10 Potty Training Books to Help Parents Find the Right Method and Get Started!

There are many schools of thought on when and how to “Potty Train” or “Toilet Learn” a child. However, the real question to ask is how do you know which Potty Training method or philosophy will work best for your child and your family?

All children and families are different, and teaching your child to use the toilet is not a one-size-fits-all operation. The method you used with your first child may not be the same method that works for your second, third, or even fourth child. Therefore whichever method you gravitate toward, it is important to assess your specific environment along with the individual needs of your child and family before beginning the process.

Key questions to ask yourself before you start:

  • Is your child developmentally old enough to start the process? Between 18-30 months is the average age to start.
  • Does your family have a stay-at-home parent who can take more time with the process or do you have limited time to potty train?
  • Do you have more than one caregiver who will be working with your child?
  • How developed are your child’s motor skills? For instance, can they pull their pants up and down by themselves? If not, this is an important skill to work on with them first.
  • Is your child able to communicate and understand you?
  • Are you ready to move your child out of the crib into the toddler bed?
  • Do you have time to commit to the process?
  • Does your child have special needs that need to be considered?
  • Are you preparing to start preschool soon?  

Taking these factors into consideration can help you decide if your child is ready to get started with Potty Training and which method might best suit your child’s needs. Let’s discuss some of the different methods that are prevalent and some of the most popular books that go along with them.

Parent-led potty training
After assessing a child’s readiness and interest, a parent leads the training process by setting up a plan and organizing a time to eliminate diapers and start the use of the potty chair or toilet. The parent or caregiver works on raising their child’s body awareness while teaching them how to sit and use the toilet through frequent practice, modeling, and encouragement.

Potty Training Book: Oh Crap! Potty Training Potty Training Book: Potty Training in 3 Days

Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once by Jamie Glowacki
Note: Jamie’s website, blog, and podcast are also valuable resources for troubleshooting some common potty training issues that may arise.

Potty Training in 3 Days: The Step-by-Step Plan for a Clean Break from Dirty Diapers by Brandi Brucks and Dr. Fredric Daum


The First-Time Parent’s Guide to Potty Training: How to Ditch Diapers Fast (and for Good!) by Jazmine McCoy,PhDPotty Training Book: The First-Time Parent's Guide to Potty TrainingPotty Training Book: The Holy Grail of Potty Training

The Holy Grail of Potty Training: A Simple 7 Day System Parents Can Use to TeachTheir Child How to Toilet Independently by Tasha Powers and  Steven R. Graham 

Child-led toilet learning
This philosophy believes that toilet learning is organic and children will begin on their own when they are ready. Two of the most popular child-led approaches are the Montessori approach and the Elimination Communication method.

The Montessori approach is that toilet learning should be gradual and that children will start thePotty Training Book: Toilet Awareness process when they are interested and ready to use the toilet. Parents set up an environment to support awareness and encourage independence.

Toilet Awareness: Using Montessori Philosophy to create a Potty Learning Routine by Sarah Moudry


Elimination Communication is essentially a diaper-free form of potty training. It is started when children are infants and is infant-led with parents learning and acting upon cues from their young child. Usually, to practice this method successfully, a parent is at home with their child full-time and there are no additional caretakers.Potty Training Book: The Diaper Free Baby Potty Training Book: Go Diaper Free

The Diaper-Free Baby: The Natural Toilet Training Alternative by Christine Gross-Loh 

Go Diaper Free: A simple handbook for elimination communication by Andrea Olson 

Special Needs Potty Training Books: There are some wonderful books that creatively and intentionally address the unique needs of children who may require more individual attention, time, and care. Additionally, there are great resources and specialists who can help you meet the needs of your child during this time. Check with your pediatrician if you feel that you need further assistance. 

Potty Training Book: Toilet Training for Individuals with Autism or other Developmental IssuesPotty Training Book: Ready, Set, Potty!Toilet Training for Individuals with Autism or Other Developmental Issues: Second Edition by Maria Wheeler and Carol Stock Kranowitz

Ready, Set, Potty!: Toilet Training for Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disorders by Brenda Batts   

Finally, if you are not sure where to start, visit your local library or check out some audio versions of the books that initially appeal to you. Whatever method you choose to go with, it is important to map out how you intend to navigate the process. Going into this venture well prepared, confident, and with a clear direction will help your child feel more secure in the process and help you both to have a more successful and positive experience.

For more Potty Training tips to help you get started successfully, join us for a FREE Virtual Potty Training Workshop on January 26 at 3 PM PST. Click here to register.

Stratford School offers FREE Potty Training Workshops. Register to Join Us!

Are you ready to explore Preschool? Visit our website at www.stratfordschools.com/preschool to learn more about Stratford School’s innovative hands-on STEAM curriculum that balances academics with fun. Click here to schedule a tour of a Stratford campus near you.