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Ditching the diapers is a huge milestone for parents and caregivers. The ability to put your little one on the potty instead of a changing table is a box most of us look forward to checking.

And while the success you feel when your toddler can sit, wipe, and flush on their own is rewarding, getting to that place can sometimes feel like a journey that will never end.

The good news? Millions of parents have been in the exact same spot you are in now, and some of them were kind enough to put their pitfalls and accomplishments on paper.

Here are 17 potty training books to consider, with everything from fun books to engage your child to methodology books for you. Each parent-child combo is unique, so finding a potty training solution that works for your family is far more important than following someone’s “right” method. Trust your gut, take deep breaths, and remind yourself that they won’t go off to college in diapers.

To make the list of best potty training books, we looked at online reviews and testimonials from parents and caregivers, in addition to talking to real-life parents. We also considered the “kid factor” and included books we thought toddlers would be willing to listen to and look at, over and over again.

Finally, Healthline Parenthood writers and editors searched our bookshelves to share titles that helped with our own kids’ potty-training process. Here are the best potty training books, for both kids and parents.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $10
  • $$ = $10-$15
  • $$$ = $15-$20

Best straightforward potty training books for parents

“Oh Crap! Potty Training”

  • Author: Jamie Głowacki
  • Price: $$
  • How this book can help: parents who want a funny, simple, structured approach to potty training

Potty training is messy, frustrating, tiring, and slightly terrifying. That’s why this hilarious but extremely beneficial guide for parents is ideal for anyone starting this process.

“Oh Crap! Potty Training” is written by internationally recognized potty training and parenting expert Jamie Glowacki who succinctly shares her six-step plan to help you toilet train your little one. The author does an excellent job of explaining the process logically and informatively while also allowing room for lots of mistakes. The focus of the book is on kids ages 20 to 30 months.

Many parents love this book for its funny, approachable take on potty training. Some parents found the humor judgmental or found the system too rigid for their family.

What this book offers:

  • funny
  • highly qualified author
  • simple, easy-to-follow process
  • reassuring for parents who want a lot of information
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Best flexible potty training book for parents

“The Holy Grail of Potty Training”

  • Authors: Tasha Powers & Steven Graham
  • Price: $$$
  • How this book can help: parents who want scientifically backed information, and an approach that recognizes differences

Your child may be chronologically ready for toilet training, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have the underlying skills to be successful. If you’re unsure about when to start this process, this book’s for you.

Written by a pediatric occupational therapist, “The Holy Grail of Potty Training” claims it’s an easy-to-follow system that gives you the flexibility to adapt the program to your needs. In addition to the tips in the book, you also get access to the online “Potty Training Toolbox,” which has tons of resources to help train even the most reluctant child.

What this book offers:

  • written by a pediatric occupational therapist
  • advice for both typically and atypically developing children
  • open-minded and flexible approach
  • reassuring for parents who want a lot of information
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Best gentle parenting potty training book

“The No-Cry Potty Training Solution”

  • Author: Elizabeth Pantley
  • Price: $$
  • How this book can help: parents who want to work with their child with minimal upset on both sides

Part of what makes potty training so difficult is the big emotions, for us and our children. Written by a parenting expert, “The No-Cry Potty Training Solution” is a gentle, flexible approach to potty training that covers readiness, power struggles, reluctant toddlers, and many other common concerns. The goal of the book is to empower parents to know when their child is ready, and to work calmly and kindly with their child until potty training is achieved. If you are looking for a gentle, rational approach that is nonjudgmental and flexible for your family, this may be a great choice for you.

What this book offers:

  • inclusive of many family dynamics
  • focuses on understanding yourself and your child so you can achieve your goals
  • focuses on a calm parent rather than a rigid system
  • helps parents feel empowered
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Best funny potty training book for kids

“We Poop on the Potty!”

  • Author: Jim Harbison
  • Price: $
  • How this book can help: engage kids and make going to the potty fun and funny

This adorable and hilarious book has garnered rave reviews from parents, as well as being a Mom’s Choice Awards Gold Award recipient. The illustrations are cute, and the humor is geared right at toddlers and pre-K kids. Each page has superheroes, unicorns, animals, and more to keep children engaged.

