potty. And then it's discussion on waiting from reading to playing, to even giving a song you can sing together is really awesome.
It also touches on accidents, waiting and nothing coming out, only getting a portion of your pee or poop in the potty, and that each experience will be unique. The open ended approach to this book is one of the more realistic and comforting books I've come across, whereas most potty training books focus on “you did it! Your a big kid now!” which just sets kids up for disappointment when accidents inevitably happen.
Once Upon a Potty — Boy/ Girl ★★★★
Once Upon A Potty is one of the more popular potty training books. The reason it has a girl/boy version is that it shows the naked child in cartoon form. However they do not talk about the proper names for the body parts and the text is the exact same.
Instead of penis, it says “pee pee for making wee wee” which can be confusing if you say to your child “do you need to pee?” And they think you're talking about their body part.
What I do like about this book, is that it shows a realistic exploration of a potty, and a natural progression of learning the urge to poop, and waiting on the toilet without parental pressure. It also focuses on the child's pride before the parents. Lastly, it teaches both parents and kids a concept I talked about in my Potty Training Plan post, about cleaning up the potty together.
What's A Potty For? Very First Questions + Answers ★★★★
What's A Potty For? is a colorful interactive lift the flap book by Usborne, a popular kids book publisher.
This is one of my daughter's favorite books and asks all the questions typically on a toddlers mind. Additionally, it's probably the prettiest cartoon book to look at on the list and does show poop and pee. Usborne is a British company, so some of the language is written as such (e.g. loo instead of bathroom).
But it's a fun book that walks you through getting a toilet, what it is and isn't for, when to try using the bathroom, accidents, and eventually going in a public restroom. Nothing is too deep or pressure-y. It doesn't explain how the body makes poop, but it also don't use emotional manipulation. It's a very middle of the road book.
A Potty for Me! ★★★★
A fun rhyming lift the flap book for toddlers learning to use the potty.
What I like about this book, is that it does not show using the potty as a toy. It also is the only book to discuss still wearing diapers at night that I came across. And it does not focus on emotional manipulation, but instead feeling proud of yourself.
It's my favorite of the “simple” books. What it's missing: doesn't teach the child how to wait on the potty, doesn't touch on poop, or all the other common variables.
Where’s The Poop? ★★★★
Where's The Poop? is a lift flap book about animals going to the bathroom. It's a unique way to get your child to see that everybody and animal poops.
Who this is good for: If you find yourself asking your child if they pooped everyday, then this is a book worth considering. I like that this book shows the parents asking if the baby animal has pooped each day, as it can help take the pressure of if you find yourself asking each day.
Meaning you seem less naggy/pressure. If the child also thinks poop is simply gross or uncomfortable, or feels ashamed about missing pooping in the potty, it can be helpful to see all the places/types of poop.
I do find this book kind of boring though and don't like that the poop is hidden in the same spot (bottom right corner on each page).
It Hurts When I Poop! A Story for Children Who Are Scared to Use the Potty ★★★★
It Hurts When I Poop! is a fun little books for toddlers who are scared to go poop and actively hold poop in.
It does a great job talking about how poop is made, what it is, and the importance of getting rid of it.
NOTE: This is a book for toddlers struggling to poop after toilet training. Not a book I'd recommend having on the shelf before or when just starting potty training. Additionally, since it does teach that poop is made from the leftover waste of food, some particularly anxious can see some particularly anxious kiddos resisting food for a little while to see if they can avoid pooping. Be prepared to speak to your child about this, or add in dialogue while reading that talks about WHY we need food to reduce the likelihood of a food protest.
Dash's Belly Ache: A book for children who can't or won't poop ★★★
This book follows a puppy named Dash around who is having a hard time pooping. It covers all the things like not wanting to play or eat and generally fully crummy when you aren't pooping.
While it was realistic in the way the mom dog nagged Dash to go poop, it didn't really teach kids how to get over the fear of going poop other than to take some special treats from the vet.
In my opinion, this book is really only helpful if you're having a hard time getting your kid to try constipation candies, poop fudge, or other foods that can help them go. Otherwise, I think It Hurts When I Poop! is a better pick.
This book is authored by a website with loads more constipation tips and recipes to try.
Super Poop and Whizz Kid: Potty Power! ★
A colorful comic book style board book featuring a cat and dog superhero team with clever puns.
