10 best potty training books

20 August 2020

child reading a book

When it comes to potty training, the more help the better. That's why we're sharing the very best potty training books to buy, as recommended by parents.

Potty training can be a problematic time for parents and toddlers so it pays to be prepared.

Parents on Mumsnet and beyond agree that a good potty training book can be like gold dust, helping children to feel more relaxed about using the toilet for the first time and parents a lot less stressed.

So we've spent time researching the books that come highly recommended on the Mumsnet forums as well as consulting other trusted review and consumer sites to compile the ultimate toilet-training reading list for both toddlers and parents.

And the results are in. Here are the best potty training books to help your toddler reach that all-important milestone.

1. I Want My Potty! by Tony Ross

“I Want My Potty! was good once DS was actively working on potty training as it convinced him that everyone has the odd accident – he's a bit of a perfectionist.”

1. I Want My Potty! by Tony Ross

Much-loved in many potty-training households, I Want My Potty! is a charming and funny story that encourages children to learn to love their potty, despite the frustrations that potty training brings.

Great for children who may not have made it to the potty on time, this tale is as much a confidence booster for toddlers as it is nostalgia-inducing for adults. This year, the book celebrates its 37th anniversary.

Need to know

  • Great for: Children embarrassed about having an accident
  • Age: 2 to 5 years

Price: £5.94

Buy now from Amazon

2. Lulu's Loo by Camilla Reid

“I found Lulu's Loo really helped to get DD into the zone.”

2. Lulu's Loo by Camilla Reid

After receiving her very first potty as a gift from Mummy, Lulu soon starts using it all over the house. Despite a few small accidents, she eventually moves from wearing nappies to big girl knickers.

With colourful images, interactive elements and a main character who perseveres no matter what, children in need of a good example to follow will love this straightforward but witty potty training book from Camilla Reid.

Need to know

  • Great for: Teaching kids the basics
  • Age: 2 to 5 years

Price: £6.40

Buy now from Amazon

3. On My Potty by Leslie Patricelli

“I bought DD this book which she found hilarious – she totally got it. I read the book with her every day, leaving the potty in her full view but put no pressure on her.”

3. On My Potty by Leslie Patricelli

Famed for making toddlers and parents laugh out loud, Potty by Leslie Patricelli is an all-time potty-training favourite.

Charting the crucial achievement that is toilet training, this book introduces the concept to little readers by taking them through the inner dialogue of Baby who eventually decides to use the potty.

A appealing, non-pushy and relatable book that allows toddlers the space to feel independent as they navigate their way towards this new and important milestone.

Need to know

  • Great for: No-pressure potty training
  • Age: 1 to 3 years

Price: £5.79

Buy now from Amazon

4. Princess Polly's Potty and Pirate Pete's Potty

“Get a copy of Princess Polly's Potty. We read it to DD every day for about a month before she asked to start training. She was dry in the day in about three days.”

4. Princess Polly's Potty and Pirate Pete's Potty

While we're not fans of overtly gendered potty training books (who says girls can't be pirates?), the success rate of Princess Polly's Potty and Pirate Pete's Potty, both published by Ladybird, is too good to ignore.

Both books aim to curb some of the anxieties that toddlers feel when it comes to using the potty or toilet for the first time. The images and 'cheer' button also provide some much-needed relief (perhaps quite literally) for everyone involved.

Whichever book you choose, you're sure to find it leaves a positive impression on your child when it comes to the exciting world of potty training.

Need to know

  • Great for: Toddlers anxious about potty training
  • Age: 18 months+

Price: £6.99

Buy now from Amazon

5. Everybody Poos by Taro Gomi

“Try the book Everybody Poos. It's about animals and has a child in it. It's great. No pressure.”

5. Everybody Poos by Taro Gomi

Looking for a funny but factual book that's simple to understand? Taro Gomi's Everybody Poos is a light-hearted story that reassures children that, in fact, everybody poos.

While this book is aimed at children not yet feeling comfortable about going for a number two, this is also a great read for helping toddlers get started with potty training.