Speaking from my own experience, children will likely get on board with potty training if they find it fun and interesting. Whether you are just getting started, or are specifically working on a poop issue, this may be a great book to start reading with your child before, during, and probably after, the potty training process.

What this book offers:

  • whimsical illustrations
  • age-appropriate humor
  • light-hearted approach to the concept of potty training
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Best interactive potty training books

“P Is for Potty!”

  • Author: Naomi Kleinberg
  • Price: $
  • How this book can help: keep kids interested and teach them about going potty

We can always count on Sesame Street to teach life lessons, including getting rid of diapers for good. “P Is for Potty!” follows Elmo and other Sesame Street characters as they venture through the toilet training process.

Through the use of sturdy flaps, this board book entertains and educates toddlers ages 1 to 3 years old about how to use the potty. With more than 25 colorful interactive flaps to find and open, your little one will be entertained in discovering how Elmo and his mommy master toilet training.

What this book offers:

  • familiar characters that your child might feel comfortable with
  • interactive pages to keep your child focused while on the toilet
  • durable material (for all of the potty-training related messes you might run into)
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“Potty Time! Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”

  • Author: Scarlett Wing
  • Price: $
  • How this book can help: songs help children remember what they’re learning

“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” is a beloved PBS television show watched by millions of kids. The characters also make an appearance in several “how-to” books for toddlers and preschoolers.

In this take-along children’s sound book, the Daniel Tiger uses two popular teaching techniques — music and touch — to show kids how to use the potty. As you read the book, picture icons will prompt your little one to press the buttons and play the sound effects — a task they will certainly enjoy! And the songs come in handy as a gentle way to remind your toddler it’s time to go potty.

What this book offers:

  • familiar characters that your child might feel comfortable with
  • sensory and tactile pages
  • sing-along music
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Best classic potty training book

“Everyone Poops”

  • Author: Taro Gomi
  • Price: $$$
  • How this book can help: teaches children about going poop

This simple and beautiful book is a straightforward way to talk to your toddler about, well… poop. It is both educational and interesting for your kiddo, and helps make going potty something matter-of-fact and even funny, rather than scary or stressful.

In fact, you may have read this classic yourself when you were potty training. If you’re looking for effective books to read with your child while they go potty or to introduce the potty training process, this tried and true book is worth checking out.

What this book offers:

  • sense of humor
  • an introductory book for children
  • a classic, nostalgic book
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Best potty training book for curious kids

“What Is Poop?”

  • Author: Usborne Books
  • Price: $$$
  • How this book can help: teaches children about poop and who goes

Toddlers are endlessly curious about the world around them (have you lost count of all the “but whys?” you answer each day?), and this lift-the-flap book from Usborne is a great tool to have in your potty training kit.

It makes poop matter-of-fact and approachable, instead of icky or scary. Your child will get to learn about what poop is, why we make it, how your food affects your poop, what different animals’ poop is like, and many other facts that are sure to interest your eager learner.

What this book offers:

  • interactive flaps are fun for kids
  • interesting facts keep things straightforward
  • understanding their bodies helps children feel empowered
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Best potty training books for boys

“Potty Time for Boys”

  • Author: Janelle McGuinness
  • Price: $
  • How this book can help: get boys engaged in the story, provides bonus tools

Parents love this book for its adorable artwork, it’s funny take on potty training from a kid’s point of view, and the tasteful way the potty process is explained. Children often learn faster when they can relate their own experience to a fun story.

What’s more, this book comes with two free downloads: a coloring book and a potty chart. These extra tools can help your little one be more invested in the process and excited to learn along with the main character. There is also a “Potty Time for Girls” in this same series.

What this book offers:

  • the narrative format of the book helps children relate
  • free downloads include a coloring book and a potty chart
  • gives children a basic understanding of their bodies
  • helpful if you are looking for a gender-specific book
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“Dino Potty”

  • Author: Rainstorm Publishing
  • Price: $$$
  • How this book can help: makes potty time fun and silly

Your dino-loving little one can laugh, squeal, and rhyme their way to the bathroom with “Dino Potty.” This board book comes with excellent step-by-step potty training illustrations that encourage kids to try the potty just like Dino.