Honestly, I found this book to be nonsensical. The jokes are definitely over a 2-3 year olds head, and it uses emotional manipulation of parent approval to encourage using the toilet.
Personally this is a total skip. The only good thing I have to say about it, is that it's fun to look at.
The Potty Book: For Boys/Girls ★★★
The Potty Book is a fun little rhyming book that does a good job introducing the potty, exploring it, and teaching the child things to do while waiting on the potty.
My biggest complaint about the book is the focus on adults approval. I could look past the “mommy and daddy are so happy” if it didn't go into calling Grandma. I think that just adds too much pressure for when the child inevitably has an accident.
Additionally, while they have a “for boys” and “for girls” version, there's really no need. This book does not touch on anatomy or teaching boys to stand and pee. The boy/girl aspect simply refers to the main character, but nothing specific.
I'm giving it 3 stars because I prefer others on the list, not because it's necessarily “bad” it's just average.
A super simple book about a baby who needs to figure out where to go potty.
It's really just a silly book for kids. The only parts that I thought were helpful in teaching kids were the reminder to take off their diaper before sitting on the potty – which I wish were underpants given that we cut diapers from the start – and that you sit and wait on the potty until something happens.
Potty Superhero: Get Ready For Big Boy Pants! Children's Potty Training Board Book ★★
The Potty Superhero book has a boy and girl version, but much like The Potty Book, there's no mention of anatomy or the different ways boys and girls pee, so it's really just about the main character.
This is a very simple board book with very thick pages, beyond that and the super hero theme I think it's a book worth skipping.
While I do like that it talks about the urge to use the restroom, and having accidents while playing, it's a little to simple for my liking. It really makes it seem like “I got a potty, I count to 10, I have an accident, and now I'm potty trained!” But that's not reality.
Big Girls Use the Potty! ★★
DK Books are generally books we like in our house because of their montessori aligned imagery of real people/items, however this book fell drastically short.
It comes with a sticker chart, which you can use or not use.
But that's not my issue with it, my issue is that it really focuses on teddy going to the bathroom more than the little girl. It gives the impression that learning to use the toilet is done in a blink of an eye. Like, once you know what to do, it's easy as pie!
FAQs On Potty Training Books
Do books help with potty training?
Yes, if selected correctly! Potty training books are picture friendly, so even the youngest toddlers can flip through the pages and learn independently.
With that said, depending on the toddler, if a potty training book focuses too much on parental pressure or sets unrealistic expectations it may be unhelpful and potentially harmful to the child's motivation.
How do you start potty training books?
Dr. Maria Montessori, a leading child development expert of her time, believed children entered a sensitive period for toilet learning between 12 and 18 months old. While the average age for potty training is closer to 3 years old, I wholeheartedly believe having potty training books accessible to the child around 12 months is a great first step.
There's no need to force them on your toddler, but having them in the space, for the child to pick up and ask you to read, can be a great way to prepare a montessori environment at home for when the child does become interested in toilet learning.
What are the best montessori potty training books?
Lovevery's potty training books are the best montessori potty training books.
With that said, when it comes to selecting helpful toilet training books I think the content is more important than featuring real kids and environments. Lovevery certainly offers the best in terms of content and imagery, but if you do not have a Lovevery subscription you can't access the books.
In that case, I'd go with Let's Go To The Potty and What's A Potty For? Very First Questions + Answers as both do a great job teaching skills, curiosity, and fostering independence through the toilet learning journey even though they feature cartoons.
What are the best potty training books for boys?
Despite potty training books marketing themselves for boys, the reality is the content is generally gender neutral.
What's A Potty For? Very First Questions + Answers is the only potty training book I came across that address boys stand to pee.
Once Upon a Potty has a boy and girl version that feature naked cartoon children, however the text is the exact same in each book thereby not teaching the anatomically correct names for body parts.
If you can't get your hands on the Lovevery potty training books then I highly recommend Let's Go To The Potty! It's definitely one of my favorite books for toilet learning. What's A Potty For? Very First Questions + Answers is another favorite, fun interactive book and the only one to address boys standing up and eventually using a public restroom.
If your toddler has been potty trained for a while and is struggling with constipation due to withholding poop then It Hurts When I Poop! is a great option; just be sure to talk to them about the importance of food too!
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