Need to know

  • Great for: Children worried about doing a poo on the potty or toilet
  • Age: 2 to 5 years

Price: £6.50

Buy now from Amazon

6. Nappy Duck and Potty Piggy by Bernadette Ford

“I got my 20-month-old Nappy Duck and Potty Piggy which he loves.”

6. Nappy Duck and Potty Piggy by Bernadette Ford

Nappy Duck and Potty Piggy is a heartwarming, read-aloud story that successfully promotes the nappy-to-potty transition among children not yet eager to give potty training a go.

Ducky wants Piggy to come out and play. But he can’t – he's on the potty. How can Ducky become as grown-up as Piggy? By using the potty, of course!

An endearing board book with relatable characters.

Need to know

  • Great for: Introducing a potty to toddlers
  • Age: 0 to 5 years

Price: from £2.45

Buy now from Amazon

7. Who's in the Loo? by Jeanne Willis

“We got a canny one called Who's in the Loo? which is funny for DS.”

7. Who's in the Loo? by Jeanne Willis

We all enjoy a bit of bathroom humour from time to time, especially children, which is why Jeanne Willis' Who's in the Loo? has received many a good review.

The story centres around two children who need to use the loo. But who's in there? Vibrant, colourful and downright silly, this book is an excellent read to show just how much fun using a potty can be.

Need to know

  • Great for: Gently encouraging potty training
  • Age: 3+

Price: £5.94

Buy now from Amazon

8. Ruby's Potty by Paul and Emma Rogers

“Try Ruby's Potty. My DS (2.5) loved it and it was the only book we had. Nice rhyming and cute pictures. All about a little girl mouse who uses her potty for lots of things except what it's really for. Then, at the end of the book, bingo!”

8. Ruby's Potty by Paul and Emma Rogers

We get it, potties can seem a bit alien to a nappy-wearing toddler, which is why Ruby's Potty is the ideal solution for children tentatively starting to explore potty training.

With entertaining rhymes and colour images, this book is sure to appeal to even the most hesitant of toddlers.

So, what are you waiting for?

Need to know

  • Great for: Educating children about the uses of a potty
  • Age: 2+

Price: From £3.61

Buy now from Amazon

9. Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki

“I recommend this book to everyone. I got a bit annoyed with how over-the-top American it is, but I love the rationale. And everyone I know who's used it has been successful on the first attempt. Marvellous book!”

9. Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki

For parents in need of a step-by-step guide to potty training, Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right may well be the toilet-training Holy Grail.

With resounding praise across the Mumsnet forums and beyond, plus a proven six-step method to quell any potty-training woes, parents love this book for being easy to follow, humorous and, above all, knowledge-based.

While Glowacki's tell-it-like-it-is approach could be a little hard to swallow at first, we think any parent struggling with toilet training should give this book a go.

Need to know

  • Great for: Parents in need of a step-by-step guide to potty training
  • Age: Focuses on children aged 20 to 30 months

Price: £8.34

Buy now from Amazon

10. Potty Training in One Week by Gina Ford

“I used the Gina Ford book with DD when she was 24 months – worked like a dream. It was an intense week, but she was properly trained day and night.”

10. Potty Training in One Week by Gina Ford

In terms of toilet training success stories, it doesn't get much better than bestselling author Gina Ford's Potty Training in One Week.

While you will need to be willing to follow this book to the letter, it lays out an easy-to-follow programme that means your child will be potty trained in just one week (yes, we're serious).

We can't guarantee there won't be some tantrums or tears along the way, and some Mumsnetters report that the week is an intense one to say the least. But, as far as we can tell, it's all worth it the end.

Need to know

  • Great for: Parents wanting to potty train in the space of just a few days
  • Age: One for the grown-ups

Price: £5.85

Buy now from Amazon

The verdict: which potty training book is best?

Your choice of potty training book will ultimately depend on your child and the stage they're at, but I Want My Potty! is a potty-training essential for parents wanting to take a no-pressure approach.

We also love On My Potty for its appeal among little'uns testing the waters for the very first time.

For adults in need of an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide that encourages parents to take the lead, you can't go far wrong with Jamie Glowacki's Oh Crap! Potty Training.

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