Not only does Dino learn how to use the potty, but this lovable character also gets a brand-new pair of underwear. With the help of some easy rhymes and entertaining illustrations, your child can learn critical potty training steps, from start to finish.

What this book offers:

  • fun rhymes help children learn
  • step-by-step instructions for potty training
  • great for kids who are interested in dinosaurs
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Best potty training books for girls

“Once Upon a Potty”

  • Author: Alona Frankel
  • Price: $
  • How this book can help: teaches girls about going to the potty, including correct body parts

If you are looking for a gender-specific potty training book for girls, this is a whimsical option to check out. It includes simple illustrations and a story about a little girl learning to go potty. It also includes a child-appropriate drawing of female anatomy that’s useful if your child has specific questions about their own.

What this book offers:

  • cute, easy to follow
  • includes anatomically correct drawing of female anatomy
  • helpful if you are looking for a gender-specific potty training book
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“Potty Superhero: Get Ready for Big Girl Pants”

  • Author: Parragon Books
  • Price: $
  • How this book can help: may motivate and inspire girls to go potty

This colorful, fun, and adorable book shows that even superheroes need to use the potty. Appropriate for ages 18 months and up, the message encourages and motivates toddlers beginning to potty train to stick with the journey, even when the going gets tough.

Plus, we think parents and caregivers will appreciate the positive approach the superhero takes when learning how to toilet train. There is a “Potty Superhero: Get Ready for Big Boy Pants” version as well.

What this book offers:

  • a fun and empowering narrative
  • a strong female main character
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“The Potty Book for Girls”

  • Author: Alyssa Satin Capucilli
  • Price: $
  • How this book can help: girls may identify with the story character and want to follow along

This easy-to-follow, engaging book tells the story of Hannah, a toddler who gets a new potty as a present. Hannah likes to go outside and play but always has to wait for a diaper change before the fun can begin.

Your toilet-trainee will follow along as Hannah learns that being on the toilet is a lot easier and faster than waiting around for mom or dad to change a diaper.

Fun, silly, and light-hearted, “The Potty Book for Girls” is a fan favorite — Healthline Parenthood editor Saralyn Ward said her daughter read this book often, even after potty training was done.

What this book offers:

  • favorite with kids
  • a light-hearted, engaging story for toddlers
  • teaches patience and persistence
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Best potty training books for a weekend intensive

“Toilet training in less than a day”

  • Authors: Nathan Azrin & Richard Foxx
  • Price: $$
  • How this book can help: can give you guidance for potty training fast, proven method

No system is perfect, but this updated version of the original Azrin-Foxx method of potty training is the go-to for parents wanting to get the job done in less than a day. The authors take you step-by-step from pre-training to your child confidently using the toilet without assistance.

Their program requires patience and your undivided attention to the steps, so plan on putting everything else on hold and staying home while you complete the training.

What this book offers:

  • step-by-step instructions
  • helpful if you need to get potty training done fast
  • long-standing method
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“Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day: Proven Secrets of the Potty Pro”

  • Author: Teri Crane
  • Price: $$
  • How this book can help: organized method of fast potty training

If you’re determined to get the job done fast, you’ll need a clear and concise plan that’s easy to follow and makes the process somewhat fun. The “Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day” method uses charts, quizzes, and checklists to help parents with every step of the way. The program also emphasizes “potty parties” to help keep your little one motivated to go to the bathroom.

What this book offers:

  • offers fun ideas to keep kids engaged
  • charts, quizzes, and checklists
  • clear instructions
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Best potty training books for overnight potty training

“Potty Training in 3 Days”

  • Author: Brandi Brucks
  • Price: $
  • How this book can help: can help overcome that final obstacle of staying dry at night

Even if you’ve conquered daytime potty training, night training can be its own whole process. Parents and caregivers looking for tips on overnight potty training will appreciate the attention the author gives to an “empty bladder” before bed.

To set your child up for success, you’ll want to adhere to this step, which asks you to set your child on the potty 30 minutes before bed, and then one more time as the very last thing they do before hopping into bed. This is just one of five steps in the book that will help your child be accident-free overnight (and keep you from washing sheets every. single. day.).

What this book offers:

  • great resource for nighttime potty training specifically
  • five simple steps
  • also includes a full potty training plan if you are just getting started
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“The First Time Parent’s Guide to Potty Training”

  • Author: Jazmine McCoy
  • Price: $
  • How this book can help: good explanations for first-time parents in particular, or those struggling with nighttime potty training

If this is your first go-around with toilet training and your little one is struggling to stay dry overnight, then check out this first-time parents’ guide written by a clinical psychologist and mother of two.

This 3-day program combines education information and practical advice with encouragement and reassurance that every child is different. Plus, the author makes a point of reminding parents that personality traits play a role in the success of daytime and nighttime training.

What this book offers:

  • highly qualified author
  • flexible and understanding approach
  • 3-day program can be ideal for busy schedules
  • geared at newer parents
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What is the best age to start potty training?

Every child is different, so the short answer is that the best age to start is when your child is ready or when your family needs to potty train (i.e., your child is required to be potty trained for daycare, etc). The age range in Western society for potty training is 18 months to 3 years old, with the average age for potty training being 27 months old.

What is the 3-day potty training method? How long should potty training take?

The 3-day potty training method has been one of the most successful potty training methods (following child-led potty training). It works best with children who are at least 22 months old, and involves total focus and commitment to the process.

You throw away the diapers on day 1 and dress your child in a shirt and underwear. There will be lots of accidents, but each one is a chance for the parents to calmly place the child on the potty to finish going.

The idea is that by the end of 3 days the child gets used to the sensation of needing to go, and goes to the potty rather than having an accident. This method requires dedicated time, lots of underwear, lots of liquid, patience, and carpet cleaner. But if you need to potty train fast, this method has been shown very effective.

There is not a set amount of time that is “right” for potty training. Each child’s personality and development are unique, as are parents’ personalities and schedules. Some children self-train in a day, while others will spend months progressing and regressing before being fully potty trained. If you feel the process is more difficult or taking longer than it should, your child’s pediatrician can be a great resource for help.

Should a 3-year-old be potty trained?

In child-led methods of potty training, 3 is a fairly common age for children to express interest and have the ability to go potty by themselves.

Particularly for boys, 3 seems to be a sweet spot for potty training. Three-year-olds are often able to say when they need to go, pull pants up and down, sit safely on the potty, wash their hands, and take pride in their accomplishment. They may respond well to books and games that make it fun, as well as to rewards or charts.

Three-year-olds also may do particularly well with faster potty training methods (such as 1- or 3-day intensives) as they catch on quickly.

The typical age range for potty training is 18 months to 3 years old, with 27 months being the average age for potty training. So while many children do potty train at 2 years old, it is not unusual for a 3-year-old to not yet be potty trained. If you have a 3-year-old in diapers, this may be a great time to get started.

How long does it take to potty train?

Each child is different, so there is no set time for potty training. There are approaches that claim to potty train in 1 day, although very few people experience this in reality. The 3-day method works well for some families, while others take a more flexible approach that can last weeks or months.

If you feel your child is experiencing unusual difficulty, such as holding their poop or seeming unable to use the potty, you can call your child’s pediatrician to talk things through.

What method is most effective for potty training?

There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to potty training. Each family is unique in their personalities, development, schedules, number of people in the family, time at home, and eating patterns. These factors and more will all affect which method of potty training works best for you.

The 3-day method and child-readiness methods seem to have worked for the most people over the longest period of time. The books above are great resources for understanding approaches to potty training, and who they might work well for.

Potty training is a huge accomplishment for your child, and for you! Each child is unique, and there is not one method alone that will work for everyone. You know yourself and your child, and together you will make it through this milestone. We hope some of these books help you and your child find some laughter and motivation on the way to toileting success.